The VFA Blog

    Kicking Off the Biggest VFA Accelerator Yet

    Kicking Off the Biggest VFA Accelerator Yet


    The 2016 VFA Accelerator has begun! At 8:30 am on a recent rainy Friday morning in New York City, 12 young entrepreneurs in the final year of the VFA fellowship boarded a bus to Philadelphia for the 2016 VFA Accelerator. It had already been a long week—the night before, they pitched their young businesses at VFA’s […]

    Read More

    Joel Kaplan ’15: Emerging City Champions Fellow

    Joel Kaplan ’15: Emerging City Champions Fellow


    Hello VFA world! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Joel and I am a 2015 Venture For America Fellow. Here’s everything you need to know about me in 5 bullet points: I started two companies in college and I’m obsessed with startups. I’m the guy that is way too passionate […]

    Read More

    Want to be useful to a startup? Learn to sell.

    Want to be useful to a startup? Learn to sell.


    Originally published on Medium. These days, it’s borderline hackneyed to say, “If you can’t learn to code, learn to sell.” And yet, I’ve noticed that many of the brilliant young grads I work with give sales some serious side-eye. I get it. Back in my business school days, if someone told me they had a […]

    Read More

    Birchbox Is Redefining the Future of Retail in More Ways Than One

    Birchbox Is Redefining the Future of Retail in More Ways Than One


    Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com I first encountered Birchbox back in 2011. My wife Evelyn had subscribed, and I’m responsible for getting our mail. Each month, I would deliver to her a box full of beauty samples that she would excitedly open, sniff, touch and use. It was like a mini-holiday at random, complete with an […]

    Read More

    The undergrad’s checklist for building professional skills during college

    The undergrad’s checklist for building professional skills during college


    Originally published on Medium College is filled with exciting things, like living with your best friends, dedicating your time to topics that interest you, and staying up late on Tuesdays with limited consequences. A slightly less fun but still exciting reality: it’s also an important time to arm yourself with the professional skills that you’ll […]

    Read More


    How To Stumble Onto Your Startup Idea

    How To Stumble Onto Your Startup Idea


    Originally published by Mike Wilner ’13 on Forbes Startup ideas don’t appear on whiteboards. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp didn’t come up with Uber in a brainstorming session; they came up with it when the frustration of trying to hail a cab in San Francisco hit a boiling point. Startup ideas come from going out […]

    Read More

    Out of Office 101: how to take a vacation like a pro

    Out of Office 101: how to take a vacation like a pro


    PSA: despite everyone’s favorite Game of Thrones tagline, winter isn’t coming. Summer is the season actually speeding our way, and it’s dragging the memories of sweet, sweet three-month vacations in its wake. As a young professional fresh enough out of college that I still refer to the period of time between Christmas and New Year’s […]

    Read More