Below is a guest blog post from 2012 Fellow Sean Pennino, who began working with a startup called Teespring in Providence through VFA back in August. Recently, Sean and his company received some very exciting news, and VFA couldn’t be more proud to be partnered with Teespring and founder Walker Williams during this exciting time.
“Teespring Accepted into Y-Combinator” by Sean Pennino, Class of 2012
Two weeks ago, Teespring received exciting news– we were offered to join Y Combinator’s Winter 2013 cycle. For three months starting in January, Teespring will be operating out of Mountain View, CA for a coveted opportunity.
YC is a program that provides early stage companies with seed funding, mentorship, and unparalleled networking throughout the Bay Area. Since 2005, they’ve helped build companies such as Reddit, Dropbox, and Airbnb just to name a few. This year, roughly 3,000 companies applied for fewer than 50 spots.
The story of Teespring’s success is one that VFA strives to promote. After graduating from Brown in May 2011, Walker Williams and Evan Stites-Clayton started building the company based off a website Walker developed to rally support for a troubled, student-favorite bar. Their motivation to pass on traditional career paths in favor of creating something valuable and personally fulfilling is the culture of achievement VFA hopes to inspire in recent graduates for years to come.
It should be mentioned that the fellows and staff are a big reason why we are doing so well. During a training camp challenge, all the fellows used Teespring to raise money for different causes. This gave Teespring a huge revenue boost, led to spinoff campaigns, and created relationships with clients that we are still working with. In September, Andrew Yang invited us to attend an event at the Democratic National Convention, which gave us great exposure. I’ve used the network of fellows countless times to seek advice, and Teespring has even signed on with another VFA partner company, Swipely, who is now saving us money on credit card processing.
The coming months will be full of experiences I could not be more excited about and grateful for. Getting a front row seat for Teespring’s coming growth will be invaluable for my future entrepreneurial aspirations. 100,000 new US jobs by 2025? Challenge accepted.