Start building things

Learn about how

Our Fellows are helping their companies and cities grow

The VFA Experience

Training Camp

When you work at a startup, you need to be ready to adapt and take on any challenge thrown your way (or even challenge yourself when no one is telling you what to do). Before you start your job, you’ll spend five weeks at Brown University working alongside other VFA'ers to make sure you have the basic skills and startup knowledge to hit the ground running. Through a combination of group challenges, visits from experienced entrepreneurs, and skills sessions from expert trainers like IDEO and McKinsey, we’ll make sure you’re READY. TO. GO. Oh, and spending five weeks with your new best friends is pretty fun too.

Find Your Company

We have over 200 company partners in more than a dozen cities - and once you’re accepted, it’s time to find your team. From consumer internet startups, biotech, and advanced materials companies, to VCs and organizations working to make their cities a better place, the hardest part will be deciding which company to pitch yourself to first. It’s a competitive process, but you’ll have the VFA team to support you and help you find an opportunity you feel good about.

Fellows on the Job

When we say this isn't going to be easy, we mean it. VFA Fellows are thrown into challenging environments where they're expected to be proactive and self-directed. By wearing many hats, figuring out where you can best contribute, and diving into the gritty details of building something new, you’ll learn on the job and come out on the other end of two years a stronger person who's ready for anything. You may be the new team member on the block when you arrive, but Fellows who hit their stride could learn more in two years than many do in twice that time.

Beyond the Office

Sure, joining a startup early in your career and making an impact on your company is a worthy challenge in itself. But if you become a Fellow, chances are you hope to go beyond making a difference on the job - you want to make an impact in your city, too. By joining or leading local meetups, launching community projects, and learning from the locals, you’ll have a chance to work toward making your city a better place. Think of it as your chance to do well AND do good.

Innovation Fund

Do you sometimes feel like a minute can’t go by without a great idea popping into your head? We know how it is… and that’s why we created the VFA Innovation Fund. Once you become a Fellow, you’ll be eligible to join our annual crowdfunding competition to raise money for a project or idea and turn it into the next great community initiative or Fellow-founded company. Winning Fellows get a serious boost in funding to turn their ideas into reality, and if you join us, you could be next.

Seed Fund & Accelerator

After spending two years alongside more experienced entrepreneurs, you might be ready to start something of your own. We’re here to help. We’ll give you feedback on your ideas, connect you to mentors, help you refine your pitch, and every year, provide physical office space and award $100k+ of seed funding across the most impressive companies from the graduating class.