December 11, 2013

VFA Innovation Fund: Introducing the Next Round of Fellow Projects

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the VFA Innovation Fund: Round 2! Right now, VFA Fellows are raising money for seven projects and ideas, all vying for $20,000 in funding.

Earlier this year, we launched the VFA Innovation Fund as a way for our enterprising Fellows to launch or advance projects or products they’re developing in their cities. Right now, Fellows are crowdfunding their projects through our Innovation Fund page on, and the three projects that have raised the most money by January 20th, 2014 will get additional support of $10K, $6K, or $4K from the Innovation Fund.

Introducing our Round 2 Projects…

Check out the initiatives from this round of the Innovation Fund below, including everything from a startup weekend for bands and a pedicab company in Detroit, to the high-protein, more nutritional “Greek Pasta” created by one of our Fellows from scratch. Fund your favorite project today by clicking “Learn More” below or visiting!

Banza! Greek Pasta

A superior, high-protein pasta made from chickpeas.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.29.44 PM


Rebirth Realty II

A project to restore the roof of a foreclosed Detroit home purchased by VFA Fellows.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.33.28 PM



A Cincinnati-based organic meat snack produced to seal in flavor.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.28.36 PM



A performance-based fundraising platform for road races.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.26.42 PM



A 48-hour event that connects local musicians and provides them with a platform to perform.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.31.43 PM


Reddicabs Detroit

A fleet of on-call or contracted pedicabs to service Downtown Detroit.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.31.16 PM


Made by Random

One-of-a-kind home decor that combines digital fabrication with hand craftsmanship.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.26.08 PM


Visit our Innovation Fund page today to help launch the next Fellow project!

Wondering what our Round 1 winners are up to?

In May 2013, we announced the first VFA Innovation Fund to help Fellows get their ideas off the ground in their cities. In Round 1, Fellows raised over $50,000 total… and they’ve definitely been putting it to use since.

  • Startup Effect, a non-profit that teaches entrepreneurship in middle schools in New Orleans and Detroit, raised almost $25,000 total and has enlisted the help of new VFA Fellows and expanded to new cities.
  • Rebirth Realty ended up with over $15,000, which they used to purchase and begin renovations on a foreclosed Detroit home. Now, they’re back at it as part of this round trying to raise money to restore their roof– the critical next step before they can complete further renovations. Help out today!
Posted in: News