Fellow Spotlight: James Fayal, University of Maryland


Name:   James Fayal

Hometown: Stonington, CT

University: University of Maryland, College Park ‘12

Major: Finance


What led you to apply for Venture for America?

For most of my life I’ve dreamed of starting a successful company and I saw the VFA program as a great launching pad to reach that goal. The program provides us the opportunity to see how a start-up is run, learn what mistakes to avoid and connect with professionals in the field.

What were you doing when you found out you were accepted?

I was watching the Patriots defeat the Ravens in the conference championships. It was a nice surprise to accompany a great victory for my favorite football team.

Now that you’re a fellow, what are you most excited about with regard to VFA? What do you hope to accomplish?

The chance to work at a start-up company is an amazing opportunity that is rarely afforded to new college graduates. I’m also excited to meet influential individuals in venture capital and entrepreneurship. Most of all, I hope to have a tangible and beneficial impact on a young company.

If you had to live one place for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

I would be naïve to think I’ve found it yet…but somewhere with good skiing would be nice.

Best thing about UMD: The major sports scene and the support that the business school provides its students.

Favorite Book: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Favorite childhood TV show: Hey Arnold!

Favorite meal: Eggs benedict with extra hollandaise.

Role model: Warren Buffett

Favorite holiday: 4th of July

Best class you’ve ever taken: My high school Psychology of War class

Favorite movie quote: “Toga! Toga!” – Animal House

Favorite thing to do on Sunday: Catch up on sleep and school work, but mostly sleep.

Favorite entrepreneur or start-up company: Entrepreneur: Sir Richard Branson, Start-up: Quirky

Favorite cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Most worn article of clothing: Levi Jeans

Favorite sports team: Boston Celtics

Best trip you’ve ever been on: Two mission trips to Ecuador

Favorite historical figure: Andrew Jackson – Anybody with a history of dueling and a portrait in the White House is good in my book.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of: Winning the Connecticut Invention Convention and forming a small company around the product I invented.

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