Press Release: Venture For America Expands to Tulsa, Oklahoma
TULSA, March 4, 2021 – Venture For America, a two-year paid fellowship program for recent college grads pursuing careers in entrepreneurship, has announced that it will expand to Tulsa. Venture For America (VFA) aims to create economic opportunity in American cities by equipping the next generation with skills and resources to begin contributing to job growth and economic progress.
Since Venture For America was founded in 2011, more than 1,200 fellows have been placed in 18 U.S. cities. Their apprenticeship model is based on identifying talented recent college graduates interested in entrepreneurship.
“Considering Tulsa’s growing startup ecosystem and sectors where it has a strong presence, we felt that it was a natural fit for our program and wanted to be a part of this world-class community,” said Carrie Murphy, Venture For America vice president of community partnerships. “Furthermore, there’s a magnetic energy of collaboration and that was a tremendous resource as we dove into the possibilities of adding to the pool of the city’s job-ready talent.”
Devon Laney is the president and CEO of 36 Degrees North, a gathering place for entrepreneurs, founders and remote workers. Before moving to Tulsa, Laney was based in Birmingham, Ala., where he served as an advisory board member of VFA’s local chapter and helped recruit companies to hire their fellows. He said that “VFA’s move to Tulsa brings tremendous opportunity and exponential value to the community, especially as we are seeing a quickly expanding roster of startups and high-growth entrepreneurs building businesses in Tulsa.”
ConsumerAffairs has grown exponentially year-over-year and sees VFA as an opportunity to help provide the needed capacity to handle their growth, according to LaTonya Pratt, who focuses on talent and culture for the two-sided digital marketplace. “We look forward to VFA joining the Tulsa community as we continue our intentional efforts to attract a diverse pipeline of talent to ConsumerAffairs,” said Pratt.
Support for Venture For America’s launch in Tulsa is being supported by George Kaiser Family Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Atento Capital and 36 Degrees North. This launch follows several other ecosystem building efforts that have come to fruition in Tulsa in recent years including Tulsa Remote, Holberton School, Tulsa Innovation Labs, ACT House, partnerships with local colleges and universities, and Team8.
Efforts in Tulsa also mirror another focus of VFA’s work: providing an onramp to entrepreneurship for underrepresented groups. Andrew Albert serves as VFA’s community director for New Orleans and joined the staff after completing the two-year fellowship.
“It’s paramount we provide opportunities for historically ignored and underserved groups so they can enjoy the same opportunities of entrepreneurship as their counterparts,” said Albert. “During my time in the fellowship, I was involved in build21, one of VFA’s several affinity groups. Our activities and name were directly inspired by the legacy of Black entrepreneurship with a lens on the Tulsa Race Massacre and I’m excited to continue building on this history.”
Individuals interested in learning more about VFA Tulsa can visit https://ventureforamerica.org/tulsa/.