Press Release: Venture For America Hires Director in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO – Aug. 11, 2020 – Venture For America has announced the hiring of Sarah Olivarez to serve as its San Antonio Community Director. Venture For America is a nonprofit that places recent college graduates in two-year fellowships at startups and social impact organizations across 14 U.S. cities.
In her new role, Olivarez will be responsible for managing and building relationships with local funders, employers and Fellowship participants. Olivarez is a native Texan who has lived in San Antonio since 2011. She earned her bachelor’s in entrepreneurship from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and is a co-founder of the UTSA Elevator Pitch Competition and Oxyvo, a biomedical device startup.
She joins Venture For America with a history of advocating for small business in the area, which aligns with the nonprofit’s work to build strong on-the-ground relationships in each of its communities.
“I’m thrilled to continue my journey of supporting economic development and entrepreneurship in San Antonio. As Venture For America’s newest Community Director, I intend to expand our local impact, support our more than 30 Fellows who have called this community home, and deepen our connections with the 30 companies who’ve partnered with us,” said Olivarez. “Ultimately, I plan to be a positive catalyst of the work happening in San Antonio and add to the vibrancy so many other San Antonians are intimately familiar.”
Since launching in San Antonio in 2014, Venture For America has fostered relationships – either as funders or employers of Fellows – with several local organizations that include: Jungle Disk, Go Smart Solar, 80/20 Foundation, Geekdom, Active Capital, Dura Software, Codeup, Knight Aerospace and Scaleworks. The city is also home to multiple businesses that VFA Fellowship alumni have stayed and launched, such as Southeast Asian street food restaurant Pinch Boil House, co-founded by 2014 Fellow Sean Wen, and Sendspark, co-founded by 2015 Fellow Bethany Stachenfeld, which just completed the 500 Startups accelerator.
“Sarah possesses the invaluable connections in the San Antonio entrepreneurship ecosystem that will allow VFA to scale up our local impact,” said Amy Nelson, CEO of Venture For America. “With Sarah at the helm, VFA is poised to bring more Fellows than ever to San Antonio, forge new relationships with local startups, and build an even more active and engaged San Antonio Advisory Board.”
Olivarez’s work will also be critical in helping the remaining members of Venture For America’s newest fellowship class find job placements in San Antonio and sourcing local employers to post available opportunities on their private job portal. “It’s evident that it’s a challenging job market across the country. However, and though I’ve only been with the organization for a short time, it’s abundantly clear that our Fellows represent ideal employees for any startup, social impact or high-growth organization,” said Olivarez.