Press Release: Venture For America Accelerator Moves to Detroit
Venture for America will host its annual Accelerator at the M@dison Building
New York, NY [August 2, 2017]- Venture for America, a two-year fellowship program for recent college graduates interested in entrepreneurship and working in a fast-paced, innovative startup environment, announced that it will host its third Accelerator at the M@dison Building in Detroit. The Accelerator will run from August 1st through October 31st.
The Venture for America Accelerator is a three-month program open to VFA alumni and Fellows at the conclusion of their two-year Fellowship. With help from the Venture for America team and a wide range of industry leaders, Accelerator teams will spend three months focusing solely on building their fledgling companies. Participants are provided a housing and meal stipend to remove financial barriers from starting a new company. From connecting Fellow founders to advisors, to providing them with space to work, to helping them figure out legal and financial structure for their companies, the Accelerator will guide new founders down the path to success.
“For founders who are just getting their businesses off the ground, there are very few programs out there that offer the opportunity to work on a business full time without worrying about expenses. The VFA Accelerator provides just that, without costing the company any equity,” said VFA’s Entrepreneur in Residence and Accelerator program director, Sergei Rezvin. “We are very excited to bring this program to Detroit in 2017, not only because of the tremendous energy of the entrepreneurial community in the city and its continued support of our Fellowship model since 2012, but because the city has already given rise to some of our most promising Fellow founded ventures, including Y-Combinator alum, Castle. We’re thrilled to continue to build on that momentum.”
The Venture for America Accelerator was previously hosted at First Round Capital in Philadelphia. Eighty percent of the companies in the first two cohorts remain operating in Philadelphia due to strong ties to the community and startup ecosystem. The Accelerator is moving to Detroit thanks to the generous support of the William Davidson Foundation and Quicken Loans.
“We invest in efforts to grow new businesses and strengthen the resilience of the Southeast Michigan economy,” says Darin McKeever, Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the William Davidson Foundation. “The VFA Accelerator gives budding entrepreneurs the concentrated support they need to launch their businesses. We welcome this new batch of entrepreneurs to Detroit, and are excited to see what they accomplish.”
Interested Fellows submit their early stage companies for consideration before being awarded a spot in the Accelerator. This spring six finalists were accepted into the competitive program.
- Balto Software – Balto understands phone conversations and, in real time, cues reps with the best things to say at high-impact points in the call.
- PathSpot – PathSpot aims to provide a portable, technology based method for accurately determining if there are harmful bacteria present on a work surface, a cooking utensil, or an employees’ hands.
- Peak Performance Ninja/Eagleye Golf – Peak Performance Ninja’s mission is to help elite athletes reach their absolute peak performance. Eagleye, our first product, is a practice tracking mobile app for golfers.
- Place Apparel – Place Apparel creates modern clothing representing small and medium sized cities by collaborating with local designers.
- Rock City Boulders – Rock City Boulders is Detroit’s first indoor rock climbing gym.
- Sweat Seal – Sweat Seal makes undershirts that prevent pit stains!
Members of the press are invited to schedule a time to visit with the VFA Accelerator companies in September and reach out to Leandra Elberger for more information: Leandra@ventureforamerica.org.