Venture For America Partners with Rebrand Cities to Help Local Businesses Get Online

[Detroit, MI] [June 2019]- Venture For America (VFA), 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 2nd Annual Website Challenge in partnership with Rebrand Cities during its signature Training Camp program in Detroit this summer.


Last year, 28 local Detroit businesses participated in the Website Challenge, in which VFA Fellows helped those businesses create or improve their digital presence. For the challenge, the Fellows work in teams of 5 to 6 to build their websites. This year the challenge is open to small businesses across all 14 VFA cities. During the week of training, Fellows learn how to build websites through workshops featuring domain research, design, coding, and more.


“We set up the Website Challenge initially as a means for Fellows to learn transferable skills. By partnering with Rebrand Cities, we have been able to make it not just a learning project, but a tangible output that can positively impact a business owner and its existence in their city,” said Cris Landa, VFA’s Director of Learning.


Mario Kelly, the founder of B3l1ev3 Staffing Services, is one of those business owners who participated last year and was blown away by the impact this had on his business. “The website challenge took my business to a whole new level,” he shared. Shortly after his website went live, he got a call from PepsiCo who wanted to use his services to hire 20 people. “This took my company from grassroots to the next level. Without the website, I would have never gotten that [PepsiCo] contract,” he said.


Bryce Detroit from Detroit Recordings also had an overwhelmingly positive experience with this initiative. “Working with the Fellows was a really cool experience. Based on the nature of my company, which is a social enterprise, there is a social, cultural, political undercurrent to what I do, and it was refreshing to see young people who were so receptive to social enterprise. They wanted to learn more about my business impacts people,” he shared.


VFA and Rebrand Cities expect to see more success stories come out of this year’s Challenge. “46% of U.S. Small Businesses have no website. Our partnership with Venture For America and is designed to help local businesses participate in the digital economy and become visual when potential customers are looking for them,” shared Hajj Flemings CEO of Rebrand Cities. Members of the press are invited to cover the Challenge and the final presentations which will happen on the campus of Wayne State University. It will take place during the first week of July.



About Venture For America

Venture For America has worked with more than 800 recent graduates to launch their careers and is currently placing Fellows in startups in 14 cities across the country. For more information on Venture for America, please visit:


About Rebrand Cities

Rebrand Cities is a global civic design partnership with founded by Hajj Flemings. Our audacious goal is to get 10,000 businesses online (1,000 from Detroit in our home market.) It is fueled by a multi-disciplinary collaboration with business owners, community stakeholders, and local governments to eradicate the digital divide.


Members of the press are invited to reach out to Carson Koser for more information:

Venture For America is creating economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.

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