Believeland, The 216, The CLE, The Land, Home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s no shortage of ways to refer to Cleveland!

A Principal Center of Biomedical Innovation and Development

In the last few years, locals and businesses in this Midwest metropolis have been repurposing historic buildings from its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and turning them into restaurants, stores, and draws for both residents and tourists. The city has a unique combination of innovation hubs, universities, major medical centers, anchor companies, and startups that are building a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

When it comes to life in Cleveland, Fellows enjoy the incredible arts scene of world class orchestras, theaters, and art museums. In addition, there is a massive and united sports following across the city. Biking throughout the beautiful Metroparks and green spaces is another favorite pastime. 

Several Fellows find themselves working in healthcare spaces due to the influence of Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and MetroHealth. Other startups revolve around big data solutions, business-to-business services, food & beverage and manufacturing.

Cleveland’s claim to fame within the VFA network? The city hosted the 2019 Venture For America Accelerator, a four month residential program to accelerate the growth of Fellows’ ventures.

VFA Cleveland By The Numbers

109 Fellows

Since VFA's arrival in 2013

46 Company Partners

Have hired Fellows

5 Fellow-Founded Companies

Based in Cleveland

How One Fellow views Cleveland's Startup Ecosystem

How One Fellow views Cleveland's Startup Ecosystem

Jake Peacock '18 Fellow

“I see a lot of young creatives and entrepreneurs involved in content (music/video/events) creation who are trying to collaborate!”

A Fellow's Favorite Element of Cleveland

A Fellow's Favorite Element of Cleveland

Julia Wang '17 Fellow

“Our sense of community – VFA Fellows always have each other’s backs and there is a high level of enthusiasm to get to get know each other.”

Fellow Turned Founder Spotlight:

Fellow Turned Founder Spotlight:

Casie Grammer and Liv Stromme '17

Casie Grammer and Liv Stromme, 2017 Fellows, met at Selection Day before they both became Fellows. They got along so well that they joked they’d be best friends and start a company together. Now, they are co-founders in Cleveland at Jubilee Plant Box.

Jubilee Plant Box is a self-care subscription box containing succulents, affirmations, and other methods that allow subscribers to rest and refresh.

Where Fellows Work

Mission-driven accelerator for advancing medicine

Improving patient care with genomics in oncology

An easy way to sell and distribute digital tickets

Improving outcomes in the higher ed lifecycle

What It's Like to Work as a Fellow in Ohio

"Cleveland will benefit from having exceptional young Founders getting started here and Fellow Founders will help Cleveland develop deeper ties with an amazing organization."

– Ed Buchholz, Start In CLE
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