Training Camp calls Detroit home. During this four-week bootcamp, Fellows learn new skills, get to know other Fellows, and begin to think like entrepreneurs!

A City of Resiliency and Pride

Detroit has held, and still holds, some of the country’s greatest assets. From Motown, techno, and jazz to a wealth of architectural treasures, Detroit retains its history in visible and tangible ways. Today the city boasts a diverse and expanding small business and startup sector along with flourishing neighborhoods.

Moving to Detroit means being surrounding by tradition and history while experiencing new development. Detroit is undergoing a remarkable resurgence from residents of all backgrounds and timelines, making it a unique place for Fellows to spend a summer or call home.

Detroit’s claim to fame within the VFA network? The city hosts Training Camp, the hallmark of our Fellowship. This intensive startup bootcamp combines training from industry experts and sponsored team challenges to get Fellows ready to add value in their jobs from day one.

VFA Detroit By The Numbers

112 Fellows

Since VFA's arrival in 2012

82 Company Partners

Have hired Fellows

10 Fellow-Founded Companies

Based in Detroit

Where Fellows Work

Employs disadvantaged women in Detroit

Premium video ads that are easy to personalize

Football helmet technology

Full service commercial real estate firm

Fellow Turned Founder Spotlight:

Fellow Turned Founder Spotlight:

Brian Rudolph '12, Founder at Banza

Brian joined the first class of Fellows at Venture for America and spent his Fellowship in Detroit as the first employee at a startup, Quikly. It was both the breadth and depth of his experience at Quikly that helped him feel comfortable starting a business. Brian made time for a side project, and as a self-proclaimed health nut and a pasta lover, he wanted to find a way that he could consume pasta while avoiding gluten and unnecessary carbs. He named his nascent company Banza, secured $45,000 in seed funding from VFA’s seed fund, the UBS sponsored Venture Catalyst Awards, and never looked back. Today Banza can be found in more than 2,000 grocery stores across the country and has expanded its product offerings to mac & cheese and rice.

Read the full story here
Fellows Turned Founders Spotlight:

Fellows Turned Founders Spotlight:

Eric Huang & Steven Mazu '13, Founders at Ash & Erie

Eric Huang & Steven Mazu, 2013 Fellows, both worked at a digital advertising startup before launching Ash & Erie. They saw firsthand how software and Internet companies are built. But launching Ash & Erie was our first time building a physical product.

Ash & Erie is creating the clothes that shorter men deserve. The company is building the first major brands specifically for men 5’8″ and below.

When asked about building a company in Detroit, Eric and Steven described a positive, contagious energy in the city. Further, they mentioned how the Fellow cohort has been extremely helpful and supportive.

Learn more about Ash & Erie
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