Meet Our Founder

Founder and CEO, Andrew Yang

From Our Founder

I was driven to start Venture for America in 2011 because of my own experience. I was not what one would call a ‘natural’ entrepreneur. I started my first company when I was 25. It didn’t work out.

That failure hit me hard. Entrepreneurship was much harder than college or law school had been.

I tried to get better and learn. I apprenticed myself to more experienced entrepreneurs for five years, eventually becoming the head of a test prep company, Manhattan GMAT, that was acquired by the Washington Post/Kaplan in 2009.

I learned by working with people who were stronger than I was.

I realized that if we could give more of our young people a chance to learn the way I did and become entrepreneurs, we’d solve many of our other problems.

Entrepreneurship is like many other things – you tend to get better at it over time. You can learn by working with people who have more experience than you. And if you see someone else do it, you start saying to yourself, “Okay, if he/she can do it, maybe I can do it, too.”

Imagine thousands of smart, talented, and high-character people working on solving problems in different areas across the country from big (education technology, renewable energy) to small. That’s what they want to do. And they’ll grow, as well, through the process. We just have to give them a genuine chance to do so.

Since 2011, Venture for America has become a vital and thriving community of passionate people doing outstanding work in 17 cities around the country, with more to come. The Fellows are great examples and role models – they’ve typically turned down short-term gains because of their desire to have a positive impact and build something. They’re helping companies and communities flourish, and creating new opportunities for themselves and others. They cheer each other on when things go well and pick each other up when they don’t.

If that sounds good to you, please join us in giving them every chance to succeed and become the people and builders we need them to be. The more time you spend with them, the more optimistic you’ll become.


Andrew Yang


Andrew & Obama

Smart People Should Build Things

Smart People Should Build Things

In his debut book, Andrew Yang offers a unique solution to our country’s economic and social problems—our smart people should be building things. Smart People Should Build Things offers a stark picture of the current culture and a revolutionary model that will redirect a generation of ambitious young people to the critical job of innovating and building new businesses.

These are the ideas Venture for America was founded on, including solutions for how to restore our culture of achievement, build a path for entrepreneurs, and create new jobs in America.

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VFA Founder

Andrew Yang In The Press

Read more on the principles and ideals that Andrew believes and that guide VFA

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