Philadelphia Fellows use three adjectives to describe the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, the city where “great things” happen – dynamic, gritty, and resolute.
Innovation in the Birthplace of America
Home to the Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence, Rocky, and the famous Philly Cheesesteak. It’s considered to be the leading Innovation Hub of the Northeast Corridor due to its location, world-class educational and medical institutions, and robust Bio-Health/Med-Edtech startup community. Venture For America Fellows have been a part of the Philadelphia ecosystem since 2013.
As the sixth largest city in the United States, Philly has a strong sense of pride when it comes to its history, museums, sports teams, Mural Arts scene, culturally diverse neighborhoods, trendy restaurants, innovation spaces and excellent schools. Philly-based Fellows find themselves working within tech and tech enabled spaces, such as making home renovations more affordable for Philadelphians or supporting parent engagement initiatives at college campuses. Philadelphia is also proud to be home to numerous Fellow-Founded companies.
It’s no wonder that Fellows are drawn to the great city of Philadelphia. What are Fellows up to when they are not contributing to Philadelphia’s ecosystem? They’re most likely planning for the Philly Phormal – which is fully led by Fellows and Alumni.
VFA Philadelphia By The Numbers
Since VFA's arrival in 2013
80 Company Partners
Have hired Fellows
9 Fellow-Founded Companies
Based in Philly
How Fellows Describe Philly
"A small town feel in a big city."
Jason Chato '18
"The startup ecosystem is tight knit and helpful."
Mariah Schmidt '17
“I have never seen a city where everyone adapts an entrepreneur mentality.”
Pratik Patel ‘19
Fellow Turned Founder Spotlight:
Muhga Eltigani '14, Founder at NaturALL Club
The daughter of entrepreneurial immigrants, Muhga Eltigani, a 2014 Fellow, always had an affinity for the side hustle. During college, she documented her experiments with homemade haircare on YouTube, earning a large and loyal following.
After graduating, Muhga joined VFA and began working in Cleveland. Over the next year, she honed her marketing skills, spent time with the entrepreneurial community, and realized she had a business idea on her hands. Encouraged by the VFA team, she ran a crowdfunding campaign through the VFA Innovation Fund and produced her first batch of products. Soon, NaturAll Club became a full-time job when she took things to the next level in Philly at the 2015 VFA Accelerator
Recognized by Forbes “30 Under 30” List for retail and e-commerce, Muhga secured a $1 million investment from Shea Moisture co-founder Rich Dennis in February 2019.Read more about NaturALL Club
What Fellows Love About Philly
“Philly is one of the most walkable and bike-friendly cities, which makes it so easy to explore different neighborhoods. I discover something new and fun to do every week!”
Lacey Janofsky ‘19
"Historical sites like Independence Hall, Love Park, and the Art Museum."
Stephanie Guzman '18
"Gathering at each others' apartments for meals!"
Chris D'Silva '18
Read the full article here
“Many of our Fellows have already gotten promotions or moved into other roles within the company, showcasing that VFA is a sustainable program for us as we grow here at Guru.”– Rick Nucci, Guru