Venture For America strengthens Miami program with $150,000 from Knight Foundation and hires local Program Director

Brandon Mitchell joins Venture For America as Director of Miami program, thanks to support from Knight Foundation

MIAMI — May 1, 2019 —  Venture For America (VFA), a two-year fellowship program that connects top college graduates with local businesses, announced that it has hired Brandon Mitchell to serve as its Director of Miami program with new $150,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Brandon joins Venture for America from the University of Miami where he directed the Alumni Association’s young alumni and student engagement program, leading it to some of the highest engagement metrics in departmental history. Prior to his work at the university, he worked for venture-backed startups in Philadelphia, PA helping some of the world’s biggest brands including Procter & Gamble, Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade and more on their e-commerce and digital marketing strategies.

Brandon was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and moved to Miami in 2008 to study at the University of Miami where he served as the Student Body President, received the Key to the City of Coral Gables, and was selected into the University’s Iron Arrow Honor Society. He received his Master of Science degree in Management from the Miami Business School in 2018. Mitchell has also been a participant and facilitator for Leadership Miami and has served on the University of Miami’s Young Alumni Leadership Council and the Executive Committee of United Way of Miami Dade’s ‘LINC’ giving community.

“I’m thrilled to join the Venture For America team and to help build a diverse, sustainable program in Miami. Our city is quickly transforming into a global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation and I look forward to being able to help spur that growth and success for years to come,” says Brandon.

Venture For America has brought 49 Fellows to Miami who have worked for 38 startups in the city since launching there in 2014. VFA will bring new Fellows to Miami this year and the Class of 2019 has already started to interview with local startups like CareCloud, Ironhack, AdMobilize and Event Options.

“We’re thrilled by and grateful for Knight Foundation’s renewed investment in Venture For America and in the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem. Brandon’s leadership of the local program will allow us to bring more Fellows to Miami, contribute to the growth of Miami’s startup community, and heighten awareness of our work and impact in the city.” says Amy Nelson, CEO of Venture For America.

“To build a Miami that is driven by rising opportunities in technology and innovation we must ensure that startups have access to the human capital they need to succeed and grow,” said Raul Moas Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “Strengthening the presence of Venture for America in Miami will help advance this goal—opening new opportunities for high-impact startups to find and connect with top talent.”

Since its founding in 2011, Venture for America has placed 850+ fellows in 18 cities, including Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Miami. Both fellows and startups go through a comprehensive vetting process led by Venture For America. The company matchmaking process typically takes place between March and June of each year. Fellowship applications are accepted in four rounds, beginning in October of each year and concluding the following March. For more information please visit ventureforamerica.org.

This is the fifth year that Knight Foundation has supported Venture For America. Support for the organization is part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity.

About Venture for America

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.

For more information on Venture For America, please visit: http://www.ventureforamerica.org. Members of the press are invited to reach out to Carson Koser for more information: carson@ventureforamerica.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

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