Wanted: growing companies that would love to have recent college graduates assigned to them in paid, two-year fellowships.
Venture for America works in 17 cities to place young people in companies where they can develop entrepreneurship skills. The program’s goal is for fellowship graduates to become entrepreneurs.
“We’re really keen on their model,” said Nathan Kurtz, senior program officer for entrepreneurship at Kauffman. “We like their intense educational focus and the fact they’re creating another pathway to entrepreneurship for students.”
Kurtz said about a dozen Kansas City area startups or growing companies already have expressed interest in having Venture for America fellows. He hopes that at least seven to 10 area companies will get matched with interested students after a vetting process.
The Kauffman grant covers about half of the program’s expense for its inaugural year in Kansas City. The foundation is working with Venture for America to find more program sponsors locally.
Students accepted in the program will be paid a minimum of $38,000 a year. Before reporting to work at their assigned companies in August or September, they will attend a mandatory five-week training program in June and July at a central location along with other Venture for America fellows from around the country.
Interested college students can get information on the Venture for America website.