National Fellowship Program Partners Top-Notch Talent With Startups In Philadelphia

Steve Tawa
April 13, 2018 - 3:12 pm

Photo Credit: Steve Tawa

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) --  A national fellowship program for recent top-notch college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs in start-up cities, like Philadelphia, had its picks from the litter, at a job fair.

Venture for America CEO Amy Nelson says they received 2,400 applications nationwide.

"They come from 73 schools across the country," Nelson said. "The University of Pennsylvania is always one of our top feeders."

And they chose 91 candidates to interview with 70 startups in Philadelphia and elsewhere, after a rigorous selection process.

"We had them submit an online application, write an essay, we had an intenstive behaviorial interview, and we brought in the top quarter of our applicant pool, made them solve challenges in groups, and put them through a ringer," he said.

Many of them have already started a company in college or high school. Nelson says startups need all sorts of talent, it's not just about coding and software development, it's logistics, finance, sales and  marketing, too.

VFA's Philadelphia Director, Keenan Corrigan, says they're tapping the talent pipeline.

"What VFA is able to provide is a great pool of vetted talent, that could go to the startups and help  them continue to grow, and have an impact on the company's development," Corrigan said.

Like Bobby Lundquist, of South Philadelphia, who completed his two-year VFA fellowship at GetGuru.com, in Old City.

"I've been just thrown in. It's kind of a productive discomfort. Philadelphia keeps sucking me in in the best way possible," he said laughing.

He loves working at the business applications software company.: 

"You can think of it as an internal Google search for everything you're supposed to know to do your job," he said.