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“There is a supply and a demand. We just need to connect the two sides, ”he wrote in a letter announcing that the group would be like Teach for America, the non-profit organization that recruits graduates to teach in low-income schools.

“Our stated goal is to create 100,000 jobs in the United States by 2025,” he wrote.

The idea caught the attention of news media, including The Times, and donations poured in – mostly from big banks, including UBS and Barclays, as well as Dan Gilbert, the head of Quicken Loans, and Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos. , the online shoe retailer.

In 2012, Venture for America selected its first class, 31 men and 9 women.

The group trained them during a month-long training camp at Mr. Yang’s undergraduate alma mater at Brown University, then helped them apply to work for two years as a fellows in start-ups in Cincinnati, Detroit, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Providence, RI.

The start-ups paid fellows up to $ 38,000 per year and donated $ 5,000 to the nonprofit. Many companies have jumped at the chance to recruit top talent at a great price. Venture for America encouraged fellows to come up with their own business ideas, offering to help them find funding.

Soon, Venture for America began recruiting much larger categories of fellows and expanding to more cities as Mr. Yang raised more money – and made bigger and bigger claims about success. from the program.

While leading Venture for America, Yang finally told donors that the organization has already created up to 5,000 jobs. During his presidential run, when critics questioned claims of success, he said it created thousands of jobs.



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