Startups Scoop Up Venture For America Fellows

BoxCast has already hired five fresh college graduates through the Venture for America program.

And CEO Gordon Daily says he may very well hire another from this year’s graduating class.

He loves the Venture for America program. Loves it.

After all, the national fellowship program has provided his Cleveland-based startup company with a steady pipeline of well-rounded, entrepreneurial overachievers from all over the country. People he shouldn’t be able to afford.

“I’ve never met a VFA candidate that I wasn’t impressed with,” Daily said.

Several local CEOs have lavished praise on the Venture for America program since 2013, when it started helping local startups hire recent college graduates who are interested in entrepreneurship. And some of those CEOs now have multiple VFA fellows on staff.

Like BoxCast — which makes a device used to stream live video via the internet — GenomOncology has hired five VFA fellows so far and may still hire another one this year.

To say that CEO Manuel Glynias likes the Venture for America program would be an understatement.

The program has given his genetic data analysis software company a way to hire students who would normally be scooped up by big management consulting firms or end up in law school, Glynias said, noting that many of them started businesses while in college.

The fellows he has worked with so far “have all been stars,” he said. They’re the types of students to whom he can continuously feed harder tasks. And despite their youth, they also know how to carry themselves when dealing with clients and people many years their senior.

For instance, Glynias says that many of the Cleveland company’s clients speak highly of Michael Tantum, an account manager hired straight out of Wake Forest University in 2014.

“I don’t think many of them understand that he’s only a year and a half out of college,” Glynias said.

While in school, Tantum started a company called Sun Tape, which made tape designed to measure the sun’s power generating potential in any given spot. That experience made it clear that he didn’t have all the skills he needed to run a business.

Tantum plans to continue his entrepreneurial education at GenomOncology, even after his fellowship ends this summer. Many of his peers who joined the program at the same time plan to stick around as well, he said.

Read the full story at Crain’s Cleveland Business.