From Detroit to Venture For America Training Camp and Back

A Venture For America fellow recounts his experience at the Venture For America Training Camp this summer.  Read below to learn more about this life changing, career altering experience.


Photo credit: Benjamin Seidman, Facebook

Photo credit: Benjamin Seidman, Facebook

We, 121 of us, arrived this summer in Providence, Rhode Island to undergo an incredible 5-week Venture For America Training Camp. We listened eagerly to a series of trainers, engaged in workshops, and competed in challenges throughout our stay at Brown University. We learned how to crowdfund, build products, and lots more. It was a experience like none other because it brought together people from different backgrounds all with a burning fire for some form of entrepreneurship. Never have I been so inspired by so many others who wanted to create. The energy was infectious.

Most college grads or young professionals have their hearts set on a predictable career track, like graduate school or consulting. VFA, on the other hand, connects recent grads with startups, a very unpredictable track. I left Training Camp resting assured that I was not alone in my entrepreneurial passion. That I was not crazy because I wanted to start my own company. Since I stepped foot in Detroit in June 2014, I have been dumbfounded by the amount of opportunity there is to create. But I couldn't do it alone. It's always about the team. I left VFA Training Camp with two side projects and a lot of other potential opportunities in store.

Over and over again, I said that what we went through in Providence the entire world needs. We learned things that aren't taught in school and learned from people who had achieved success. Alone, it's hard to believe that you can every create something out of nothing but with 122 fellows, it's easy to believe that anything is possible. 21 Fellows came to Detroit with the hope of becoming a part of this city and doing something that will be life-changing and allow them to make an impact. I hope that this city will welcome us with open arms and give us the knowledge we'll need to identify problems and work towards engaging the community in solving them.

I'm beyond grateful to be part of a fellowship that supports me working at a startup and hope that anyone at any age has the courage to go out of their comfort zone to work on creating something new or solving a problem that they see in the world. That is the essence of Venture For America. I'm honored that I am able share this with our Detroit Young Professional network. Please feel free to reach out with any questions about the program at

We have partnered with Venture For America to bring their City As A Startup event to our members. Venture For America is bringing it's second annual City as a Startup Conference (CaaS) to the Motor City. VFA is providing $100 dollars off for Detroit Young Professionals members. So, if you haven't already, please go register for your DYP membership. You'll be able to access lots of opportunities to enrich your professional experience and build valuable connections and skills. Go to our member portal to learn more and claim tickets.

Benjamin Seidman, Director of Business Development at SPLT, 2015 Venture For America Fellow, Detroit Young Professionals Communications Committee, covers entrepreneurship and community events.