Our Story

StartUp Effect was founded in the summer of 2012 by four Venture For America fellows, Billy Schrero, Brentt Baltimore, Brian Bosche, and Mike Mayer, while attending their VFA training camp at Brown University. Venture for America is a program for young, talented grads to spend 2 years in the trenches of a start-up with the goal that these graduates will become socialized and mobilized as entrepreneurs moving forward. Modeled after Teach for America, Venture for America will provide a path for entrepreneurship to college grads who want to learn how to build companies and create jobs. The goal is that a substantial proportion of VFA Fellows will become successful entrepreneurs, preferably rooted in the communities to which they are assigned.

But, what happens when these VFA fellows leave their placement cities? How can these transitioning cities establish a lasting legacy of innovation and value creation? That’s why StartUp Effect was founded. With Venture For America Fellows coming and going year after year, Billy, Brentt, Brian, and Mike identified a real need to spur entrepreneurial thought where it matters most – in the minds of the youth in these newly growing cities. By empowering youth with the necessary tools to think independently, proactively, and creatively, our transitioning cities will grow through innovation and with a new sense of vigor.