Venture for America CEO Andrew Yang to Speak at FlashStarts’ Demo Day

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Founder of fellowship program that places recent grads at startups helps Cleveland accelerator celebrate its inaugural class.

We believe entrepreneurship is the engine of growth for our economy and our goal is to expose university graduates to the startup world early on in their careers. - Yang

FlashStarts, a startup accelerator in Cleveland, Ohio, today announced that Andrew Yang, CEO and co-founder of Venture for America, will be the keynote speaker for its Demo Day on Monday, September 23.

The Demo Day will present the 10 startups in FlashStarts’ inaugural accelerator class via a live, national Internet broadcast on the same day the recent JOBS Act legislation allowing general solicitation goes into effect. The event will celebrate job creation with Yang’s speech.

“It was a natural choice to have Andrew as our debut Demo Day speaker,” said FlashStarts managing partner and co-founder Jennifer Neundorfer. “The FlashStarts and Venture for America missions are aligned around promoting entrepreneurship, stimulating the economy through job creation, and investing in university graduates.”

Venture for America is a nonprofit organization that matches talented college graduates with early-stage startups in emerging startup communities across the nation, including Detroit, New Orleans and, as of this year, Cleveland.

Yang, who was named a Champion of Change by the White House and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, founded VFA to revitalize American cities by creating jobs through entrepreneurship. The organization has 68 fellows in its cohort this year, seven of whom are working with startups in Cleveland.

“We believe entrepreneurship is the engine of growth for our economy and our goal is to expose university graduates to the startup world early on in their careers,” Yang said. “Cleveland has a strong and growing entrepreneurial community, which is why we’re excited to expand our program there this year.”

Jennifer Neundorfer and Charles Stack co-founded FlashStarts to support entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas that have the potential to make an impact on the Northeast Ohio economy. This summer, FlashStarts provided 20 entrepreneurs with jobs and the opportunity to launch their startups. The majority of these entrepreneurs were recent college graduates recruited through FlashStarts’ close relationships and formal partnerships with local universities.

The accelerator also created jobs for 20 interns who worked for the startup companies throughout a robust summer program. Nearly half of the interns have been offered jobs to continue working with FlashStarts or its startups going forward.

“The talent coming out of our local universities is competitive on a national scale and is the key to our future economic growth,” Neundorfer said. “Our goal is to provide these talented entrepreneurs with the resources and community they need to stay in Northeast Ohio and build their companies here.”

FlashStarts’ 2013 Demo Day will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT on September 23, 2013, the same day the SEC’s ruling allowing general solicitation goes into effect. It will begin with a keynote address by Yang. Guests can attend in-person at the NPR IdeaStream Westfield Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, or online via live Internet broadcast. Tickets are limited. To request a ticket or learn more, visit

About FlashStarts

FlashStarts is a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator and consultancy focused on unique and innovative uses of software and technology. FlashStarts has deep expertise in startups, Enterprise and Healthcare IT, mobile, digital publishing and media, and high-bandwidth applications. The FlashStarts model relies on rapid cycles of feedback and iteration, customized guidance from dedicated coaches, and an extensive network of top-tier, experienced mentors. For more information, visit or follow FlashStarts on Twitter at @FlashStarts.

About Venture for America

Venture for America is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation designed to do for entrepreneurship what Teach for America has done for education – provide a pathway for young, talented grads to become business builders and job creators in areas of need. In 2012, VFA sent its inaugural group of 40 recent grads from the top U.S. universities, called “Fellows”, to join start-up companies in low-cost cities around the country, including Detroit, Providence, New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas. In 2013, VFA recruited an additional 68 Fellows and expanded to Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Supporters of Venture for America nationally include Dan Gilbert, the Chairman of Quicken Loans, UBS Americas, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, American Express OPEN, the Bank of America Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers Foundation, Barclays, and other prominent business leaders and organizations. Learn more at

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