The founder of Venture for America, the year-old nonprofit that matches entrepreneurship fellows with budding startups in nascent technology markets, has a clear message for Baltimore ventures.
Tell them that you exist and you would be interested in a two-year commitment of top-flight talent from around the country for salaries that start below $40,000 per annum. That’s what Andrew Yang, who launched the New York City-based effort, told a dozen community leaders at the ETC in Canton Wednesday night during a Baltimore Innovation Week event.
Show your interest here.
The program, which plans on bringing as many as 10 fellows to Baltimore technology firms in 2013, in addition to places like Detroit and New Orleans, works something like the legendary Teach for America effort — which, in turn, is a model for the also technology-themed Code for America. Recruit academic stars from the best universities in the country and convince them that a pledge of service — at likely below-market salary rates — might open up their horizons, in this case, to offer a pipeline for entrepreneurship and job creation.
The interview process pairs startups and fellows. If they agree to terms, which must be between $33,000 and $38,000 and also include healthcare, the fellows agree to a two year, at-will effort. The hope is that those fellows will latch on and grow in that given city, with a new batch of fellows being placed each year. In addition to the startup paying the salary, Baltimore foundations and institutions need to pick up a $15,000 per-head administrative cost and startups also should, but aren’t required, to cover a $5,000 training fee.
Fellows, who are applying now, could be placed in Baltimore as soon as next August.
Watch how Yang describes it to Technically Baltimore below.