Startups

Venture for America’s 2022 cohort includes 5 Pittsburgh fellows

The recent grads will work at local orgs including Civic Champs and Innovation Works.

The 2022 class of Venture for America.

(Courtesy photo)

Post-grad life can be unpredictable, even more so with a pandemic and talks of a recession lingering. However, some recent graduates are taking a path offering a salary and startup experience to boot by joining Venture for America’s 2022 cohort.

Since its founding in 2011, the cohort has taken on 1,500 fellows and offered participants two years of hands-on startup experience and training at companies in cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and our very own Steel City.

Once they’ve successfully completed their terms, cohort members can stay on at the startups they’ve been stationed at, or use the skills they’ve acquired to become founders themselves. To help get the entrepreneurial ball rolling, in 2021, Venture for America launched an accelerator specifically for companies founded by its alums.

This year the program accepted 173 fellows from across the country. From a well-known early-stage investment firm to a web-based mobile platform for nonprofits, these four organizations will be hosting five Venture for America cohort members in Pittsburgh:

  • Daniel Zunino, University of Pittsburgh, Conserv 
  • Emma Dawson, University of Tulsa, Civic Champs
  • Sylvia Cummings, Colorado College, Civic Champs
  • Emily Sjoberg, Point Park University, Expii 
  • Micah Headly, University of Pittsburgh, Innovation Works

The fellows above were identified by Venture for America as its most up-to-date roster of Pittsburgh-area fellows, with the possibility of others coming on as placements are finalized. One of the companies is technically outside of the region — Conserv, in Birmingham — with a spokesperson noting that its fellow will be living in Pittsburgh regardless of the company’s base.

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You can also see the 2021 fellows based in Pittsburgh here.


Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supportedby the Heinz Endowments. -30-
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