Venture for America: Creating Thousands of New Jobs in All the Right Places, with CEO Andrew Yang
Venture for America is a non-profit fellowship program that grooms the next generation of American entrepreneurs by placing them in startup apprenticeships.
Andrew Yang is the Founder and CEO of Venture for America, a fellowship program that places top college graduates in start-ups for 2 years in low-cost U.S. cities to generate job growth and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Venture for America Yang was the CEO and President of Manhattan GMAT. He was named a Champion of Change by the White House for his work with Venture for America and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He is a graduate of Columbia Law and Brown University. Yang’s first book is Smart People Should Build Things.
Andrew Yang: Venture for America is a nonprofit fellowship program for college graduates who want to learn how to build businesses and create opportunities, become entrepreneurs really. What we do is we recruit top grads. We bring them to a training camp for five weeks at Brown University, my alma mater. We bring in entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, McKenzie, IDEO to help train them in what it takes to build a company. And then they work in startup companies in Detroit, New Orleans, Providence, Cincinnati and eight other U.S. cities for two years. And at the end of those two years they’ll have a sense of how these businesses grow and develop.
They’ll be working with a more experienced entrepreneur during that time. At the end of the two years they can either stay at that company as a manager and leader or they can even start their own companies. And we have a set of angel investors and a seed fund to invest in them. So you can think of it as a two year extended entrepreneur apprenticeship program that has the immediate effect of helping companies expand and hire more people and hopefully create more jobs. Our immediate goal as an organization is to help create 100,000 new U.S. jobs by 2025 by helping these companies grow and also training the next generation of entrepreneurs.
So there are six default paths for young smart people in the U.S. today – financial services, management/consulting, law school, medical school, graduate school/academia and Teach for America. So these are six things and these six things will comprise between 50 and 70 percent of university graduates from any national university in the U.S. I mean they really add up very quickly.
They also tend to concentrate our talent in one of six geographies – New York City, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago and L.A. So in essence we have a system that’s driving our most talented graduates to one of six activities in one of six places. And over the long term this is not a great thing for the economy, especially if you consider that so many of these graduates are heading to professional services contexts that exist to serve essentially large companies that after they get big enough to a point where they can hire an investment banker, consulting firm or a law firm. So the metaphor I use is that it’s like we’re investing in tons of layers of icing and forgetting to bake the cake. What we need to do is we need to send more talent to early stage businesses that can grow and prosper, expand, hire people, maybe even create hundreds of new jobs. And then if they become mature then they can hire professional services firms to help them expand in various ways. But the first order of business is helping the firms come into being and to grow.
36 percent of this year’s Venture for America class was comprised of women. And we think that’s a good start but not nearly where it needs to be. We need to get it up to 51 percent to mirror the population and also the college graduate ratio obviously. You know, I think people respond very powerfully to role models. Like they see examples, they want to see someone who’s like them. And so there are some fellows that are women that come to us and say hey, I’d prefer a female led company. And so when we go out to the startup landscape in these cities and you look around, I mean the proportion of companies that right now – not even in tech but just, you know, in startups and growth companies in these cities – unfortunately it’s certainly well below 51 percent at least of the companies that we see and interact with.
And so, you know, we see there’s a lot of work to do at every level. But we think a lot of it does begin as women looking up and saying, "Hey, who are the people that are doing this that are like me?" And I think that’s one reason why someone like Sheryl Sandberg has set such a huge powerful example because now, you know, women look up and see that there are leaders in these industries that are women that are doing amazing things.
I think there’s certainly a desire among this generation to have a positive impact to build something new. And I see this when I interact with college students around the country that they very badly want that sort of option. But when the rubber hits the road it’s really about who’s making them a job offer, when. And so if you’re a senior in college and you’re looking for a job, it’s all about who’s extending you a genuine path and who’s recruiting you, who’s making you feel wanted, who can you take home to your parents, figuratively speaking, and say, "Hey, mom, guess what? I’ve got an offer from Deloitte." Then your parents will be very, very happy. So those are the variables that really matter. Like people talk about the, you know, the wants and needs of the generation which are obviously very important.
But it’s equally important what are the genuine choices they’re being presented with. And those things are a function of resources. So what Venture for America does is we try and provide a genuine path toward startups and growth companies in Detroit and New Orleans and other parts of the country that might not be top of mind for a recent college graduate really by extending some of the same resources. So that if you join VFA you’ll end up with some of the same network and community and training and support that many of these young people are seeking through other means.
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton
Venture for America CEO Andrew Yang describes the fundamental problems facing young professionals. College graduates gravitate to just six U.S. cities and six career paths, which slows innovation and the growth of small businesses. Venture for America aims to reverse this trend and to create 100,000 new jobs in the U.S. by 2025. Yang is the author of Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America.
It's just the current cycle that involves opiates, but methamphetamine, cocaine, and others have caused the trajectory of overdoses to head the same direction
- It appears that overdoses are increasing exponentially, no matter the drug itself
- If the study bears out, it means that even reducing opiates will not slow the trajectory.
- The causes of these trends remain obscure, but near the end of the write-up about the study, a hint might be apparent
Through computationally intensive computer simulations, researchers have discovered that "nuclear pasta," found in the crusts of neutron stars, is the strongest material in the universe.
- The strongest material in the universe may be the whimsically named "nuclear pasta."
- You can find this substance in the crust of neutron stars.
- This amazing material is super-dense, and is 10 billion times harder to break than steel.
Superman is known as the "Man of Steel" for his strength and indestructibility. But the discovery of a new material that's 10 billion times harder to break than steel begs the question—is it time for a new superhero known as "Nuclear Pasta"? That's the name of the substance that a team of researchers thinks is the strongest known material in the universe.
Unlike humans, when stars reach a certain age, they do not just wither and die, but they explode, collapsing into a mass of neurons. The resulting space entity, known as a neutron star, is incredibly dense. So much so that previous research showed that the surface of a such a star would feature amazingly strong material. The new research, which involved the largest-ever computer simulations of a neutron star's crust, proposes that "nuclear pasta," the material just under the surface, is actually stronger.
The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.
Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv
Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.
The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.
While they were able to discover just how strong nuclear pasta seems to be, no one is holding their breath that we'll be sending out missions to mine this substance any time soon. Instead, the discovery has other significant applications.
One of the study's co-authors, Matthew Caplan, a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, said the neutron stars would be "a hundred trillion times denser than anything on earth." Understanding what's inside them would be valuable for astronomers because now only the outer layer of such starts can be observed.
"A lot of interesting physics is going on here under extreme conditions and so understanding the physical properties of a neutron star is a way for scientists to test their theories and models," Caplan added. "With this result, many problems need to be revisited. How large a mountain can you build on a neutron star before the crust breaks and it collapses? What will it look like? And most importantly, how can astronomers observe it?"
Another possibility worth studying is that, due to its instability, nuclear pasta might generate gravitational waves. It may be possible to observe them at some point here on Earth by utilizing very sensitive equipment.
The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.
Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.
Scientists think constructing a miles-long wall along an ice shelf in Antarctica could help protect the world's largest glacier from melting.
- Rising ocean levels are a serious threat to coastal regions around the globe.
- Scientists have proposed large-scale geoengineering projects that would prevent ice shelves from melting.
- The most successful solution proposed would be a miles-long, incredibly tall underwater wall at the edge of the ice shelves.
The world's oceans will rise significantly over the next century if the massive ice shelves connected to Antarctica begin to fail as a result of global warming.
To prevent or hold off such a catastrophe, a team of scientists recently proposed a radical plan: build underwater walls that would either support the ice or protect it from warm waters.
In a paper published in The Cryosphere, Michael Wolovick and John Moore from Princeton and the Beijing Normal University, respectively, outlined several "targeted geoengineering" solutions that could help prevent the melting of western Antarctica's Florida-sized Thwaites Glacier, whose melting waters are projected to be the largest source of sea-level rise in the foreseeable future.
An "unthinkable" engineering project
"If [glacial geoengineering] works there then we would expect it to work on less challenging glaciers as well," the authors wrote in the study.
One approach involves using sand or gravel to build artificial mounds on the seafloor that would help support the glacier and hopefully allow it to regrow. In another strategy, an underwater wall would be built to prevent warm waters from eating away at the glacier's base.
The most effective design, according to the team's computer simulations, would be a miles-long and very tall wall, or "artificial sill," that serves as a "continuous barrier" across the length of the glacier, providing it both physical support and protection from warm waters. Although the study authors suggested this option is currently beyond any engineering feat humans have attempted, it was shown to be the most effective solution in preventing the glacier from collapsing.
Source: Wolovick et al.
An example of the proposed geoengineering project. By blocking off the warm water that would otherwise eat away at the glacier's base, further sea level rise might be preventable.
But other, more feasible options could also be effective. For example, building a smaller wall that blocks about 50% of warm water from reaching the glacier would have about a 70% chance of preventing a runaway collapse, while constructing a series of isolated, 1,000-foot-tall columns on the seafloor as supports had about a 30% chance of success.
Still, the authors note that the frigid waters of the Antarctica present unprecedently challenging conditions for such an ambitious geoengineering project. They were also sure to caution that their encouraging results shouldn't be seen as reasons to neglect other measures that would cut global emissions or otherwise combat climate change.
"There are dishonest elements of society that will try to use our research to argue against the necessity of emissions' reductions. Our research does not in any way support that interpretation," they wrote.
"The more carbon we emit, the less likely it becomes that the ice sheets will survive in the long term at anything close to their present volume."
A 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine illustrates the potentially devastating effects of ice-shelf melting in western Antarctica.
"As the oceans and atmosphere warm, melting of ice shelves in key areas around the edges of the Antarctic ice sheet could trigger a runaway collapse process known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability. If this were to occur, the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) could potentially contribute 2 to 4 meters (6.5 to 13 feet) of global sea level rise within just a few centuries."
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