VFA Rise

About VFA Rise

VFA Rise exists to empower, provide opportunities, and create a formal community space for Fellows and Alumni who identify with groups that are underrepresented in entrepreneurial and innovation communities.

VFA Rise is a partnership among Fellows, Alumni, the VFA Team, and our larger network. The program is spearheaded by the individual groups that fall under the VFA Rise umbrella with support from the VFA Programs team. Pictures coming soon!


build21 is an empowerment network for Fellows/Alumni of African-American, Afro-Caribbean & African descent to directly connect personally and professionally with each other and experienced entrepreneurs of color in the high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem, globally.

Co-Leads: Dayo Akinjisola & Floyd Jones

Team Advisor: Andrew Albert

To Contact Leads: build21leads@ventureforamerica.org


As Venture for America’s community group for LGBTQ individuals and allies, VentureOut’s mission is to promote sexual orientation and gender identity diversity within VFA and the startup ecosystems in which VFA operates.

Lead: Rebecca Groner

Co-Lead: Alex Tabing

Conference Coordinator: Thea Harvey-Brown

Alum Advisor: Dylan McNally

Team Advisor: Brett Kempker

To Contact Leads: ventureoutleads@ventureforamerica.org

Antha Prerna

VFA Antha Prerna is intended for Fellows and Alums who identify as South Asian or South Asian American to discuss race and identity in both professional and personal contexts. Antha Prerna (Unthuh Prayer-na) is a sanskrit phrase meaning "self motivated" and "entrepreneurial" which is where the word entrepreneur originated.

Lead: Apurva Kasam

Co-Leads: Akhil Aniff and Anand Macherla

Team Advisor: Keenan Corrigan

To Contact Leads: vfaapleads@ventureforamerica.org


VFA WMN is a community of women and allies who come together to provide resources, support, and space for conversation to empower women in VFA to meet their personal and professional goals.

Director of Communication/Programming:

Director of Communication:

Director of Programming:

Director of Entrepreneurship:

Team Advisor: Carson Koser

To Contact Leads:



Latinx is a resource group intended to connect fellows who identify as Latino/Latina/Latinx in order to create space for dialogue on the intersection between identity and professional development.

Co-Leads: Stephanie Guzmán, Lorenzo Martinez, Christopher Rios-Villalobos, Topiltzin Gómez

Team Advisor: Cris Landa

To Contact Leads:



VFA MEDAN is toolbox and community for fellows who identify as Middle Eastern or North African committed to the professional and personal development of each other in entrepreneurial environments, empowering each other through a connected network, and creating a dialogue around identity.

Lead: Jaafar Mothafer

Co-Leads: Mina Shnoudah & Saseen Najjar

VFA Team Advisor: Keenan Corrigan

To Contact Leads: vfamedanleads@ventureforamerica.org


VFAsians is a forum for Fellows and Alumni who identify as Asian or Asian-American to discuss race and identity in both professional and personal contexts, and access resources and connections.

Lead: Sarim Ahmed

Alum Advisor: David Lai

Team Advisor: Winson Law

To Contact Leads: vfasiansleads@ventureforamerica.org

Resources to help you lead your groups effectively

Contact Keenan Corrigan, Director of Fellow and Alumni Experience with any questions.