Before founding Venture for America, Andrew Yang ran two companies — one went bust, the other was acquired by the education company Kaplan in 2009. In between starting the two organizations, Yang spent five years shadowing other entrepreneurs, an experience he says was essential in creating his successful business. Yang’s new organization, Venture for America, places college graduates in fellowships with start-up companies across the country. The mission is twofold: to give these recent grads a chance to learn from other entrepreneurs, making them better equipped to start their own businesses, and to provide companies in struggling cities like Detroit and Pittsburgh with talented employees who traditionally gravitate toward larger cities.

Yang sat down with NationSwell to explain how VFA can play a big part in boosting the American economy.