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Getting grads to build more start-ups

Lizzie O'Leary Feb 14, 2014
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Andrew Yang has a problem: There are not enough smart people becoming entrepreneurs.

“I realized there was a profound issue with the flow of talent in the U.S., where we have tons of very smart people heading to professional services — that is finance, consulting, law  — and not enough talent heading into the businesses and industries that employ those firms. [They] also are going to end up determining the direction of our economy over the long haul,” says Yang, founder and CEO of Venture for America. The non-profit places top graduates into start-up companies across the country.

Yang, whose book “Smart People Should Build Things,” explains that it’s a missed opportunity for future job creation and entrepreneurship.

“Right now we don’t have enough smart people building things. We’re training our smart people to become facilitators and advisors as opposed to builders,” says Yang.

So what should they be building? 

Yang says there’s a misconception that start-ups only need coders and engineers.

“Early stage companies need talented salespeople, customer support, management, operations, marketing, administration. They need talented people at every part of the organization, in a variety of roles,” Yang says.

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