The American Dream is firmly rooted across the entire United States, not just a few select cities.

Ford Motor Company began as a small but ambitious car manufacturer in Detroit; Nike and Under Armour launched in Portland and Baltimore, respectively; and Microsoft had its start in Albuquerque. While 75% of venture capital goes to three states, transformative companies launch all across America.

Today, we are announcing the U.S. launch of VilCap Communities to better enable communities across the country to support entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest challenges.

Over the past six years, we’ve worked in over 35 cities through Village Capital’s program for entrepreneurs. In partnership with Revolution, we visited 19 more on a bus tour, “Rise of the Rest,” which celebrates and supports the next generation of startups.

Through it all, we’ve learned that one thing is clear: communities build entrepreneurs. Over the next month, we’ll be recruiting an elite group of ecosystem leaders and investors from across the U.S. to share and spread best practices from around the world.

VilCap Communities will help these communities and their key stakeholders find, train, and invest in startups in their geographies using our peer-selection methodology and our incredible network of resources. By providing startups with business fundamentals and implementing Village Capital’s peer selection model, VilCap Community Leaders will help break down the barriers and biases that accompany the traditional investment dynamic.

After receiving an incredible response for the launch of our VilCap Communities Global program (70 applications from nearly 30 different countries) we are excited to start accepting applications for the launch of VilCap Communities US. The deadline to apply is January 22, 2016.

Apply today to become a VilCap Community Leader.

To kick off this initiative, Village Capital, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Sorenson Global Impact Investing CenterRevolution, and Rise of the Rest, will bring the selected VilCap Community Leaders to Salt Lake City, Utah March 18-22 for an all-expenses-paid workshop focused on sharing best practices in entrepreneur support and helping leaders connect with a network beyond their local region.

At the end of the workshop, two peer-selected cohort members will receive $25,000 each in unrestricted funding to run their own venture development program with Village Capital’s methodology and support.

Selected Leaders will receive:

  1. Membership in an elite network of top entrepreneurship program managers across the country to share best practices, networks, and resources

  2. Software and curriculum for program management, including our peer-selected investment methodology

  3. Program support to help source, train, and invest in top entrepreneurs solving problems facing your community

  4. Access to national networks, including sector specific investors and mentors

Requirements to apply include:

  1. A commitment to run a program for entrepreneurs in 2016, that incorporates peer-selected investment and focuses on a sector that reflects your community’s strengths (e.g.: health, advanced manufacturing, financial inclusion)

  2. A minimum of $50,000 in pre-committed investment (two investments of $25,000 each) for two ventures, picked by peer entrepreneurs

Apply online to be part of this exciting community by January 22, 2016.

Please visit www.vilcapcommunities.com for more information!