Location: Milwaukee, Peru, Colombia, Thailand and Portugal Founder: Ann Davis Founded: 2016 Service: Work cultural exchange Website: venturewithimpact.org Employees: Two Goal: Raise a $50,000 seed round to add more programs Experience: Davis began her career as an elementary school teacher in the Teach for America program at the School District of Kettle Moraine and at PAVE Schools before founding Venture with Impact.[caption id="attachment_336837" align="alignnone" width="770"] Ann Davis
What if you could do your job from thousands of miles away, while volunteering your skills to aid a nonprofit?
That’s the experience offered by Milwaukee-based startup Venture with Impact LLC. Founded by Ann Davis last year, the organization pairs professionals with nonprofits at its program sites in Trujillo, Peru; Medellin, Colombia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Lisbon, Portugal. The participants work remotely for one month or longer while helping out and learning about a new culture.
The program is targeted to millennials, many of whom love traveling and prefer flexible work arrangements, but applicants have ranged in age from 21 to 70-plus. Those interested submit a resume or LinkedIn profile, and Venture then completes a phone interview to discuss professional skills, background, interests and work schedule, Davis said. Five to 12 professionals are chosen for each cohort from among an international applicant pool.
Those selected to participate in one of the programs pay $1,250 for one month, $2,300 for two months, and a reduced price for each extra month. Venture provides the volunteer match, a private room in a fully furnished apartment with wi-fi, assistance arranging travel to the country and 24/7 assistance in the country, including translation, health care and public transit.
The volunteerism is the core of Venture with Impact, Davis said.
“We get a good understanding of each individual’s skills and we understand the needs of our nonprofit programs from month-to-month,” she said. “From there, we match people accordingly. We make sure that the volunteering is coordinated or scheduled around each individual’s work schedule.”
For example, in Medellin, a lawyer who has a background in civil rights taught human rights workshops to staff at a few different nonprofits and a physical therapist held aquatic therapy sessions.
Venture’s revenue comes entirely from the program fee. It added the Portugal and Thailand programs this year. The sessions are staggered, so Davis lives in each location during the program.
“The biggest issue for a startup, a new startup, is finding customers, and that has not been easy for us,” Davis said. “Up until this point, it’s been a lot of word-of-mouth and using our personal networks.”
Her next goal is to raise a $50,00 seed round of funding to expand with additional programs in 2018 and 2019.