By LTC Keith W. Wilson, Soldier for LifeJanuary 9, 2018
On a blustery January day in Washington D.C., I had a chance to tour the WeWork Veterans in Residence facility near Dupont Circle. The Veterans in Residence program stems from a partnership with Bunker Labs and WeWork. According to Bunker Labs' website, "[w]hether you're starting a new business, looking to build your network, or trying to find your next career -- the WeWork Veterans in Residence program provides veterans the space, services, and community they need to find their tribe and create their life's work." Through the program, WeWork committed to providing fully sponsored workspace to "10 tribes of 10 veterans across 10 cities every six months." They also offer reduced pricing for "any military veteran or veteran-owned company" for their first 12 months with WeWork.
Bunker Labs is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization "built by veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans as leaders in innovation." They work to "inspire, educate, and connect veterans with the right resources and people locally to be successful" by providing "educational programming, access to resources, and a thriving local network to help military veterans and their spouses start and grow businesses."
WeWork describes itself as "a global network of workspaces where companies and people grow together." They have established personal and professional work spaces with professional necessities such as furnished office space, access to WiFi, front desk reception, conference rooms, and networking events at all levels. Members also enjoy the creature comforts of home to include community kitchens, game rooms, and lounge areas. Veterans can access the 150,000+ professionals across 170+ cities globally to network with and learn from during their transition to entrepreneurship.
During my visit to the Dupont Circle facility, I met Mike Canty who is a former artillery officer and the current co-founder and CEO of Armaments Research Company (www.armaments.us). Mike left the Army in 2012 as a major after nine years of service. Through a partnership established at Capitol Post in Alexandria, VA (a Bunker Labs location), Mike joined the Veterans in Residence program. He is about one month into the program and cannot speak more highly of the opportunities it has provided him in pursuit of his entrepreneurial ambitions. The program provides Mike, a resident of Bethesda, MD access to an office space less than 20 minutes from his home in an area that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for many startup businesses.
The WeWork Veterans in Residence program is offered in key metropolitan locations across the country. Veterans can find their entrepreneurial start in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. Bunker Labs is currently located in 16 cities across the country.
Learn more at www.wework.com/veterans-in-residence or www.bunkerlabs.org/veterans-in-residence.
Disclaimer: This blog post is informational in nature only and is not intended as an endorsement by the Department of Defense or the Department of the Army of a non-Federal entity, or any non-Federal entity products and services.