Around Veterans Day in November, WeWork announced expansion of a new program that would provide veteran entrepreneurs with space to work and meet. D.C. is among the cities where the Veterans in Residence program is growing, and the first cohort is now officially on the ground.
WeWork marked the arrival of the 10-member “tribe” on Thursday, March 1, with a launch event at WeWork 80 M SE. Ely Ross, Director of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of Veterans Affairs, spoke at the event.
The program grew out of WeWork’s partnership with Bunker Labs, which provides support for veteran entrepreneurs and has a local presence at Capitol Post in Alexandria, Va. Initially, the program was incubated in Denver and Austin. The fall expansion also brought it to Philly, New York and others with the aim of bringing the total to 10 cities.
“WeWork‘s Veterans in Residence Program is a perfect example of how our community can come together and make a real difference in the lives of veterans,” Ross said in a statement. “In partnership with Bunker Labs, WeWork‘s Veterans in Residence program provides veteran entrepreneurs workspace and mentorship opportunities that will help foster the growth of veteran-owned businesses here in the district and throughout the country.”
According to WeWork, veterans or military spouses chosen for the program in each city gets access to coworking space for six months, and receive 25 percent off coworking for the following year. WeWork also offers a dedicated meeting space and community events. The aim is to bring 100 new veterans into the fold every six months.
The group brings together 10 veterans working on a variety of ventures from the D.C. area:
- Matt Lembright, an Army combat and cybersecurity veteran, is looking to help small businesses with cybersecurity through ENABLD.
- Renette Dallas is the creator of a healthy popcorn snack under the moniker Dallas Popcorn LLC.
- Jason Feimster, a former Marine, is an entrepreneur and managing partner of 3si Venture Capital.
- Justin Snair, a former Marine, has experience in health security and is building the consulting firm SGNL Solutions.
- Lily Dagdag runs WordPress web design firm SYT Biz.
- Keith Streicher, an Iraq War veteran, serves on the board of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and is fundraising chair of the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals Board. He is building a company helping connect nonprofits and veterans.
- Cory Titus is founder of Tailored Financials, hosts a monthly personal finance meetup and is beginning a Master’s program in social entrepreneurship.
- Robert Davis runs the HillVets House Fellowship Program, which provides temporary placement for veterans in a Congressional office to get policy experience.
- Anda Greeney, an Air Force veteran, is founder of Mohka Coffee. The social entrpreneur is looking to spread the product in Yemen and create jobs there.
- Michael Canty, an Army veteran, is cofounder of Armaments Research Company.