Military veterans get support for business projects

WeWork and Bunker Labs are offering a new Veterans in Residence Program that gives military veterans-turned-entrepreneurs access to free workspace and programming to help them grow their ventures. The program has 100 veterans participating in 6-month cohorts in 10 cities in the country.

Mike Steadman is community manager of the Veterans in Residence Program here in New York City. He is also a Marine. Mike served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps for five years. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and then to Japan and the Philippines in 2014.

Mike says the unique program gives veterans the opportunity to talk to each other about growing their businesses, whether they're non-profits or in technology.

WeWork and Bunker Labs announced the program in November 2017. The first cohort is wrapping up now.

David Fingal is part of that cohort. He came up with his website while he was in the Navy. Onistly is a performance feedback platform meant for individuals, not necessarily human resources or managers. Fingal hopes it will change the way that employees and professionals get feedback and help them take control of their own career path.

David was really craving that when he left the Navy and moved to New York City last July. He says the military has procedures set up to give you constant evaluations. Now, he says, Onistly offers that kind of support and feedback to its users.

At the same time, David is getting that support from the Veterans in Residence. He encourages any veteran or veteran's spouse who wants to launch an endeavor to look at communities like Bunker Labs or Veterans in Residence, which are a great reminder that people are out there who can help you get your venture off the ground. It doesn't have to be so hard, he says, because you have a community behind you.

Veterans in Residence is currently accepting applications from veterans and military spouses on a rolling basis. The program will select the next cohort in June.