In November, WeWork and Bunker Labs launched a partnership to provide fully-funded resources to a group of 10 veterans in 10 cities every six months — one of those cities being Washington, D.C.
Through the partnership, veterans receive sponsored workspaces for six months, access to standard WeWork member services, their own uniquely designed lounge and meeting space in each WeWork building hosting the program and invites to city-wide, monthly professional and social events at WeWork hosted by Bunker Labs.
The partnership, called Veterans in Residence, hopes to work with 1,000 veterans over the next five years. Participating cities include Washington, D.C., Chicago, Austin, Philadelphia, New York City, Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Today, WeWork is unveiling the names of the first 10 participants in the D.C. program, which is being hosted out of the company’s Dupont Circle location.
“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,” said Ely Ross, director of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of Veterans Affairs, 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.”
Here’s a list of the 10 veterans selected for the first cohort, with bios and statements provided by WeWork:
Matt Lembright, Enabld
“I’m an Army combat and cybersecurity veteran with experience in the private cybersecurity world protecting global banks, hedge funds, and small businesses. I fell in love with entrepreneurship during my deployment, enjoying the autonomy to effect real change. I’m bringing that passion to the cybersecurity world — to democratize cybersecurity for small businesses and individuals who have been paralyzed by fear and doubt. We know they want to do more to stay safe online and our goal is to show them how.”
Renette Dallas, Dallas Popcorn LLC
Renette Dallas is a 17-year business owner with a background in architecture and civil engineering.
One day, she made the switch to holistic healing as a traditional Naturopath, ordained minister, author, lecturer, raw food chef, former radio and TV host, and now as a creator and owner of a healthy popcorn snack company.
Cory Titus, Tailored Financials
“I am from Minnesota originally and served for seven years. I am a WeLive member and host a monthly meet-up series focused on personal finance.
I enjoy technology, finance, and travel. I will begin a master’s program in Social Entrepreneurship in the spring.”
Robert Davis, HillVets
“I am the Director of Programs for HillVets, a small VSO the works to increase the presence of veterans among Capitol Hill Staffers. I run the HillVets House Fellowship Program, which is designed to give veterans a safe place to live when the land in DC, a temporary placement in a Member’s office to gain policy experience, and then assist in obtaining a permanent paid position on the Hill.”
Anda E. Greeney, Al Mokha
“I am a social entrepreneur who trained in Air Force Intelligence and was stationed in Texas. I love coffee and I believe that Yemen’s World’s First Coffee (named “Mokha coffee” after their port city of Al Mokha) is an opportunity to grow Yemen’s economy and create jobs. At this intersection of international development also lies US national security. Through job creation and growth, we advance our national interest and reduce the likelihood of extremism. Although I have left the Air Force I remain dedicated to making the US and the world a better place.”
Jason Feimster, 3Si Venture Capital
“As an investor, I focus on high-tech investments, hands-on operational support for new product development, and building the strategic ecosystem between executives and investors. I have experience in working with companies ranging from ideas stage startups to fortune 500 companies in various capacities including executive positions.” (Bio pulled from Linkedin.)
Justin Snair, UltraRunnerCrate
“I’m a former Marine living in Arlington VA, though from MA. I’ve worked closely with government, nonprofits, and academia to explore and solve health security challenges.
I’ve recently ventured out on my own to build a consulting firm. I’m married and have a 2 year old son. I like adventure sports — in January I’m traveling to Costa Rica for a 100 mile jungle run. I like working hard and tackling life.”
Lily Dagdag, SYT Biz
“I run a WordPress web design firm with my twin sister. I am a caregiver for my husband who was wounded in action as well as my two children who have special needs. I am looking for a space where I can go to focus on my business and perhaps even network with other like-minded people.”
Keith Streicher, Veterans Leadership Coalition
“I am a minority, gay, millennial, disabled, Iraq War Veteran, and entrepreneur. I’ve had the privilege of serving my country abroad in Iraq and South Korea as well as both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House and Capitol Hill. I currently serve on the board of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs advising the Secretary and US Congress on national veterans issues and Fundraising Chair of the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals Board. I have served as a Milwaukee County Delegate and advisor to US Senate candidate Russ Feingold and my passions is giving back to those who’ve served and the community at large. Connecting individual silos, bridging the gap between services/resources, and interacting with the civilian and military population has prepared me to strategically build relationships with existing nonprofits to pioneer a company focused on consulting and managing their veterans portfolio. I found that despite the 6,000 miles between Longworth and the Al Anbar province of Iraq, I wanted to be more of an advocate for my brothers and sisters in arms, who were returning home from more than a decade of war to the harsh realities of navigating life as a combat veteran.”
Michael Canty, Armaments Research Company
“I was an army officer for nine years (’03-’12). Two takeaways I value most from my service time: higher purpose (societal impact) and teamwork.”
Correction: A previous version of this article stated the program was taking place at the location’s 80 M St. SE location in Navy Yard. While a celebratory party took place there, the entire program is being hosted at WeWork Dupont. The article has been updated to reflect that change.