Reboot Charlotte: Vets 4 Ventures
Charlotte, NC – Jason Green is a Navy veteran who got out of the service and went to college. But for him, life after the military and school wasn't always so great. He says, "To go from leading a division in the Navy of 50 nuclear reactor operators to having a degree but being unemployed, that was pretty humiliating."
Now his day job is at a Duke Energy power plant, but his focus is on building his own business to support veterans. "The idea is that there are so many organizations that help them, we want to bring them all together in one place."
Green is getting help making his idea a reality from Manoj Govindan, who created Vets for Ventures. At this point, V4V is simply a pilot program with two tracks. One track helps a select group of veterans like Jason Green, cultivate a business idea and make it happen. The second track is about training vets with the skills they need to work in local start ups. Govindan says, "For me its almost like their resume is coming pre-validated because they have skill sets that they learn as part of being a military and armed forces person."
Right now, five local start-ups are on board to train the vets. Govindan says, initially between 5 and 25 former service members will be trainees. “We want to make sure that start up companies are able to hire locally. That''s one of the biggest challenges in Charlotte which is why we wanted to match veterans with start ups."
For the vets already in on the ground floor, the program is an opportunity to not only reboot their professional lives, but also reboot Charlotte's economy.