Incline Plans to Bring Veterans to Startups, With a Built-in Revenue Stream

By Trevor Gilbert , written on August 16, 2012

From The News Desk

There’s a soft spot in my heart for companies that not only have a solid business model, but are also looking to help change people’s lives for the better. Launching today, Incline is one such startup.

Incline, started by gtrot co-founder Brittany Laughlin, is aiming to teach programming and computer science skills to military veterans, and then pair them up with startups. The company is based out of New York City, and is partnering with the local incubator General Assembly to host the classes.

Laughlin’s family is heavily involved in the military, with her dad, brother, and grandfather all having served in the Navy.

Because of this strong influence, Laughlin caught wind of an opportunity. As the war in Iraq begins to wind down and more troops are discharged, there will be an influx of hardworking people looking for jobs. According to Laughlin, after hearing that there are over 1 million veterans entering civilian life in the next five years in addition to the 250,000 that are normally discharged every year, it seemed like a new opportunity.

Laughlin also saw the other side of the opportunity from helping to run a technology startup. Laughlin helped run gtrot, a Lightbank-backed startup based out of Chicago. However, she wasn’t technically-inclined when she first started, and began to work on the technical side only after she was trained at Code Academy.

Because Laughlin was able to see the side of the equation that involved companies facing a shortage of talent, and a large group of talented people looking to find jobs, the situation clicked.

Not only is the matching program good for all sides, it also brings Incline a nice stream of revenue. Companies will sponsor the veterans through the program, and in return they’ll receive tax credits. In addition, a big part of the sponsorship money will cover the education and Incline's costs.

So far, according to Laughlin, the response has been great. On the veterans side, Incline has had veterans from across the United States apply to the program. Then on the startup side, Incline is working with General Assembly, and has already signed up six companies to take on the trained employees.