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The only thing standing between veterans and their next great mission is access to the right information and resources.
The only thing standing between veterans and their next great mission is access to the right information and resources.
128 backers pledged $50,674 to help bring this project to life.

About

A digital library to build incredible post-military careers project video thumbnail
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$50,674

128

VetTechTrek is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All pledges are 100% tax-deductible (designation letter).

  • Veterans and their spouses are world-class operators in ambiguous environments at global scale. 
  • Technology-focused companies from every industry value their skills. A lot. 
  • Using video and real connections to unite both sides, we're building a direct pipeline that allows viewers to consume content at their own pace, make informed decisions, and be instantly connected with companies who value their skills and experiences.

Summary

VetTechTrek creates pipelines to technology-focused companies for military veterans and their spouses. It was founded when veterans with technology backgrounds realized the true opportunity set for transitioning service members was not adequately presented by government resources. 

In the past year we ran 6 immersive recruiting visits for 180 veterans and spouses to 60 tech companies. At the end of a VetTechTrek event, participants have a clear idea of which industry they want to work in and a focused, tactical plan of next steps to achieve their goals. 

The purpose of this Kickstarter is to fund a video platform that recreates the VetTechTrek experience for everyone. 100% of the funds we raise will pay our documentary team for their time while we build this library. We can code the platform ourselves and the proceeds of this campaign will not cover VetTechTrek operational/administrative costs for in-person events. 

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Here's an unedited pilot we recorded at Dropbox. We'll film 100 more advice bursts across different industries to provide previously unavailable access and build a direct-to-company referral system for viewers. Here's what our hosts are saying.

The Story

We started VetTechTrek 12 months ago to make a small but meaningful impact on veteran hiring at startups and technology companies. We had experiences at both startups and larger tech companies and were frustrated that more of our peers couldn’t crack the hiring code. Many times, they simply didn’t know the full opportunity set presented to them. As recently transitioned veterans ourselves, we knew there had to be a better way. 

2015 was a busy year
2015 was a busy year

We didn’t know the size of the problem we were attacking: 200,000 service members leave the military each year. We started a small effort to deploy veterans inside of tech companies and learn about the problems our peers faced at the ground level, suspecting it was a problem with the culture around technology. We were wrong—the problem was inadequate access to information for veterans. 

Panel discussion at Venmo in NYC
Panel discussion at Venmo in NYC

After facilitating personal visits for 180 veterans and their spouses inside of 60 tech companies we learned a lot.

The same set of questions were being asked by veterans on every trip we took. 

"How do I translate my role in the military to the roles listed on your job board?"

"How do I identify the people who have the capability and capacity to help me make this transition?"

We also had conversations with 155 executives and hiring professionals, teaching us that companies answered these questions in very different ways. It became clear that a simple solution could have a bigger impact than we ever expected. 

The expertise and mentorship our hosts demonstrated made us realize that these experiences were filling a tremendous gap in the military off-ramp. The treks surfaced crucial employment insights and presented opportunities that never existed before. VetTechTrek was changing the game, but we couldn’t build events fast enough to give the 200,000 new veterans each year the transition guidance they deserved.

One of our VetTechTrek events was the first-ever Women Veteran Summit

Then, what started as an experiment and a fresh approach to recruiting turned into the most impactful thing we had accomplished to date. We went inside of 13 tech companies in 3 cities in 3 hours via a recorded conference. The results were overwhelming: we received hundreds of positive responses from veterans and 20 additional companies asked to be included in the next session. We created a product very different than a one-size-fits-all solution. This allowed us to personally introduce 100+ high-impact veterans to our hosts in the weeks that followed the event. 

A few months later, we brought 40 veterans who were considering starting their own technology companies to a world class seed fund, Y Combinator. But this time we recorded the conversations we had along the way to unlock the experience for many more than the 40 who were able to make the trip to San Francisco. Here’s a preview:

Everything we learned formed the basis for this effort we're embarking upon. We want to visit every startup and tech company that wants a voice in an important piece of the diversity hiring conversation. 

We know with conviction that 100 short videos can change the world.

The Khan Academy changed the world by creating a common standard for those without access to education. This project will provide unprecedented access to tools and inspiration for veterans who seek meaning and success in their next career. 

To get started, we’ll record 100 videos from 40+ company perspectives so the themes that ring true can be surfaced at an individual level.

Uniting the military and tech communities is our calling. And because community is the heart and soul of our organization, the in-person treks bring it to life. We want to bring this same experience to the 200,000 service members searching for their next great mission every single year.

To our friends and family: we are so grateful for all your support as we seek to honor our fellow servicemen and women. 

To our fellow servicemen and women: thank you for your service. We’re here to help. 

Mike Slagh & Steve Weiner, VetTechTrek

Every dollar donated helps ensure that transitioning veterans and their families have access to a world that touches every industry: Technology.

We are deeply grateful to our world-class hosts
We are deeply grateful to our world-class hosts

VetTechTrek is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All pledges are 100% tax-deductible (designation letter).

What are host companies and participants saying about VTT? Read here.

Want to join a future VetTechTrek event? Sign up here.

Risks and challenges

Barring exceptional circumstances we do not foresee any risks or challenges associated with the successful funding of Project Standard.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

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    Support the project, get a BIG VTT sticker.

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    VetTechTrek bottle opener.

    Includes a VTT sticker.

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    The VetTechTrek t-shirt... and top-secret swag package with several VTT swagger items.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    12 month membership access to VTT Premium.

    Join a private community of past VTT participants and hosts who are willing to share hiring insights and provide tactical mentorship. Ask questions, get guaranteed answers. As many as you'd like.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    LinkedIn profile teardown and build-up consultation. VTT co-founder Steve Weiner will privately optimize your LinkedIn profile for recruiters and connections.

    Steve has personally coached 500+ veterans in the last year and will share what he has learned from interviews with 100+ company recruiting professionals.

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    One ticket to the private project launch event in San Francisco with 30 leaders and startup founders from the Bay Area tech community.

    Includes light Hors D'oeuvres and a VTT swag bag.

    Event takes place 6:30p - 8:30p on August 10th, 2016.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About $200

    Immersive resume overhaul. VTT co-founder Steve Weiner will privately optimize your resume for recruiters and interviews.

    Steve has personally coached 500+ veterans in the last year and will share what he has learned from interviews with 100+ company recruiting professionals.

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    We will list you or anyone you nominate as a Contributing Sponsor of Project Standard.

    This will look like an about page and will be clearly visible to the public. We will link to the page of your choice (will be reviewed to ensure they don't contain inappropriate content).

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About $200

    One ticket to the private project launch event in New York City with 30 leaders and startup founders from the NYC tech community.

    Includes light Hors D'oeuvres and a VTT swag bag.

    Event takes place 6:30p - 8:30p on September 7th, 2016.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Combo. Get it all.

    Immersive resume overhaul. VTT co-founder Steve Weiner will privately optimize your resume for recruiters and interviews.

    LinkedIn profile teardown and build-up consultation. VTT co-founder Steve Weiner will privately optimize your LinkedIn profile for recruiters and connections.

    The VetTechTrek t-shirt... and top-secret swag package with several VTT swagger items.

    One ticket to the private project launch event in New York City or SF with 30 leaders and startup founders from the NYC tech community.

    We will list you or anyone you nominate as a Contributing Sponsor of Project Standard.

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    We will list you or your company as 1 of 8 Launch Partners above the Contributing Sponsor section.

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    We will list you or your company as the Title Sponsor above the Founding Partner section.

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    We will travel to your company and film up to 10 videos.

    We will highlight your company and interview employees to add to our Project Standard knowledge base. We estimate 50,000 views from veterans per video.

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Funding period

- (30 days)