There are opportunities where entrepreneurs can talk one-on-one with colleagues, often around a particular theme or business need. Weekly guest speaking sessions are also valuable ways that entrepreneurs can gain exposure to Barclays business leaders — many of whom volunteer their time and expertise.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our veterans to get the attention they need from a top financial institution, no matter what their socioeconomic background or level of experience is. The feedback we get is incredibly positive for everyone involved,” says James Hendon, Director at Veterans Future Labs. "Veteran entrepreneurs are thrilled with the access to Barclays’ expertise and the level of business experience that the volunteers are able to bring to the VFL," he adds about the program.
Since its inception, the VET Program has grown from 15 graduates in the first cohort to 41 graduates in the last, with 22 startups in industries spanning healthcare and logistics to social enterprise. Companies in the Apex incubator have earned close to a half million dollars in revenue and donations to their ventures, approximately $2.3 million in capital raised with close to $2.0 million in equity reported.
“The numbers speak volumes,” says Hendon. “This is just the beginning of helping our service men and women realize their dreams by taking charge of their business futures under the tutelage of NYU and Barclays.” The first class of Apex entrepreneurs graduates in June 2019.