Under the partnership, USAA will subsidize the cost of a membership at Geekdom for military veterans, active duty military, and spouses of military, up to 50 percent, said Eric Smith, Chief Technology Officer at USAA. USAA is providing $60,000 in sponsorship which it estimates will cover about 200 members, he said.
“The goal is to leverage the unique ecosystem here at Geekdom to help more military members and their families,” he said.
At a press conference at Geekdom’s event center, Nick Longo, co-founder of Geekdom and a U.S. Air Force veteran, spoke about the need for a place like Geekdom for military personnel to go to startup companies, network with like-minded individuals and learn new tech skills. Geekdom fills a need in San Antonio, which has the nickname Military City USA for the number of active duty military and military veterans who live here.
Geekdom is building a pipeline of talented people and that is critical to build San Antonio’s workforce for the future, said Graham Weston, co-founder of Geekdom.
USAA is one of the nation’s top insurance and financial services company and Geekdom is the city’s number one technology coworking space and technology accelerator. Most importantly, the partnership benefits those who have served our country, Longo said.
Kat Strus, retired Lt. Col. United States Air Force, became a Geekdom member a year ago, to launch her company, Kaleidoscope Sharing, a human capital consulting firm. She’s also a USAA member. She sang the national anthem at the event and she’s thrilled to see the partnership between USAA and Geekdom.
Mayor Ivy Taylor also spoke at the event as well as Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. Other city dignitaries and USAA leadership attended and several Geekdom and USAA employees had a networking event following the announcement.
USAA is also sponsoring Bunker Labs in San Antonio, a nonprofit organization that holds entrepreneurial workshops and training for military veterans. Johnathan and Sabrina Wojtewicz, directors of Bunker Lab, also attended the event. They are currently looking for an office to house Bunker Labs SA and they were looking at Geekdom and USAA’s downtown office, Wojtewicz said. They also run Bunker Labs Austin, which USAA also sponsors.