July 15, 2013
Brittany Laughlin is a self-described geek and Navy brat. She has used her interest in technology as a former technology and travel writer for Forbes and as an entrepreneur. Her first startup was gtrot (now Boomerang), which was a local discovery tool for events and things to do in cities. She was also accepted into the Startup Leadership Program, which is a highly selective training program for leaders and founders.
Incline is her most recent project. Incline provides short-term intensive training in web development to military veterans. The goal is to provide them with marketable skills for the current job market. Brittany’s previous experience with hiring made her realize that education did not always equal a skilled, hardworking employee. This, combined with learning that thousands of veterans would soon be leaving the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and returning to the US job market, led to a desire to help.
In the video below, Brittany talks about how she came up with the idea for Incline and how she plans to help veterans get jobs in technology. She discusses the skill set gap that is present in our current economy—lots of educated, motivated people who are unemployed or underemployed and lots of job openings that require skills which they do not have. Incline’s solution to this is what they call “just in time training.” Most college students have no way to predict what skills will be trending in the job market by the time they graduate. Therefore, there is a necessity for programs that teach a skill set within a matter of weeks that can be applied immediately. Incline focuses specifically on training military veterans in web development, but Brittany’s talk also emphasized the emergence of non-traditional education and the responsibility of employers to think outside the box and take these candidates seriously.
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Guest author Kristin Pryor @kristinpryor is an archeologist turned budding entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. Her current obsessions include wine, hiking, and Downton Abbey.
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