DURHAM — Former Army company commander Tim Horan knows firsthand the challenges that many veterans face transitioning from army to civilian work life.

Veteran Capital

So he’s doing something about it.

Enter Veteran Capital – a modern military transition company that he co-founded with his childhood friend and finance manager Brian Abrahamson, 34, earlier this year – which connects veterans with high-growth tech companies through immersive fellowships.

“We built the company around the belief that today’s modern military deserves a modern military transition,” says Horan, 33. But perhaps more to the point, he adds, “today’s service members are uniquely equipped for roles in technology and entrepreneurship.”

He should know. After eight years of service, the West Point graduate traded in the battlefield for the boardroom, serving as the chief operating officer for startup GoldenKey before taking on his current role as American Underground’s (AU) Veteran-In-Residence and founding his new company.

Now he’s focused on inspiring other service members to follow the same track. With Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in the country just around the corner, he’s got a head start.

Already, the company has placed two cohorts in local tech startups.

And this week, Veterans Capital has also announced plans to partner with Google for Startups, a mentorship program launched by Google in 2011.

Veterans Capital co-founders and childhood best friends Tim Horan and Brian Abrahamson.

Veteran Capital Fellows … Ryan Robison, U.S. Army NCO; Max Gonzalez U.S. Army NCO; Chris Eberly, U.S. Army NCO; Alex Scholz. U.S. Air Force Officer.

Under a 12-month pilot program, Veteran Capital will expand its fellowship program to connect service members and their spouses with startups at other Google for Startups partner tech hubs across the country. In turn, Google will leverage its local contacts and offers hands-on support to the company’s fellows.

“We’re thrilled,” says Horan. “This partnership will empower us to go further faster.”

Adds Google for Startups’s Global Partnerships Lead Genna Mckeel: “Veteran Capital’s unique Fellowship program is an important bridge connecting top talent among transitioning service members and their spouses with startups in the American Underground community. We’ve been a proud partner of American Underground since 2013, and we’re thrilled to double down on our support for this vibrant community and empower Veteran Capital fellows with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

How it works

As an approved Army Career Skills Program, every service member transitioning out of the military at Fort Bragg is provided with information to apply to the fellowship. From there, Veteran Capital provides resume and interview coaching, as well as application guidance. At that point, candidates typically join the normal hiring process.

However, they’ve got distinct advantage: a three-to-four month fellowship to learn on the job, while still being supported by the military.

“Through the Veteran Capital Fellowship, our partner companies are effectively able to change a candidate’s first day from Day One to Day 100,” says Horan.

To date, Veterans Capital has placed cohorts in two AU companies. The first is Alex Scholz, a U.S. Air Force engineering officer who is now a Business Operations Fellow at First (first.io). The second is Chris Eberly, a U.S. Army non-commissioned officer who is currently serving as an account executive on the sales team at ProcessMaker.

In both instances, the cohorts are working for other veterans. Kent Keirsey, chief operating officer at First, and Peter Brown, vice president of Sales at ProcessMaker, are U.S. Army Veterans and West Point graduates.

AU’s general manager Molly Demarest applauded the initiative.

“At Veteran Capital’s core is an innovative and well-executed idea that serves a real need,” she says. “A big part of its impact is a more robust and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem — here and elsewhere. That, in turn, leads to still more meaningful innovation.”

From battlefield to boardroom: New initiative aims to help vets as entrepreneurs