Lots to report on the progress of our Club E Office (CEO) expansion. The 300 W Osborn facility in downtown Phoenix is filling up, with a waiting list for the private offices. We're also starting to get some traction on both the "Drop-In" spaces and hosted meetings outside of our regular Club E functions. We are optimistic that this CEO will quickly become the epicenter of entrepreneurial activity in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.
Through a key introduction from our resident CFO, Al Schaap, we are now discussing the possibility of opening a Veteran-only CEO in a secured facility so that we can host military veterans that win some of the 80% "set aside" government contracts (see below.) We have a 6,000 sq. ft. site in Tempe and a Camelback site with 10, 000 sq. ft. (both secured sites) under consideration. The government contract expert, Dr. Jonathin Miller. is scheduled to come visit us in Phoenix in about a week.
There are over 1 million veterans returning to America after serving our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones. Many of these men and women are disabled. Our government has established an 80% "set aside" for government contracts for qualified disabled vets who seek to go into business for themselves and bid on these contracts. In order to win such a contract, the military entrepreneur must operate from a secured facility. Club E can provide such a facility and support the fledgling "Vetrepreneur" with assorted business services and the collaboration that is only found within the ranks of Club Entrepreneur.
My old friend and business partner, Bob Johnson, has established a new CEO in the Atlanta suburb of College Park. A friend from the economic development department of Goodyear AZ, Barb Coffee, moved to College Park and took her admiration of working with Club E with her. She and Bob connected about creating both a Club E chapter and a CEO facility, located a perfect spot, and for the past 6 months have been working diligently to make this happen. I just received word that Barb had successfully negotiated a $150,000 grant to help support the $300,000 tenant improvement guarantee that Club E needs in order to open the facility. Bob tells me that we already have commitments to rent for 25% of the space and a real shot at making this facility Vetrepreneur-eligible through the help of our new friend, Dr. Miller.
There are a lot of empty commercial structures across the country that could be retrofitted to incorporate a Club E chapter and a CEO operation that could house the cilvilian and military operators alike. This story will only continue to grow...