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Veteran Startup Incubator Opens Doors In Downtown Phoenix

(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
The Armory is in a space in Phoenix's Arizona Center.

This week, a new startup incubator opened its doors catering to, and founded by, military veterans.

The Armory, in downtown Phoenix’s Arizona Center, has been in the making for almost a year.

There are eight different veteran-led businesses there, including a cybersecurity company and a Crossfit competition.  

The Armory founder and veteran Phillip Potter says the concept came from a friend’s suggestion to look into how veterans would fare in the startup world, and when he did, he found some promising data.

“The truth is when I did look at it, I was amazed and ashamed," Potter said. "I was amazed because it turns out we are really good at this, and I was ashamed that I didn’t know it. So she helped put me on that track to actually create a veteran-led incubator.”

The spot in Phoenix’s Arizona Center offers a co-working space, resources and guidance on becoming an entrepreneur.

Potter says the Armory is a way to encourage and support veterans to think past corporate jobs when finding work after serving in the military.

“The drumbeat is so loud to polish up your resume and go to a job fair that the veterans sometimes might be doubting themselves. They say, 'well if everyone’s telling me to go get a job that means I can’t be a startup founder,' and we’re trying to show that no, that’s actually not the case,” Potter said.

The owners of the Arizona Center have offered the space for free for at least 18 months while the Armory continues growing.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.