When attorney Reda Hicks married a special forces service member her eyes were opened to a population of people she thought she knew but didn’t: the military family community. “I quickly learned just how little I knew about the challenges military families face. But learning gave me a purpose: I put my “stakeholder engagement” skills to work, helping to empower military spouses to make change through policy engagement, sharing their story, and collaborating with other spouses to voice multiply.”
It was through her work with military families that Reda learned about the huge number of spouses who are entrepreneurs. “It makes sense when you think about it: you can’t have a traditional career when you move every 2-3 years. Between licensing challenges, and moving from place to place, it’s a nightmare convincing employers to take a chance on you! So many military spouses have home-based businesses. The only problem is that sometimes they’re offered opportunities that require more/better space than home offers, and if they can’t find it, they have to say “no,” and their businesses can’t grow.”
Reda first started thinking about this “spot” problem several years ago but knew the solution would rely on a technology-based solution, and she felt intimidated by technology. “I’m not a tech person; I didn’t think I could do it but then Hurricane Harvey hit Houston.”
“As an attorney in a logistics company, we received many calls from leaders desperate to find space: where do we put people? Where do we put relief goods? Where do we distribute relief goods? Where can we stage emergency and clean-up efforts? It was all right here in Houston, and no one could find it because there wasn’t one place to find exactly what was needed. Harvey moved me past afraid to compelled–I had to do something.”
GotSpot was born as digital marketplace where local businesses can list their space for rent for a few hours or days at a time, and local entrepreneurs and organizations can book it for their own use. Basically it’s Airbnb for commercial spaces
Reda is helping those entrepreneurs who only need space occasionally leverage opportunity while also benefiting another local business and at the same time, they are also collecting information about spaces that are willing to be activated during an emergency.
“With GotSpot, I’ve combined by a passion for Houston with my passion for connecting people to the resources they need to grow.”
Bunker Labs Connection
“Bunker Labs has provided invaluable peer support and access to mentors that would not otherwise have been available to us. This has accelerated our growth tremendously!”
Bunker Labs has partnered with the Ford Fund to host pitch competitions for veterans and military spouse entrepreneurs throughout the 2019 Muster Across America Tour. In each of the seven tour locations, Ford will grant two awards in the amount of $5,000 and $3,500 through a “pressure-test” type of pitch competition, awarded from local community experts and subject matter experts as judges, to provide this much needed capital to create growth and sustainability for the companies. Reda Hicks and GotSpot Inc. won the second prize at the Ford Fund Pitch Competition as part of the San Antonio Muster on November 10, 2018.
How Reda Was Planning to Use The Prize Money
“This Ford Fund grant will enable GotSpot to invest in tech, and hire additional help, both of which are critical at this early growth stage of our company. We’re using the funds to hire two interns and invest in additional functionality features on our platform.”
All Thanks to Ford Fund
“Thank you, Ford Fund! Your commitment to investing in military spouses and veterans, who are hard at work building companies that will, in turn, hire more veterans and military spouses is helping to ignite a cycle of success from which our whole country will benefit!