Durham-based coworking provider American Underground has launched a program, coined the Landing Spot, which is aimed at helping those who have been recently laid off pivot into becoming entrepreneurs.
Individuals who are accepted into the program will be given a free, three-month virtual membership where they will take part in an educational program as a cohort, as well as a series of workshops with mentors that will offer them insight into starting their own company. Applications opened late last week and will be accepted until May 5.
“Losing your job, particularly during the current crisis, can feel like free-fall,” said Adam Klein, chief strategist at American Underground. “But change, while unsettling, can also be an opportunity.”
This is not the first time the coworking company has offered a program like this. In fact, when Cisco laid off numerous employees at its Research Triangle Park office in 2014, American Underground offered free memberships to employees who were impacted and had ideas of starting their own companies.
According to Klein, the key difference between 2014 and now is the major advancements in virtual technologies, such as Slack and Zoom. For instance, the company’s Slack channel allows founders and workers to easily exchange tips about running businesses without being in the same office.