Gaby Monterosso has been helping others since she was a child. Growing up in Guatemala, she witnessed her father travel and preach to countless people. His vision stuck with her well into her adult life.
“I feel like in today’s world, sometimes we’re too much into ourselves” she said. “My passion is to be there for people, to help to bring solutions, in one way or another.”
Gaby’s passion to help people came to fruition within the military community. When her now-husband proposed, Gaby didn’t know what she was getting into, but she was excited regardless.
“When I met my husband, he was just getting out of high school. Before going to boot camp, he proposed. At that moment we didn’t know anything about the benefits in the military. We were like, ‘This is just going to be an adventure. It’s going to be you and I against the world.’”
As a new military spouse, Gaby found herself moving to new cities several times, often feeling lonely and disconnected from the community. She struggled to find a professional network to equip her with the resources she needed to be successful.
“Imagine moving to a new city. You don’t know a soul. I was like, ‘Where do I start? How can I get connected and plugged into the community?’”
Gaby got connected with the Military Spouse Professional Network. The network regularly featured guest speakers and facilitated networking events. Travis Air Force Base, where Gaby lived, tasked the Military Spouse Professional Network with improving medical transportation on base. This is when Gaby’s problem-solving attitude began to shine.
“We spent like 12 hours, 14 hours each day on the project. Ronnie [from Bunker Labs] said, ‘I truly believe you have a talent.’ If he sees potential in someone, he wants to invest in them.”
Gaby joined a cohort at Bunker Labs, an organization dedicated to helping veterans and military spouses start their own businesses. Bunker Labs offers mentorship, resources and coaching for those interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
“In this cohort, I’m actually the only military spouse. I feel so blessed and lucky, because I’m being a pioneer for Bunker Labs and for the future military spouses that can be part of the program.”
Once officially accepted to Bunker Labs, Gaby translated her passion for helping military spouses. She began working on X Landing, her military rideshare business idea.
“Having the opportunity to call Uber or Lyft from your phone and can go everywhere is perfect. But going into a military installation in a rideshare vehicle is difficult because they’re worried about the security of the base. You can vouch for the driver, but you don’t know what they’ll do once they drop you off.”
Gaby’s plan is to contract veterans and military spouses to be drivers, since they’re cleared to go on base. She’s specifically invested in providing military spouses with a flexible income.
“Our main goal is to be able to hire military spouses and follow the Uber, Lyft model. You can make your own schedule, having that freedom to attend to your kids or to your job, and create that transportation to them.”
In a few days, Gaby will be presenting her idea at The Muster, a competition for veterans and military spouses to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges for a cash prize. She’s hoping a special guest will attend.
“One of my dreams will be hopefully to have my husband there. He’s currently deployed, but as a military spouse, he is supporting my dream, too, and I’m supporting him serving overseas.”
If Gaby doesn’t win the prize, she’ll still feel like a winner simply for being afforded the experience.
“One of the biggest benefits will be the connections with people from all over the place. Entrepreneurs, people who have that mindset, that are willing to risk to win something. That’s a huge victory for me.”