Meet 14 Veteran-Led Startups Charging Ahead in Business

May 29, 2017

2:30 pm

There are about 200,000 military personnel that transition from military to civil life and according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and many are charging ahead to start their own business. What veterans may not realize is that they have many of the skills needed to succeed wired in their brain such as accountability, creating goals, working together as a team, finding solutions, and more, that put them ahead of the average founder. Here are some veteran-led startups we found around the country.

Columbus, Ohio


As an F-16 mechanic in the Air Force, Tom Burden was frustrated with tools sliding off the aircraft while using them. This led him to invent the Grypmat, a patented, flexible, non-slip tool tray that provides users a safe, close location to rest their hardware without worry of losing them or scratching delicate work surfaces. From under the hood of a car to the kitchen table or even on a fighter jet, the Grypmat’s brightly colored and heat resistant material makes it impossible to lose even the smallest fastener in any location.

Talent TurboAppeal Should employees increase in pay be based on cost of living alone?


PowerSage provides a unique amenity for developers and property managers to add to their multifamily communities. They deliver an energy management system that provides property managers the information they need to lower maintenance costs, reduce their vacant and common area costs, and offer a unique amenity to attract and retain renters. Unlike utility companies that send a bill with unfamiliar terms and an amount due, PowerSage provides real time appliance level information on the resident’s smartphone, in easy-to-understand terms.

College Ease

College Ease is an online platform where 13-24 year olds can learn about future educational and economic opportunities, connect with academic institutions, and interact with companies around the world to follow their dreams and enhance their lives. They have the opportunity to solve one of the world’s biggest problems (wasted talent) and create a billion dollar business (LinkedIn for High School) at the same time.



We use proprietary technology to serve the clean foods market with wholesome frozen desserts. We believe dessert can be delicious And healthy. Our primary offering is pints of our flagship product, Fronana, a healthy and delicious alternative to ice cream we make with bananas. Each pint is four servings of fruit, and each serving is fewer than 100 calories. With no dairy, added sugar, or artificial ingredients, it’s vegan and diabetic friendly, wholesome, healthy, and delicious. It’s so good for you, you’ll eat it for breakfast, and so tasty you’ll eat it for dessert.


Refill is bringing the on-demand experience to the food and beverage industry. By connecting retailers, brands, arenas, stadiums, to customers like never before, they’re changing the way you enjoy your favorite snacks. Customers 21 and older can even order their favorite alcohol or snacks and have it delivered in under one hour.


Sword and Plough

The company’s motto is “Repurposed With a Purpose.” Sword & Plough is a socially conscious brand that recycles military surplus and turns it into a stylish and durable bag designs, accessories and t-shirts. With each purchase, the company donates 10 percent of profits back to veteran organizations. All Made in USA.

Tampa Bay

Directional Command

Founded by Ed Dort, this Directional Command provides advance technology and software as a service to the electric utility industry. Specifically they help utilities and contractors who own and manage utility poles by providing SaaS products to help them manage all the assets and devices attached to the poles, meet or exceed requirements of NESC, provide inventory management, conduct field audits, and more.

Scytale Group

Scytale Group LLC is an innovation company founded by former US Air Force officer Gabriel Saffold who is bridging the gap between research and product development in energy conversion technology. The company is less than one year old and was established after the development of a novel technique for efficiently capturing waste heat and converting it into useful electricity. They believe the transition to renewable energy is right and inevitable. To speed that transition, they are creating products to capture more energy and waste less.

Read about more startups ecosystems at Tech.Co

American Freedom Distillery

American Freedom Distillery (AFD) will soon be producing some of the finest spirits in the country. AFD was started in 2016 by a group of special operations soldiers who were deployed all over the world and had the rare opportunity to take some of the best spirits each country had to offer. The craft boom makes it possible to bring all those distinctive recipes and experiences to the Warehouse/ Arts District of St Pete by using the finest local ingredients to make unique, handcrafted, artisan spirits of the highest quality.


Founded by Stephanie Costolo, this company is specifically designed to bring about community catch the reader’s attention and offers much editorial content on their community. The hyper-local publication includes information about the people who live and work in the area as well as highlight community events and happenings.



Founded by Paulo Shakarian and Jana Shakarian, Cyber Reconnaissance, Inc. (trade name: CYR3CON™) specializes in identifying cyber-threats in the earliest stages. Our software leverages both human analysts and advanced machine learning capabilities to search portions of the Internet where malicious hackers organize, plan, purchase malware, sell exploits, and conduct other activities prior to conducting a cyber-attack.

Zendoks Wellness, LLC

Founded by Tom Bishop, Dan Rubin, and Dan Taffe, Zendoks is a technology startup focusing on building a platform to help facilitate the digital health revolution. We truly believe that the healthcare landscape will continue to change dramatically as consumer wearable technology becomes more prevalent.

Healthcare Industry

Rush Club LLC

Rush Club is an adrenaline-driven, heart-pounding, what-the-hell-did-I-just-see fitness entertainment that grabs your attention. Athletes go head-to-head in a competition for the title belt in their class. Founded by AJ Richards, Stacey Snyder, Kevin Korczyk, and Danny Page, the Rush Club stage is inclusive where elite adaptive athletes, missing limbs or in wheelchairs, share equal billing with non-adaptive athletes as they compete to be the best in their division.

EZ Dump Commercial Inc.

Founded by, Jack Fisher, Kiran RajBhandary, and Gary Baudisch, EZ Dump Commercial Inc. (EZDC), is an innovative design and engineering company focused on the waste receptacle needs of the commercial users in restaurant, hospitality, office, education, industrial and healthcare markets, offering a patented and safer solution – SmartcanMax.

Are you a veteran-led startup? Tell us! Connect with us through our Tip Line!

Did you like this article?

Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!

Sorry about that. Try these articles instead!

Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)