Vet-Tech, the startup accelerator specifically for veterans, is built to get into the trenches with its entrepreneurs by providing mentors and resources as well as navigating corporate partnerships. The Silicon Valley-based accelerator's mission interested me, so I contacted Vet-Tech's president and CEO, Bow Rodgers, for a quick Q&A.
Here's what he had to say on the driving force behind, and impact of, his company.
What is your accelerator's goal, in your words?
“Vet-Tech ‘Finds, Develops and Funds' veteran-led or veteran involved technology startup companies. The Vet-Tech Accelerator is best suited to work with those companies that have a minimum viable product, a dedicated team, business traction and some initial funding.”
How did you settle on aiding veteran entrepreneurs as a mission?
“I earned a Bronze Star serving ‘In country' in Vietnam as a Naval Officer. I saw firsthand how trained military personnel can effectively and enthusiastically execute on a plan. Executing on a plan is one of the most, if not ‘the' most, important objectives of a startup company. I wanted to help veteran entrepreneurs translate that skill into executing in business.”
What's your favorite startup or small business that you've helped succeed?
“There are several, but two of the most promising companies are in the Mobile Hotspot area and the other is in the Drone space. Both have been awarded funding and admission to Techstars. Another company, GuideOn, has grown exponentially and received excellent funding as a result.”
What's in the future for Vet-Tech?
“Veterans just leaving the Military can get jobs, but few successfully start ‘careers.' As Vet-Tech grows our future is promising to aid early stage tech companies grow quickly and hire vets along the way. Vets love working with fellow veterans.”