4 Veteran Owned Startups Making Moves in Tampa Bay

After serving in the military, veterans often reemerge in the entrepreneurial scene to continue helping this country grow. In fact, nine percent of all businesses in the country are veteran-owned, representing nearly six million employees and $1.2 trillion in sales receipts. With innovative ideas, unmatched drive, and a communal mentality, these veterans make for the perfect startup founders, which is why we wanted to put some of them in the spotlight.

At this week’s Tampa Bay Startup Week powered by Chase for Business, there’s an entire track dedicated to Veteran Entrepreneurship. It’s an important audience given that there are 400,000 living veterans in the region, according to the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance.

If you’re interested in learning about a few interesting veteran-founded companies, take a look at a few of them below and look up their businesses in the Florida area:

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.

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.

RESIDENT Magazine 

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.

chase for businessThis article is part of a Startup Week content series brought to you by CHASE for BUSINESS. Startup Week is celebration of entrepreneurs in cities around the globe. CHASE for BUSINESS is everything a business needs in one place, from expert advice to valuable products and services. Find business news, stories, insights and expert tips all in one place at Chase.com/forbusiness. Read the rest of our Startup Week series.

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Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
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