April 2, 2017
Presented and backed by Techstars. Patriot Boot Camp is a non-profit designed to equip service members, veterans and spouses with the entrepreneurial education, access to resources, mentorship and community support that they need to build technology companies of scale and impact.
My wife and I have put a lot of time and effort into this company, despite not being a veteran myself. A friend of mine asked me once why I invested so much time and energy to support Patriot Boot Camp and the veteran initiatives surrounding it. I told them that even though I am not a veteran, I do it because veterans make great entrepreneurs.
At the most recent PBC in San Antonio, I reflected on some of the key competencies of successful entrepreneurs we see here at Techstars and how veterans bring these competencies from their service to their new endeavors as entrepreneurs:
Fortitude to Drive Through Adversity
Building a company is tough and it requires tireless leadership. Whether it’s strength in the face of a bad review or a congratulations after a job well done, being a leader is key when it comes to running a business. So, do veterans have this fortitude to drive through adversity?
Here is one great example. While speaking with Colin Supko, a former Navy SEAL Commander, I realized that his tours in Iraq and Yemen, in conjunction with his intense training, more than equipped him with the tools to drive through adversity. He’s building a peer to peer marketplace, called Patriot List, where safety is crucial. Identities are verified as part of a trusted personal network of buyers and sellers.
Ability to Find Product-Market Fit
Finding product-market fit is the first critical first step in building a successful company. Executing against an idea and finding product market fit will be no problem for Matt Lembright, a former Army Signals Intelligence officer at the NSA. He is currently building a platform, called Enabld Security, that allows us to protect our online identities across all of the solutions we use.
Building Around New Technologies
Ali Ahmadi is the cofounder of AirZaar. I met him and was instantly convinced that he has what it takes to build a large organization with a strong operating discipline. His company has created a platform for managing data acquired by drones for surveying in the mining industry.
Ali served over 8 years in the US Navy as a Drone Pilot with 650+ successful flights under his belt, and he managed multiple drone surveillance programs within the Department of Defense. This experience has led him to build technology infrastructure to manage drone data intelligence at a scale only done in the US Military. Now he is taking his experience and translating it to support industries like mining and construction.
The next Patriot Boot Camp is in Denver, Colorado on September 22-24. If you are a veteran entrepreneur, apply here. If you would like to learn more about helping out with this cause, you can find more info here.
Read more about veteran entrepreneurs here on Tech.Co
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