Since 2007, Techstars has helped fledgling entrepreneurs in the tech industry find startup capital, as well as making networking and mentoring contacts that have catapulted these companies to success. Now, through a program called Patriot Boot Camp, Techstars is helping Veteran entrepreneurs realize their dreams of creating their own successful tech companies.
Patriot Boot Camp is a three day program that offers educational information and the ability to make invaluable business mentors and networking contacts to 50-75 Veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses each session. Leaders of Patriot Boot Camp like to think of the program as a bridge that allows access for Veterans to enter the tech entrepreneur community.
The stated mission of Techstar’s Patriot Boot Camp is to give Veteran entrepreneurs and their spouses the tools and resources they need to be successful entrepreneurs, and help them build companies of scale and impact. Their mission is based on four fundamental beliefs:
- Veterans possess skills and experience that make them successful entrepreneurs
- Empowering Veterans and military spouses to start their own companies will help them become the commanders of their own financial security
- Providing opportunities for Veteran entrepreneurs will help solve Veteran unemployment, because they typically hire other Veterans
- Veteran owned businesses will be at the vanguard of economic growth in the United States
This year’s Patriot Boot Camp will be held May 16-18, 2014, at the Goldman Sachs building in New York City. The tentative schedule of events for the program is as follows:
Day 1: Basic entrepreneurial education on conceptualizing, creating and building upon your own successful tech business.
Day 2: Patriot Boot Camp provides its participants with more than 50 well-established mentors who offer one-on-one mentoring sessions. These sessions are invaluable to Veteran entrepreneurs who are new to the tech industry. At past boot camps, these mentors have included such high profile industry players as Union Square Ventures co-founder Fred Wilson; former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. George Casey Jr.; Founder and CEO of Buzzcar Robin Chase; and Techstars co-founder David Brown.
Day 3: Special Pitch Competition that pits idea-stage entrepreneurs against owners of established companies in a friendly competition that teaches participants the benefits of creating an effective pitch.
The program is always free to Veterans, active duty military and military spouses, and includes a continental breakfast and lunch for each day. Techstars provides the program as a thank you to Veterans for their service and as a means of recognizing their value and potential as entrepreneurs. However, dinner meals, travel arrangements and hotel accommodations are covered by the participants at their own expense.
Some of the previous participants have gone on to create and expand such companies as Uvize, Wedding Worthy, Hyprloco and the Travelst.
But one of the best things about the program is that Veteran entrepreneurs aren’t required to own a business in order to participate in Patriot Boot Camp; companies can still be in the conceptual stage.
VAMBOA sees the Patriot Boot Camp as a great opportunity for Veterans who have just recently started or are looking to start their own tech company. The resources, including information, access to mentors and networking contacts can help boost and benefit any young company.
Participants in Patriot Boot Camp are not automatically eligible for other Techstars programs. For more information about Techstars, visit their site at www.techstars.com
For more information about Patriot Boot Camp, visit www.techstars.com/patriotbootcamp.