At Techstars, we believe Veterans’ skills and experiences make them excellent entrepreneurs and to help them succeed, we’ve developed the Techstars Patriot Boot Camp. This is an intense 3-day program which focuses on helping our nation’s Veterans and their families reach their entrepreneurial potential.
This year’s Patriot Boot Camp is May 16-18 in New York City, and we are looking forward to working with a new group of Veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. I have had the pleasure of seeing many Veteran-led companies grow and thrive over the last three years. We hope participation will be the catalyst for them to kick-start a company, find co-founders and advance as entrepreneurs. The camp is free to active-duty military members, Veterans and military spouses.
This year 75 participants will join us. Some might come to launch their company. Others want to find employment at an entrepreneurial company. Other will look to accelerate the growth their companies are experiencing.
For us, Patriot Boot Camp has a wide definition of success. For some participants, success is revenue traction with customers and for others it might be raising capital for growth. The point is that every company and what they need to be successful is unique. We are here to help any Veteran or military spouse that wants to build a technology company.
I love to brag about our Patriot Boot Camp alumni because it shows what is possible:
- Hyprloco: This great group of Veteran entrepreneurs is bringing cloud-based hyper-location technology to the market. Their technology can support interaction inside buildings, locate mobile devices, deliver offers, provide 3-D navigation, and more.
- Nexercise: This company has a great tag line, “Turn healthy living into a game you can win”. Users of their app play with friends, earn rewards, defeat challenges, and track their physical activity.
- Uvize: Uvize partners with universities to deliver their online veterans center. They create a fast mentor network that can connect students with the right veteran classmate, mentor, or advisor when they need it. By building skills and community before school starts they increase the success rate of veterans.
- Wedding Worthy: It is an online shopping community that connects stunning wedding imagery with merchandising so brides can discover products and shop all in one place. On Wedding Worthy, Brides create a private bridal suite and invite others to help them create their dream wedding.
During the past two programs we’ve had 91 mentors conduct more than 1,500 mentor sessions. This is the core of Patriot Boot Camp: one-on-one help for participants to improve as entrepreneurs. I count myself in that category of entrepreneurs constantly learning—I have learned more from working to support Patriot Boot Camp than any other activity over the past two years.
It’s an honor for me and all of the Techstars community to play a small role in the development of such amazing Veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs and their companies. Our country will be a better and stronger country if Veterans and military spouses lead the next generation of high-growth companies and job creation.
Please consider applying to Techstars Patriot Boot Camp and share this opportunity with your community.
Taylor McLemore is an entrepreneur and the director of Patriot Boot Camp.