Veterans give so much in their service to our country, it’s always an honor to be able to give something back no matter how small. That’s why at TechStars we’re very excited to be offering another TechStars Patriot Boot Camp from July 17-19 at George Washington University in Washington D.C.
This will be the second year for the event, an intense three-day program designed to teach and mentor Veterans and Service Members about entrepreneurship and help them build and develop innovative technology companies.
Patriot Boot Camp will include presentations and one-on-one mentoring from the TechStars team and alumni, technology industry leaders and experienced entrepreneurs and investors. As a participant, you’ll have the chance to interact with other motivated entrepreneurs, learn more about the process of building a successful technology startup, meet with successful D.C. startups, and receive helpful feedback from mentors and peers.
Through presentations, guidance and coaching, you can solidify your business idea, focus your fundraising pitch, improve your accelerator application or refine your product concept. Wherever you’re at in the entrepreneurial process, Patriot Boot Camp can help move you forward. As Tak Lo, a participant from last year, writes in this blog post: “I owe a lot to the experience that essentially kickstarted my entrepreneurship journey.”
Participants traveled from 20 states and 3 foreign countries to take part in last year’s Patriot Boot Camp with 77 participants, 67 companies and more than 50 mentors. Since then, many of these founders have used what they gained from the experience to propel their companies toward greater success: Nexercise was accepted to TechStars Chicago. Tak Lo is now an associate at TechStars New York. Seven teams moved on to RisingStars. Fotopigeon and VocalTap are currently at the NewMe Accelerator in San Francisco. And four of the teams went to the VictorySpark accelerator.
Veterans, spouses of Veterans, Service Members, or companies comprised of at least 50 percent Veterans are encouraged to apply to Patriot Boot Camp. To facilitate a productive match between mentors and participants, candidate selection will focus on technology-oriented companies and teams. These will generally be high technology or software companies and concepts that have national or worldwide reach. Individuals with a keen interest in technology startups and entrepreneurial education will also be considered and are encouraged to apply.
There is no cost for Veterans or spouses of Veterans to participate, but all participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. Patriot Boot Camp 2013 is made possible by our generous sponsors: SoftLayer, Kauffman FastTrac, Slice of Lime, PivotDesk, Silicon Valley Bank, SendGrid, and George Washington University. We are also grateful to all of our speakers and mentors for graciously volunteering their time and expertise.
As David Cass points out in this post about his experience at last year’s Patriot Boot Camp, Veterans make excellent entrepreneurs. They’re disciplined and motivated, committed to the mission, accustomed to working as a team, comfortable with taking risks and stepping up to lead.
So go ahead, seize the opportunity and apply today. You can submit your application any time from now until the final deadline of May 31. Applications will be reviewed and decisions made on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the better.
And if you’re an experienced entrepreneur, angel or VC who would like to mentor at the event for either a half or full day, please let me know.