We Survived Patriot Boot Camp

We Survived Patriot Boot Camp

This past weekend, HAPPY JOE had the opportunity to participate in the Patriot Boot Camp an event created by the geniuses at Techstars.

Patriot Boot Camp requires military veteran entrepreneurs to apply and be accepted in order to attend the event -- and we made it!

What was it like?

Patriot Boot Camp included three days of valuable business advice, mentoring, resources, and pitching your idea to attendees and mentors. The event was hosted at Goldman Sachs HQ in the Wall Street area of New York City.

It was a great setting and according to the PBC website, we had the following:

  • 72 military veterans/spouses who participated in the event
  • 59 unique startup companies were represented
  • 34 presenters shared their expertise in web tech and investing
  • 46 mentors volunteered their time to PBC
  • 407 organized mentor sessions were held (each session was 20 minutes in length)
  • 8100+ minutes of professional mentorship took place

This doesn’t include the many relationships and connections forged during our time together. Nor does it include the beers, bagels, and donuts consumed! 

The Patriot Boot Camp was run like a well oiled machine and the overall quality was excellent.

Business sessions with an impact.

There were many great presentations to learn from and a wealth of information was shared. My favorites were:

The other presentations were very good, but the ones above really spoke to me.

The biggest thing I learned is I really need to work on casting the vision better. As a leader, I have to be more focused and be able tell people exactly what we do, with absolute clarity, in one minute or less. #BOOM

Mentoring sessions with value.

There were some amazing veterans and entrepreneurs I looked forward to meeting, so I made sure to book my mentoring sessions ASAP. The people I spent time with included:

To be honest, my goal wasn't “pitching” the mentors but building a relationship with them. They gave me some incredible advice and I was truly thankful for their time.

(This young couple has been married 68 years! He is a WWII veteran who served as a medic in Belgium, France, and Germany. It was an honor to meet them!)

This young couple has been married 68 years! He is a WWII veteran who served as a medic in Belgium, France, and Germany. It was an honor to meet them.

Great People and Sponsors

Patriot Boot Camp couldn’t have happened without the amazing people behind the event.

I have to give huge props to Sean Maday and Charlotte Creech, as well as all of the volunteers who worked very hard to make this run as smoothly as possible. I also thank all of the sponsors for their generosity to make PBC available. All of you rock!

Final Thoughts

Patriot Boot Camp was an amazing time to get to know people in the military veteran and startup community. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and learned some business lessons that I need to take to heart.

Being able to connect with people outside of my familiar circle was also refreshing.

So if you're a military veteran or veteran spouse wanting to launch a business, make sure you apply to Patriot Boot Camp. It is worth it.

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