The Program

TechStars Blog

21st April 2014

An Interview with Patriot Boot Camp Speaker Craig Newmark

Techstars Patriot Boot Camp is right around the corner. From May 16 through 18th, 75 veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs will gather at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in NYC to kick-start companies, find cofounders, and advance as entrepreneurs.

We look forward to Craig Newmark joining us as a speaker for the event. Here are a few thoughts from Craig to get everyone ready for Techstars Patriot Boot Camp.

An Interview with Patriot Boot Camp Speaker Craig Newmark - unali artists

Photo credit: unali artists

What is craigconnects.org and what do you hope to accomplish?

craigconnects.org is my way to help people who get stuff done in causes I believe in, in the here and now. Beyond that, my team and I want to learn how to use social media to effect large scale social change. Over a twenty year period I’d like to find a way to help everyone on the planet stand up and work together for what they believe in.

Why do you think veterans make great entrepreneurs?

Any service member learns to work as part of a team, to accomplish something bigger than herself or himself. Any service member learns to get stuff done, to be focused on getting the job done. Getting the job done transcends internal politics and ambition.

Why did you decide that military families and veterans would be a focus for your work?

If someone volunteers to fight for me, to risk taking a bullet on my behalf, I need to stand up and help. And the families of service members serve just as much as they do.

If someone doesn’t yet have the nerd-cred to be a “nerd-in-residence,” like you are at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, what’s one way you think people can support veteran entrepreneurs?

Respect goes a long way, which includes ignoring media hysteria about PTSD. I suggest that every venture capital firm, hiring manager, and every recruiter respond to any idea or job application from a vet, even if there’s no fit. Also, participate in organizations like VetsInTech.org to introduce vets to growth industries.

Thanks, Craig, for chatting with us.

Learn more about craigconnects as well as Techstars Patriot Boot Camp.