Rendezvous Point Madison – Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp Kickoff

Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp presented by Techstars kickoffs today, and there is a lot to be excited about.

The most important ingredient is the Veterans, Service Members, and Military Spouses participating. A topflight group has convened in Madison from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia & Wisconsin.

If this post serves no other purpose, I hope it is a reminder to all startups, accelerators, and investors that Veterans are high potential entrepreneurs and valuable entrepreneurial employees.

After the great people participating, the most exciting and refreshing aspect of Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp is the convening of support from people and organizations dedicated to seeing Veterans become successful entrepreneurs.

One great example is Startup Institute. Co-Founder Shaun Johnson will be joining us in Madison to mentor, he’s bringing with him scholarships good for 50% towards the tuition Startup Institute’s Fall Program.

We have a roster of great speakers, and you can follow the conversation via #TechstarsPBC. You can expect to see some great quotes from Troy Henikoff, Managing Director of Techstars Chicago, and Governor Scott Walker.

Volunteers, mentors and sponsors make this event possible and free for Veterans and Military Spouses. Startup InstituteIBM SoftlayerSendGrid,  Michael Best & Friedrich LLPOpen Prairie VenturesAmerican Family VenturesBenjamin’s DeskWisconsin Economic Development CorporationSupranetAlphaTech, and  Kollath & Associates have all stepped up in a major way to make Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp a reality.

Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp presented by Techstars

We are excited to announce the next Patriot Boot Camp (PBC):

Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp presented by Techstars. (Apply here!)

The event will be held in Madison, WI from September 26th – 28th, 2014.

For those of you not familiar with PBC, it is a 3-day program focused on our nations’ veterans and their families, intended to be the catalyst to spark a company, find a co-founder, or connect with a business mentor. PBC leverages the Techstars network to provide entrepreneurial education and mentoring that helps participants solidify a business idea, improve their fundraising pitch, and demonstrate progress along their entrepreneurial and employment path. The program was launched in 2012, and it has supported more than 225 Veterans entrepreneurs to date.

The Wisconsin Event is part of the evolution of PBC.  We are expanding from our previous, annual events in Washington, DC (2012 & 2013) and New York City (2014) to regional events led by our alumni, military veteran entrepreneurs, and local business leaders. This move is our first step toward making Patriot Boot Camp available and accessible to more Veteran entrepreneurs.

The Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp will be the first program organized and led by PBC alumni, partnering with local military veteran entrepreneurs, and other Wisconsin business leaders and sponsors.

Applications for PBC are now open to veterans, active service members and/or their spouses or direct family members. If you qualify, please consider applying. If you know any candidates for the program, please encourage them to apply. Applications are accepted and approved on a rolling admissions basis. The application deadline for an early-decision is Friday, August 29th and the primary deadline for applications is Friday, September 5th, 2014.

I am confident great work will be accomplished at Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp! Please help us spread the word. Click here to tweet:

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 and what do you hope to accomplish? 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 to introduce vets to growth industries.

Thanks, Craig, for chatting with us.

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