David Cohen of TechStars has just announced Patriot Boot Camp, an intense three-day program that hopes to educate and mentor US veterans and service members to innovate, build technology companies and create jobs. The overall goal is to help these men and women kickstart a company, find co-founders, and advance as entrepreneurs over the course of a few days.
The program, which will be organized and run by Taylor McLemore and Tom Chikoore, will involve “presentations by TechStars mentors, alumni, and technology industry leaders, one-on-one mentoring from the TechStars Team, TechStars Alumni, and industry leaders, interaction with other motivated entrepreneurs, education on the process to build a technology startup, interaction with successful D.C. startups, access to startup community resources, and peer and mentor feedback.”
The boot camp will end with a Digital Demo Day, which according to Cohen will be similar in form to the TechStars Demo Day, and will serve as the summation of the Patriot Boot Camp experience for the veteran or service member.
More, from the announcement:
Over the course of the three-day program, the presentations by TechStars mentors and one-on-one mentoring will guide the participant to solidify a business idea, focus their fundraising pitch, improve their accelerator application, refine their product concept, or demonstrate progress as it relates to their entrepreneurial path. Each participant or group of participants will deliver a short presentation on Digital Demo Day to share their progress. We’ll invite investors and media, and broadcast and promote the event online. Apply to Patriot Boot Camp which happens July 18-20 here.
In the coming months, we will work to create new opportunities for a larger audience of entrepreneurs by building relationships with selected applicants and our alumni network. TechStars recognizes that there are some demographic groups that are underrepresented among technology startup founders so we created the RisingStars program. The goal is to extend technology company startup opportunities to demographic groups that are currently underrepresented in the technology startup community. See all of the information.
All in all, though this program won’t be able to reach the entire mass of returning service members and veterans, it is sure to make an impact on those that apply and are selected. Programs like this one have so much potential to do good and inspire new entrepreneurs; helping driven people stay driven, while moving along innovation and job creation.
Also, we all have a debt to those who put aside their career for years and years, such as those who serve in the military. We have a moral requirement, when we note their sacrifice, to ensure that soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have a step up when they land back in the private sector. Some tech companies have programs in place for such activities, but we could all do better.
That fact is even more true when you trace what technology has come out of military programs; much of what we depend on was developed for the armed forces, in their labs, with government dollars. In a real sense, we owe.