Entrepreneurship

BTU #207 - Davita, Healthcare Startups, and Healthcare Consulting (Liz Callahan)

BTU #207 - Davita, Healthcare Startups, and Healthcare Consulting (Liz Callahan)

Why Listen:
Those of you who smoke cigars have probably heard the phrase “knuckle burner.” Well, this is a “knuckle burner” of an interview - I found myself trying to use every last second to get Liz’s insight, and Liz and I cover a lot of ground in this interview. We talk about Liz’s unexpected departure from the military due to an injury, and the importance of being prepared for one’s transition to a civilian career. We talk about her experience in grad school admissions consulting: the importance of telling a story, translating one’s experience, and emphasizing one’s strengths. And we do a deep dive on the Healthcare industry, including DaVita, graduate school, a healthcare startup, healthcare consulting, working at an academic hospital… so many facets. And we also talk about having a side hustle, and how to best utilize headhunters.

About Liz:
Liz Callahan is a Healthcare Consultant at Callahan Partners. She started out at West Point, after which she served as a MedEvac Blackhawk pilot in the Army for nearly five years. After her military service, she worked at Davita as a Program Manager, she earned her MBA from UC Berkeley, she served as the Chief Operating Officer at Advon Healthcare, and she worked at the Stanford Health Care system as both a Program Manager and a Director of Transition Strategy.

BTU #206 - Tech Qualled: Helping Veterans Enter the High Tech Industry (Nick Breedlove)

BTU #206 - Tech Qualled: Helping Veterans Enter the High Tech Industry (Nick Breedlove)

Why Listen:
If you’re aspiring to enter the High Tech Industry, Tech Qualled is designed to help you get there… for free. They offer a 7-week program that teaches you the skills you need to succeed in your first job, and they pair you with employers at the end of your training. Nick talks about his experience starting Tech Qualled, which is also a great perspective for listeners who aspire to start their own company. We talk about training, about the scars of entrepreneurship, about sales and how important this is to entrepreneurship, about education and the tradeoffs a degree entails, and much more.

About Nick:
Nick Breedlove is a co-founder and the CEO of Tech Qualled, the nation's first enterprise dedicated exclusively to training Veterans and Early in Career individuals for customer-facing roles in the High Tech sector. Through a competitive, immersive and intense training program, Tech Qualled helps motivated Veterans achieve new levels professional potential in the Tech sector. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a helicopter pilot in the Navy for ten years, achieving the rank of Commander while serving as an Instructor Pilot for a Navy Boeing 737 squadron. After his military service he got his Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, prior to starting Tech Qualled.

BTU #205 - Marine Corps Veteran to IRONBOUND Boxing Founder (Mike Steadman)

BTU #205 - Marine Corps Veteran to IRONBOUND Boxing Founder (Mike Steadman)

Why Listen:

I found my conversation with Mike inspiring; 15-minutes into our interview, I donated to IRONBOUND Boxing. Mike is a great example of an entrepreneur - his passion, determination, and resilience come through in everything he says. His company is also a fantastic example of a hybrid organization that is both for-profit and socially driven. If you are considering entrepreneurship, or just want to hear about an incredible Military Veteran who is doing good in the world after his military service, this is the interview for you. If you are interested in supporting IRONBOUND Boxing, you can donate to their organization, or support them through introductions to companies (Prudential in particular) or by providing technical assistance.

About Mike:
Mike is the Founder of IRONBOUND Boxing, which helps employees get fit, have fun, and support a great cause. They provide on-site boxing classes to corporations of all sizes in order to improve participants' self-confidence, morale, and health. IRONBOUND Boxing is also a fundraising tool for the IRONBOUND Boxing Academy, our nonprofit boxing gym which provides free recreation to Newark youth & young adults. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Marine Corps Officer for five years. He is in the process of earning his MA from Rutgers University, and graduated from the Stanford Ignite program.

BTU #204 - 27 Year Army Veteran to Founder of My Military Loans (Michael Fuller)

BTU #204 - 27 Year Army Veteran to Founder of My Military Loans (Michael Fuller)

Why Listen:
Michael is a great example of someone who - after 27 years of military service - goes on to a fulfilling and very different civilian career. His company - My Military Loans - has funded over 81 military Veteran companies. He shares more about My Military Loans, as well as advice for aspiring Veteran entrepreneurs. Many of the businesses he helps fund are franchises, so be sure to check out the show notes, which features over 5 other episodes related to franchises and entrepreneurship. 

About Michael:
Michael Fuller is the founder & CEO of My Military Loans which provides working and startup capital for veterans to launch and grow businesses with a focus on fighting back against predatory lenders taking advantage of veterans. LTC Fuller retired on April 30, 2017 from the United States Army after completing over 27 years of service. LTC Fuller entered the United States Army on December 5, 1988 as a Private First Class, serving for over 10 years as an enlisted soldier promoted to the rank of Sergeant. LTC Fuller was commissioned in March 1999 as a First Lieutenant and subsequently rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

BTU #200 - Black Hawk Down to Founder of Pinnacle Solutions (Mike Durant)

BTU #200 - Black Hawk Down to Founder of Pinnacle Solutions (Mike Durant)

Why Listen:
Mike had an incredible military career of 22 years, where he received the Purple Heart and where is exploits were chronicled in the movie, Black Hawk Down. His Civilian career has been equally impressive. He is the author of the book, In the Company of Heroes, which details the story after Black Hawk Down’s credits roll. He worked for six years and then started his own company, Pinnacle Solutions, which has nearly 400 employees and over $70M in revenue. This is a great interview for aspiring military Veteran entrepreneurs, as well as those who are interested in the Government Contracting industry.

About Mike:
Mike is President & CEO of Pinnacle Solutions, which provides a wide variety of products and services to NASA, the Department of Defense and industry partners including aircraft and weapon system Original Equipment Manufacturers. In ten years, Pinnacle has grown from a home office-based startup to over 375 employees and more than 70 subcontractor personnel operating in fourteen U.S. and international locations, with over $70M in revenue.

He was a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Blackhawk helicopter Flight Lead and Instructor Pilot. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 Master Aviator after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent, during which he was shot down and held prisoner in 1993 after a raid in Somalia, which was chronicled in the movie, Blackhawk Down. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device and the Purple Heart. He was inducted into the Army Aviation Association of America Hall of Fame in 2008.

BTU #198 - Army Veteran to Founding an $110M Startup (Benjamin Faw & Best Reviews)

BTU #198 - Army Veteran to Founding an $110M Startup (Benjamin Faw & Best Reviews)

Ben Faw is the Co-Founder and COO of BestReviews, a technology startup that has helped over 180M users by simplifying their purchasing decisions. BestReviews was recently acquired by tronc (formerly known as Tribune Publishing) for $110M. He started out at West Point, and served in the US Army for 4.5 years as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Aide-De-Camp. After his military service he got his MBA from Harvard Business School and worked at LinkedIn as a Marketing Solutions Account Executive.

Why Listen:
Ben has been incredibly successful as an entrepreneur, having sold his first startup for $110M. He talks about his previous experience at business school and LinkedIn, and advice for other Veterans thinking of starting their own company.

BTU #193 - Army Veteran to iTunes' #1 Business Podcast (Mark Horstman)

BTU #193 - Army Veteran to iTunes' #1 Business Podcast (Mark Horstman)

Mark Horstmann is the Co-Founder of Manager Tools, a management consulting and training firm that regularly consults to and trains managers in Fortune 1000 companies around the world. His podcast - Manager Tools - has over 800 ratings on iTunes, and focuses on specific skills to improve management performance. He started out at West Point and served as an Officer in the US Army for five years. He and his Co-Founder, also a West Point graduate, have run Manager Tools for nearly 14 years. His podcast is listened to over 2M times per month in every country in the world except for North Korea. He is also the author of the book, The Effective Manager.

Why Listen: 
Mark is a wealth of knowledge of tactical advice for managers, having coached two Presidents of the United States. His advice is listened to by over 2M people per month and shares insights about how Veterans can lead in the civilian workforce, tips for interviewing, and more.

BTU #194 - An overview of Blockchain & Crypto Currency (Donnie Benjamin)

BTU #194 - An overview of Blockchain & Crypto Currency (Donnie Benjamin)

Donnie works at ConsenSys in the Office of the Founder. ConsenSys is a blockchain venture production studio. Our global team is building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily based on Ethereum. [Software Industry, Founded in 2014, Almost 1000 EE on LinkedIn]. Donnie started out at West Point, served as an Army Intelligence Officer for 5 years, attended Harvard Business School, and has worked at Google, Qualtrics, and Future Finance.

Why Listen: 
This is the first time I've had a guest on for two episodes. In my previous conversation with Donnie, he offered to come back on the show to provide a primer about blockchain, crypto currency, and etherium. In this episode we dive into this, as well as why the space may appeal to mission and purpose-driven Veterans.

BTU #191 - Army Veteran to Instagram Influencer (Roberto Portales)

BTU #191 - Army Veteran to Instagram Influencer (Roberto Portales)

Robertois a Client Executive for Healthcare and Life Sciences at NTT. He is a social media influencer, with over 315k followers on Instagram, where he goes by Rjportales, where he talk about technology, fitness, travel, lifestyle, meal preparation and more. He started out at West Point, after which he served for five years as a Counterintelligence Officer. 

Why Listen: 
As a side project, Roberto has grown his Instagram audience to over 315,000 followers. This has afforded him not only a creative outlet, but has led him to star in commercials, be sponsored by companies, as well as meet a lot of great people. In this interview we talk about the world of social media influencers, and what every Veteran can learn from Roberto's experience.

BTU #190 - Navy Veteran to Pinterest & Tech (Jimmy Sopko - Rebroadcast)

BTU #190 - Navy Veteran to Pinterest & Tech (Jimmy Sopko - Rebroadcast)

Jimmy Sopko is a Manager of Growth Sales at Pinterest. Jimmy got his start at Pinterest by rolling up his sleeves and taking a job at Pinterest as part of their Community Operations team. While this was a step back in terms of pay and seniority, it got his foot in the door and he was able to quickly work his way up within Pinterest... a company that has already tripled in growth since he joined. Jimmy is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and former Surface Warfare Officer. He's also an avid rower, having earned a Silver Medal in the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

BTU #186 - Army Veteran to Blockchain and Ethereum at ConsenSys (Donnie Benjamin)

BTU #186 - Army Veteran to Blockchain and Ethereum at ConsenSys (Donnie Benjamin)

Donnie works at ConsenSys in the Office of the Founder. ConsenSys is a blockchain venture production studio. Our global team is building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily based on Ethereum. Donnie started out at West Point, served as an Army Intelligence Officer for 5 years, attended Harvard Business School, and has worked at Google, Qualtrics, and Future Finance.

Why Listen: 

Donnie works at the largest, pure blockchain company in the world. Not only is this an exceptional overview of the blockchain and cyrpto currency space, but Donnie covers a lot of ground related to pay post-military, work-life-harmony, the importance of sales, explaining your role to a civilian hiring manager and more.

BTU #185 - Navy Veteran to Home Care Providers President (Stephen Huber)

BTU #185 - Navy Veteran to Home Care Providers President (Stephen Huber)

Stephen Huber is the President of Home Care Providers, a premier integrated home healthcare services company in Southern California. Headquartered in Orange County, Home Care Providers provides world class private duty home care services to seniors throughout the Southern California region. By providing these services they create a viable alternative to traditional institutionalized care, allowing clients to remain safely in the comfort of their own home.  

Stephen started out at the Naval Academy, served as a helicopter pilot for 11 years - 9 years on active duty and 2 years in the Reserves. He has worked as a sales representative, consultant, and contractor. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

BTU #184 - Navy Veteran to Blockchain & the Cyrpto Asset Industry (Hector Rosekrans)

BTU #184 - Navy Veteran to Blockchain & the Cyrpto Asset Industry (Hector Rosekrans)

Hector Rosekrans is the Director of Policy and Operations at Messari, which is building an open data library to enhance transparency for the cryptoasset industry. Prior to joining Messari, Hector worked at JP Morgan in capital markets operations and technology, where he researched tokenized securities for the Broker Dealer and Custodian. He developed a proof of concept smart contract for asset management on an Ethereum-based enterprise platform. Hector served as an Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, and has worldwide operational experience. He holds an MPP from UC Berkeley, where he studied cybersecurity and strategic deterrence, and a BSc from the US Naval Academy.

Why Listen: 

This is the second interview I've done about Blockchain and Crypto currency. It's a great primer on this technology as well as operations and startups. Hector is great at explaining each of these, as well as how he got his first job through Twitter! He also talks about why Veterans may have an unfair advantage in the emerging blockchain space. 

BTU #178 - Army to Franchise Development (Nic Gray)

BTU #178 - Army to Franchise Development (Nic Gray)

Nic Gray is the founder of Graypoint Ventures, a Franchise Development Group bringing fresh, innovative and demand-driven concepts to the marketplace. He started his career working for franchise development groups when he was 19 and then served in the Army, where he served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in Platoon Communications for 4 years. Since then he has founded four different companies.

BTU #177 - USMC to VP in Crypto (Stephanie Vaughan)

BTU #177 - USMC to VP in Crypto (Stephanie Vaughan)

Stephanie Vaughanis the Vice President, Head of Capital Markets at Block X Ventures, a premier boutique crypto-agency advisory firm. Block X Venturessupports leading Blockchain companies worldwide, serving as a strategic and financial advisory for token generating events. She started out at the Naval Academy, after which she served as a Marine Corps officer for over 5.5 years. After her military service, she earned her MBA at Columbia Business School, worked as an Investment Banking Associate at Houlihan Lokey, a Venture Capitalist at LunaCap Ventures, and as Director of Capital Markets at StreetShares. She is a contributing writer at theBlockchain Times.


BTU #171 - Navy to Financial Services at Silicon Valley Bank (Charlie Kelly)

BTU #171 - Navy to Financial Services at Silicon Valley Bank (Charlie Kelly)

Charlie Kelly is the Managing Director of the Colorado Technology group at Silicon Valley Bank, where he leads a team focused on providing innovative financial services to high tech companies in the seed / series A through cash flow positive stages of development headquartered in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. He started out at Duke University, after which he served as an officer in the Navy onboard Submarines for almost five years. After his military service, he earned his MBA at the University of Colorado Boulder. He then joined SVB, initially as an associate with the Private Equity Banking team, eventually leading SVB’s team in the Central U.S. He has worked at SVB for over 11 years now.


BTU #167 - Army Pilot to seed stage Venture Capitalist (Aaron Stachel)

BTU #167 - Army Pilot to seed stage Venture Capitalist (Aaron Stachel)

Thank you to all of you who completed my survey in March about what type of guests you would like to have on the show. The #1 requested career path was Venture Capitalist... and it took me a long, long time to finally connect with a Veteran in this career path. We talk not just about Venture Capital and entrepreneurship, but we talk about topics relevant for veterans in every career path: networking, risk taking, and more.

BTU #163 - Army to Season 2 Apprentice Winner (Kelly Perdew)

BTU #163 - Army to Season 2 Apprentice Winner (Kelly Perdew)

Kelly Perdew is the Co-Founder and Managing General Partner of Moonshots Capital, which he founded with a fellow West Point grad, and exists to invest in exceptional entrepreneurs with world-changing ideas. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Officer. Since then he has worked as a Founder, Board Member, CEO, COO, CFO, as well as in Business Development, and Sales. He has raised institutional financing, grown businesses, down-sized businesses, and sold businesses for 8-figure exits. Perhaps most uniquely, he is the Season 2 Winner of The Apprentice, after which he apprentice to Donald Trump and was involved in multiple real estate projects with Donald Trump. He holds both an MBA and JD from UCLA.

Why Listen: 

Kelly has such a unique background and has had so many different aspects to his civilian career. In this interview we talk about what it is like to be an investor, and advice for Veterans wanting to pursue this path. We also talk about entrepreneurship, and advice to Veterans who want to start their own company. We talk about work life balance, recovering from failure, what those final moments were like on The Apprentice, and so much more.

BTU #155 - Elite Meet (John Allen)

BTU #155 - Elite Meet (John Allen)

There are so many reasons to listen to this episode. First of all, John faced an unexpected transition from Navy SEALs to his own civilian career. While had been planning on going to business school and then doing consulting work, things changed and he found himself with just eight weeks to find a job. Through that process, he started Elite Meet, which is a fantastic resource for transitioning veterans. We talk about Elite Meet, we talk about starting a non-profit, we talk about how to present oneself in the hiring process, and much, much more.