Technology

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 #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 #203 - Air Force Veteran to VP of Operations @ ZipRecruiter (Elliot Wilson)

BTU #203 - Air Force Veteran to VP of Operations @ ZipRecruiter (Elliot Wilson)

Why Listen:
Elliot has a long history in startups and operations. In this interview, we talk about the hiring process on how to play competing offers off of each other in order to get the best outcome possible. We talk about a variety of ways to get a job. We talk about Elliot’s experience in the General Manager position, a role that may be appealing to many Veterans. We talk about changing one’s job title from a big to a small company and how to approach this. And we talk about operations - operations in a tech startup, as well as operations in the cost-driven physical products world.

About Elliot:
Elliot Wilson is the Vice President of Operations at ZipRecruiter, which is the smartest way to hire and get hired. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he served in the Air Force for nearly three years. He has worked as a Senior Product Manager at Pictage, General Manager overseeing 250 employees at Lovejoy, and Area Director of Distribution at Sherman-Williams. He holds both an MS and MBA from Loyola Marymount University. 

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 #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 #157 - Employee #500 at Aol (Rob Shenk)

BTU #157 - Employee #500 at Aol (Rob Shenk)

This is a terrific episode for any member of the Armed Forces. Rob joined Aol as their 500th employee and was there for their growth to over 10,000 employees. He went through a similar process with eTrade. But he got his foot in the door, directly out of the military, by applying to be a customer phone support person! His story is one of failing and taking risks, or being part of an internet revolution, and continuing to change his career path over time. I found his story inspiring and hope that you do as well.

BTU #128 - Deloitte, Apple, Startups & Facebook (Francis Ebong)

BTU #128 - Deloitte, Apple, Startups & Facebook (Francis Ebong)

Francis went directly from the Navy to consulting at Deloitte, and has worked at Apple, in startups, and now at Facebook. He talks about each of these career paths, why veterans may love operations, and advice to help in interviews and finding your ideal career.

BTU #98 - Jared Wymer: Marines to Amazon & a PhD... simultaneously

BTU #98 - Jared Wymer: Marines to Amazon & a PhD... simultaneously

Jared Wymer is a Program Manager for Global Talent Management at Amazon. Jared started out by enlisting in the Marine Corps, where he served for eight years in logistics, supply chain management, and intelligence, while also pursuing and receiving an undergraduate degree and MBA. Jared transitioned from the Marines into a PhD program, working concurrently in finance and as a Fellow for the Department of State. Since that time Jared started his own consulting company, Wymer & Associates, and joined Amazon. Jared is currently one year away from obtaining his PhD.

BTU #88 - Mike Benedosso - Army Boxing National Champion to LinkedIn & Google

BTU #88 - Mike Benedosso - Army Boxing National Champion to LinkedIn & Google

Mike works in New Business Development at Google as part of Google Cloud. He started out at West Point, where he was the Boxing Team Captain and a National Champion. He served in the Army for five years: first as an Executive Officer (XO) of a Military Intelligence Company and then as a Platoon Leader and Team Captain of the Army Boxing Team in the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado. There, he trained to earn a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Boxing team. Since leaving the Army in 2012, he has worked at Sony, LinkedIn, Google, and earned his MBA from UCLA.

BTU #89 - Drew Sanocki: Navy to bootstrapping from $0 to 7-figures in 1 year

BTU #89 - Drew Sanocki: Navy to bootstrapping from $0 to 7-figures in 1 year

Drew is a Founding Partner at Empire Growth Group, a hybrid consulting agency, services provider, and investment vehicle. He started out Harvard, after which he served in the Navy as an intelligence Officer for four years. After his transition from the Navy, Drew attended Stanford Business School. After a role at Commerce.TV in Business Development, Drew co-founded Design Public, an 'inventoryless' ecommerce company focused on the home furnishings market, which Drew bootstrapped from $0 to 7 figures in under one year, eventually selling the company after eight profitable years. Drew also runs the site NerdMarketing.com, where he writes about marketing automation and customer segmentation rules that have driven over $100 million in transactions in 2015.

BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft

BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft

Chris Dattaro is an Operations Manager at Lyft in Washington DC. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After departing the Navy, Chris participated in the Goldman Sachs 3 month Veterans Integration Program, before joining FBR, an investment bank, in an Institutional Equity Sales role. He briefly worked at Trustify as the Director of Recruiting before joining Lyft. Chris is married to an active duty Lieutenant and HR Officer and he is also active in his spare time coaching veterans about their career transition to the civilian workforce and working with veteran entrepreneurs.

BTU #88 - Zach & Drew - two Navy vets team up to raise $13M for Rhumbix

BTU #88 - Zach & Drew - two Navy vets team up to raise $13M for Rhumbix

Rhumbix is based in San Francisco and is a mobile platform designed for the construction craft workforce. They were founded in 2014 and have raised over $13M in funding from investors including Greylock Partners, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Spectrum 28, and Glynn Capital.

BTU #78 - Josh Carter: TechStars, Operation Code, Patriot Bootcamp and more

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“ Stop worrying about the beta, and just get the product out. If you are not embarrassed by your first product, then you're doing it wrong. It should be ugly, it should be clunky, it should be what you think it should be... but less. And once you get it in the hands of the customer, the customer is going to tell you what they like and what they don't like. And that's what we realized - we were trying to be perfectionists. You want your product to be perfect, but you make these assumptions that it's going to be valuable. And the best way to do that is get it in the hands of the customer who will tell you if they find value in it." – Josh Carter

Josh Carter is the Co-Founder & CEO of Brightwork, a microservices platform that enables developers to build faster on a reliable and scalable solution. Since their founding they’ve raised over $300K in funding and have gone through Techstars in Chicago. Josh started out in the Navy, where he served for about 3 years. Since his time in the Navy he’s held multiple engineering roles in the Telecom industry and eventually a Senior Support Engineer at the startup, Twilio, a communication startup that went public earlier this year. Josh founded his own digital marketing agency - Plunk - and is also a former founding board member of Operation Code.

The top reason to listen to today’s show is:

  • Support - Josh has been living in the startup world for a while, and has a great overview of different resources available for other veteran entrepreneurs. In particular, he talks about TechStars, and gives a fantastic overview of this 3 month program, as well as Patriot Bootcamp and other great resources. In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Twilio
  • Brightwork.io
  • Plunk
  • TechStars - this was a great help for Josh in starting a venture backed company. It is a 3-month program offered all over the United States. They take 6% of the company in exchange for $120,000 in funding.
  • FounderCon - all TechStar founders get together for one year
  • Patriot Bootcamp - offshoot of the TechStars core program. It's a one weekend program that is very intense, but very targeted in preparing veterans for entrepreneurship
  • Operation Code - Chris was a founding board member; they help transitioning veterans get into coding - finding mentors and sharing advice for becoming a programmer
  • Resources
    • Meetup.com - Coffee with CoFounders - lowkey get togethers are rotating coffee shops for founders to connect with each other and talk about what they're struggling with

Show Notes

  • 1:45 - Josh's background
  • 2:30 - When Josh knew he would leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 3:20 - What Josh's first job search looked like and how he found the Art Academy to be different than he expected. He talks about how he found his way to the Telecom industry
  • 4:23 - An overview on the Telecom industry and the sorts of jobs Josh held
  • 5:16 - An overview of Josh's work at Brightwork, as well as the engagements he held before then
  • 7:57 - What it was like for Josh to be actively employed at Twilio while running his own digital agency
  • 9:15 - The moment when Josh first had the idea of Brightwork
  • 11:55 - An overview of TechStars and how Josh ended up in Chicago
  • 15:28 - How TechStars provides an investment of $125k for 6% of the company
  • 17:38 - An overview of Patriot Bootcamp and Josh's experience
  • 19:46 - What Josh's founding team looks like and advice to veterans for finding initial team members
  • 25:48 - What Josh's life looks like on a day-to-day basis as part of an early stage startup
  • 28:50 - Josh's advice to other veterans considering starting their own company
  • 35:10 - Other resources Josh would encourage other veterans to check out
  • 39:32 - An overview of Operation Code and how Veterans might engage with them
  • 41:00 - One of the biggest mistakes Josh made in his entrepreneurial journey and what he learned from it
  • 44:00 - Josh's final words of wisdom

BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding

BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding

Ben Deda is the Chief Operations Officer at Galvanize, a network of modern, urban campuses where anyone can access the skills, knowledge, and network you need to make an impact. Since their founding in 2012, Galvanize has raised over $63M in funding. Ben started out at Notre Dame, after which he served in the Marines for seven years. After his transition from the Marines he worked at TruStile Doors in Operations, Marketing, and Sales, and eventually as Vice President of Commercial Sales. He then joined the computer software company, FullContact as their VP of Sales & Business Development. Ben also runs Denver Startup Week, the largest startup event in the US, and holds an MBA from the University of Denver

BTU #73 - Sarah Travaglio: Army to Asurion, Accenture, and LinkedIn

BTU #73 - Sarah Travaglio: Army to Asurion, Accenture, and LinkedIn

Sarah works at LinkedIn, where she is the Senior Manager, Head of Media Account Management for the Americas. She started out at West Point, after which she served in the Army for five years as a Company Commander and Assistant Battalion Operation Officer. While on active duty she obtained her Masters in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and after her transition from the Army she worked at Asurion in Customer Experience positions, before moving on to Accenture. She then moved to LinkedIn, where she has worked for the last three years.

BTU #69 - Alex Martin: Marine to Global Entrepreneur at AC Global Risk

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“At this point, I don't think I really could have a boundary [between professional and personal life]. It's not about a forty-hour work week, and being able to accomplish everything in forty hours; I get that. It's about constantly thinking about the product, thinking about the customers we have and the customers we want, where we're going to go and what the next steps are. I just can't turn it off: I dream about it, I think about it every minute, and there is no separation. Maybe that's unhealthy and a bad thing, but at this point if no one is as fanatically excited and obsessed with the product we're trying to create than the founders then I don't think it can work at this stage." – Alex Martin

Alex Martin is the CEO & Co-Founder of AC Global Risk, a company that creates solutions to transform how companies & governments vet, screen and assess internal and external human-based risk. Alex started out at the Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps for seven years as a Infantry & Ground Reconnaissance Officer. After his transition from the Marines he founded Skye Maritime - maritime security services to commercial shipping - as well as the Kenya Team Leader for the non-profit, Nuru International. Alex is currently a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Service - Alex has continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, he worked in Kenya with the organization Nuru helping local farmers grow their income, and his own company - AC Global Risk - has a service element as well. He’s a great role model for keeping service an active component in his life, and talks about how to serve as a for-profit venture
  2. Startups - Alex started his first company straight of the Marine Corps and it failed. He learned from it, and is on his second company, AC Global Risk. He is very honest and balanced in this interview about failure, about mistakes, and how these are essential for entrepreneurs
  3. Stanford Ignite - Alex goes in depth on the Stanford Ignite program as well as many other really valuable resources for those of you interested in startups

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:08 - Alex's background
  • 2:50 - Alex's decision to transition from the Marine Corps to a civilian career
  • 3:39 - Alex's experience being part of the Reserves and how it has impacted his civilian career
  • 5:32 - Alex's experience as part of the Stanford Ignite program and how this impacted his entrepreneurial experience
  • 7:49 - An overview of Stanford Ignite as a program for veterans
  • 10:22 - Alex's experience at Nuru International
  • 15:15 - The genesis of Alex's second company, AC Global Risk
  • 17:40- An overview of AC Global Risk
  • 19:21  - What Alex's day-to-day life looks like as the CEO of AC Global Risk
  • 21:11 - Alex's lifestyle as an entrepreneur married to another entrepreneur
  • 24:27 - How long it took Alex to be able to pay himself as salary while he was starting his own company
  • 28:43 - Alex's biggest mistake in starting his own company and what he learned from it
  • 33:03 - Alex's team size at AC Global Risk and what his team looks like
  • 34:22 - Advice for any veteran thinking of starting their own company
  • 35:36 - Resources Alex would recommend to any veteran thinking of starting their own company
  • 37:53 - Advice for veterans seeking to raising capital for their own company, and the fundraising experience
  • 43:40 - Habits that Alex had to break when he left the military in order to be successful in his civilian career
  • 45:55 - Other mistakes that Alex made since departing the military and what he learned from them
  • 48:47 - Final words of wisdom for veterans of the Armed Forces

BTU #67 Don Faul: A Leading Veteran in Silicon Valley (Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and more)

BTU #67 Don Faul: A Leading Veteran in Silicon Valley (Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and more)

Don is the CEO at Athos, a company that offers a wearable technology that is fully integrated in workout clothing, and can track your muscle groups, heart rate, breathing level and more. They have raised over $50M in funding since their founding 4 years ago. Don started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for five years as an Marine Corps as part of the Force Recon. After his transition out of the Marines, he went to Stanford Business School, after which he joined Google in 206 as a Manager of Online Sales and Operations. Two years later, he joined Facebook as the VP of Online Operations, and four years after that Pinterest as the Head of Operations. He serves on the Board of Nuru international, which listeners may remember from Episode #68 with Nuru’s founder, Jake Harriman.