WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Nov 12, 2012) - The Startup America Partnership today announced the formation of the Veterans Working Group, an initiative that highlights the best practices for helping veterans become successful entrepreneurs and promotes startups that are successfully serving our nation's vets. Led by Regional Champions from across the country, the creation of the group is a response to a tremendous level of interest from Startup Regions across the U.S.
"In working with our 30 Startup Regions, we've found that communities across the country are trying to figure out how startups can better serve our returning veterans and how they can provide support for veteran entrepreneurs," said Donna Harris, managing director of Startup Regions at Startup America. "The Veterans Working Group will collect and distribute the most promising ideas, programs, activities and events to help veterans as they pursue their own entrepreneurial goals."
The Working Group has been active on an informal basis since July, participating in events such as:
- The TechStars Patriot Bootcamp, an intense three-day program designed to educate and mentor Veterans and Service Members to innovate, build technology companies, and create jobs.
- The Veteran's Day Weekend Hackathon organized by Vets in Tech to support returning veterans through education, re-integration, and by connecting to the tech ecosystem in San Francisco Bay Area.
With the formalization of the Veterans Working Group, the Startup America Regions will have access to two important initial resources:
- Troop ID has agreed to donate software to all of the launched Startup America Regions on a pro bono basis so that community organizers can validate the military credentials of participants in these types of Veteran-centric events. Troop ID is groundbreaking technology that allows Service Members, Veterans and Military Spouses to digitally verify their military credentials to military-friendly brands and reputable organizations in order to claim discounts and benefits.
- In conjunction with VETransfer, the Veterans Working Group will be organizing a multi-city hackathon, in which any of the Startup America Regions may participate. VETransfer is a nonprofit business accelerator for America's military veterans, which has seen incredible demand from Veterans who want to start a business. The hackathon will take place in early spring, and it is designed to encourage the community at large to connect with Veterans and build a stronger entrepreneurial community.
Membership to the Veterans Working Group is open to all Regional Champions, with all participants expected to be active and engaged in the group's activities. The leadership team consists of:
- Paige Craig, Angel Investor; Veteran
- Dawn Halfaker, CEO, Halfaker & Associates; Veteran
- Blake Hall, CEO, Troopswap; Veteran
- Kelly Perdew, Co-Founder and CEO, TargetClose; Winner of The Apprentice 2; Veteran
- Nick Wichert, Co-Founder and CEO, VETransfer
For more information or to join the Veterans Working Group, please visit www.s.co/vets.
About the Startup America Partnership
The Startup America Partnership is a growing national movement of thousands of founders, experts and resources providing startups access to the corporations, investors, and services they need to grow. Launched at the White House in early 2011, the Partnership brings together startups and local champions from around the country focused on creating successful networks for young, high-growth companies to thrive. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are its founding partners. American Airlines, American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., Microsoft and NYSE Euronext are corporate sponsors. For more information on the Partnership, visit www.s.co and follow us at www.twitter.com/startupamerica and www.facebook.com/startupamerica.