In the last four years we have seen the rise of the vetrepreneurs, these warriors turned business owners have a drive and passion most of their civilian counterparts only wish they could have. I wanted to share 22.6 veterans and veteran-owned businesses you should know in 2017:
1) Daniel Alarik, CEO - Grunt Style / Alpha Outpost
This army drill instructor turned CEO manages both military and patriotic clothing brand - Grunt Style, as well as Alpha Outpost, a monthly subscription box company that features items each month around a theme. Both of these companies appeal to both veterans and civilians and are worth checking out.
2) Travis McVey, Founder - Heroes Vodka
Founded in 2009, Heroes Vodka is the creation of McVey -- a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran who proudly served as a Presidential Honor Guard from 1989-1992. An innovative and determined entrepreneur, he endured the life-changing tragedy of a good friend dying in combat in the War Against Terror in Afghanistan. The experience paved the way for the production of Heroes Vodka, which donates a portion of every sale to AMVETS, helping to make a difference in the lives of the brave men and women who have sacrificed for our country.
3) Jas Boothe - Creator, Discharged / Founder, Final Salute, Inc.
The always inspiring story of Jas Boothe cannot be held to just one quick paragraph. While serving in the Army, Boothe was struck by Hurricane Katrina, diagnosed with cancer and became homeless all within in a matter of months. Rather than feeling sorry for herself, she battled back and vowed to never leave a comrade behind and founded Final Salute, Inc., which helps homeless veteran women with housing and into the workforce. Now, she’s taking on a new project as the creator of the animated comedy, Discharged, which is currently accepting funds via a Kickstarter program. If Family Guy, Friends and Full Metal Jacket had a baby, Discharged would be their offspring. Being a Soldier, married to a Marine Combat Veteran and mother to an Airmen, we are sure she has plenty of comedic material in her arsenal.
4) Jeremy Knauff - CEO - Spartan Media
A Marine Corps veteran, Knauff has transitioned from military life to the digital world. As the CEO of Spartan Media, he works to provide web design, SEO, social media, and PPC marketing services. He prides himself as an entrepreneur, digital marketer, author, proud father, and husband.
5) Brandon Buttrey - Founder - Counterstrike Coffee
With nearly ten years of experience as a Hospital Corpsman in the US Navy, Brandon “Doc” Buttrey, is the founder of Counterstrike Coffee, a service disabled veteran owned and operated coffee company that provides motivational pre-packaged ground or whole bean coffee to the fire red-blooded patriots out there. A portion of proceeds is then donated back into the veteran warfighter community.
6) Donny O'Malley - Founder - Vet TV
A former Marine Corps infantryman, Donny O’Malley is the founder of Vet TV, an irreverent entertainment network that provides military humor for veterans, by veterans. With shows like “Kill, Die, Laugh” and “A Grunt’s Life,” the Netflix-like network will bring the veteran community together through laughter.
7) Daniel Eric - Founder - Veteran Syndicate Radio
Daniel Eric, a Marine veteran created Veteran Syndicate Radio as a great place for veterans to gather for live radio/streaming broadcasts. Mainly sponsored by Alpha Outpost and Grunt Style, the syndicate has two types of stations, Station X for comedy and mayhem, and Station N for News and Sports.
8) Greg Jumes - Founder - Victor App
From 0311 in the Marine Corps to private security Jumes has seen his share of the world. Now he’s working on an app that helps servicemen and women in their separation from the service and into civilian life. His app, Victor App, will be released later this year. Expect it to make the relocation process easy and less stressful by recommending cities based on what the user is looking for in their life after service, both professionally and personally. Victor collaborates with local community services and businesses, to support the military community with discounts, activities, consultations, career services, and much more.
9) Eric L. Mitchell, CEO - LifeFlip Media
This Marine Corps veteran turned serial entrepreneur has helped multiple companies transition through acquisitions in the Silicon Valley, and now has transitioned himself from a sales leader to Public Relations. His company, LifeFlip Media, is focused on helping veteran-owned and veteran-focused companies reach their target audience with the precision of a sniper.
10) Michael J. Penney - Founder - Cigars and Sea Stories
Penney, a Marine veteran, and marksman, has turned his experiences and connections into the Cigars and Sea Stories Podcast. With guests including John Lee Dumas, Rudy Reyes, Tim Jensen, Evan McMullin, and Sam Meek, Penney’s podcast is a great place to find not only great stories from his guests time in the service but also with their transition and new business ventures.
11) Michael Woods - Founder - A Warriors Mind
A 13-year Navy veteran, Woods now moves to help others in the veteran community via A Warrior’s Mind. A Warrior’s Mind features local events, showcases veterans entrepreneurs, helps individual families, and more. The primary focus is to bring veterans and civilians together in their community. They assist in transitioning from military to civilian life by helping vets in need, connecting with veteran-friendly employers, promoting a fit lifestyle, and hosting community building events. One of the hardest parts of anyone’s military service is the transition to civilian life. A Warrior’s Mind is here to support vets because no one gets left behind.
12) Adam Bird- Founder - Heroes Media Group
A 10-year veteran of the Army National Guard, Bird founded Heroes Media Group in July 2015. Heroes Media Group is a broadcasting platform dedicated to providing a voice for community heroes and those who support them. The group provides education, entertainment, and empowerment to active duty, veteran, firefighters, first responders, law enforcement, educators, medical professionals, and clergy. Heroes Media Group is poised to be the voice for all community heroes by bridging the gap between the hero, citizen and the communities they protect, educate, and empower.
13) Carter Davis- Founder - Lift for the 22
A 6-year Navy Corpsman, Davis knows that physical health is a great first step to overall health. In January 2015, Davis founded Lift for the 22, a domestic non-profit. Lift For The 22 is a veteran transitional support organization designed to decrease veteran suicides due to transitional depression/anxiety and service connected PTSD. Lift For The 22 purchases and acquires donated gym memberships from fitness facilities across the country and re-distributes those memberships to veterans located near the facilities. Lift For The 22 is growing rapidly across the country and is currently in 144+ locations nationwide.
14) Aaron Wolf - Adventures Accessed
This Marine turned adventurer created Adventures Accessed as a way for Chicagoans to have a non-urban experience within only a few hours of the city. Wolf specializes in outfitting, camping, land navigation, corporate team building, and relationship building. Coupling his passions for wildlife, teamwork, and adventure, his goal is to provide groups the opportunities to grow through experiential learning in our wild spaces. As a registered outfitter/guide in our National Forests, Wolf takes great pride in educating and sharing our environment with curious teams who are ready to build cohesion, trust, critical skills or simply take a break from the grind by facing the unique challenges found in the backcountry.
15) Adam Dince - Author - Hopeful to Hired
A Navy veteran, Dince is currently the Director of Digital Marketing at Arrowhead Electrical Products. Also, he’s the author of the new book Hopeful to Hired. The book covers everything undergraduate, and graduate students need to know so that they are ready to find their dream job when they begin entering the workforce. This book proves indispensable not only for college students but for anyone preparing to enter the job hunt from the military, high school, or even another job. This empowering book will take the dread out of graduation and help lead you seamlessly into your dream job.
16) Dean Bundschu - Executive Director - Bunker Labs RDU
Ready to help veterans begin their entrepreneurial journey, Bundschu blends his Army Infantry background and entrepreneurial experience at Bunker Labs RDU as the Executive Director. Bunker Labs is a 501(c)3 non-profit, entrepreneurship-support organization that supports early-stage, veteran-owned businesses and veteran entrepreneurs, filling a critical need to train returning veterans on how to effectively launch, build, and grow a business.
17) Dale King - Founder - Doc Spartan
A former military intelligence officer with the 10th Special Forces Group, King founded Doc Spartan in June of 2015 and appeared on Shark Tank Episode 816 where he secured a deal with Robert Herjavec. Developing an all-natural first aid ointment for the folks at the gym King and co-founder Renee Wallace, made an ointment for the fitness community. They wanted something that could help the athletes of Team SAR, and something rugged enough that King’s old military buddies could use to for the everyday nicks/cuts/scrapes you encounter out in the field and on the range.
18) John Burk - Founder - In the Arena
As an Army Infantryman Burk knows that fitness and nutrition are keys to success. As the founder and CEO of In the Arena, Burk offers a subscription based plan providing basic nutrition and exercise training to those who cannot afford a personal trainer or nutritionist. His website aids the user by providing videos on proper exercises, proper nutrition, as well as how to develop your workout and nutrition plan. He offers motivational videos and several written articles helping someone with little to no fitness or nutrition experience understand the basic concepts of exercising and eating right.
19) Mat Best - CEO - Article 15 Clothing
As a retired Army Ranger, Best was featured in the movie Range 15 and is currently the CEO of Article 15 Clothing. Article 15 Clothing developed from an idea to reality; their guiding light is to provide the best quality of clothing to its supporters. They also look to bring laughter and awareness to the men and women who have so selflessly protected our freedoms. Article 15 Clothing’s branding hopes to bring together the community and show how we support our constitutional rights and the brave souls who protect them.
20) Evan Hafer - CEO - Black Rifle Coffee
With 14 years experience as an infantryman, a Special Forces soldier, and a CIA contractor, Hafer founded Black Rifle Coffee as a small batch coffee roasting company to supply a premium roast to order coffee to the working man. BRC imports specialty coffee beans directly from Colombia & Brazil, then personally blends and roasts each coffee shipped directly to the consumer.
21) Ryan Shannon - Founder - MusicRX
Shannon, a veteran of the US Navy, who suffers from a TBI (traumatic brain injury), post-traumatic stress disorder, complex regional pain syndrome, and incomplete paralysis of his left foot, is beginning a new venture named MusicRX. MusicRX is going have three goals: To obtain musical instruments for veterans to own/use, to obtain music lessons from professionals for the veterans to learn how to play, and to create outings such as concerts, recitals, etc...all no cost to the veteran. MusicRX will incorporate music therapy into a veterans healing process.
22) Graham Allen - The Daily Rants Guy
Everyone’s favorite ranter and Army veteran, Allen, goes on daily rants on Facebook which draw attention to many different veteran topics as well as other popular topics. He’s also appeared with Tomi Lahren’s show on The Blaze TV giving what he called “The Mother of All Rants”.
22.6) American Dream U
Not quite a vetrepreneur, American Dream U is the .6 that completes our .226 inspired list. American Dream U focuses on completing the very important mission of career, business & professional development of our brothers and sisters in arms. They are a team dedicated to bridging the gap between military and civilian. They provide tools to active military, veterans, and their spouses. The arsenal of tools they provide is always growing and it includes national events, professional leadership, and mentorship speeches, monthly meetups, an online educational program, a transition book that highlights veteran success stories, and a start-up accelerator program.
Landmark Life Coaching’s Mission is to honorably and respectfully serve courageous groundbreakers and transitioning veterans to persevere in defining and executing their future by providing an atmosphere of comradery and trust that honors their dedication and commitment. This will empower our clients to feel whole, honored, respected and fulfilled in defining and living their life purpose.
Charlie Mike Podcast is where our Nations Combat Veteranpreneur’s talk about how they transformed their combat experience into a groundbreaking entrepreneurial success. We will discuss their experience in relation to what I have defined as their VisualReality; their personal vision of building a successful business leveraging their combat experience to bring the core strengths of a combat veteran into the entrepreneurial realm.
Veterans Coach/Podcaster/Speaker/Writer Dwayne.firstname.lastname@example.org