How did you get interested in the military, and what did you do in the Marine Corps?
I wanted to be a Marine since I was a teenager and a recruiter came to our Boy Scout meeting in his dress blues. After high school I was appointed to the Naval Academy where I majored in Applied Science (the computer science major of that day, when our computers were mainframes in a data center).
Upon graduation I was commissioned as a 2ndLt in the Marine Corps. I served during the Cold War. After The Basic School I served as an infantry officer in 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton. After being 3rd platoon commander, I served as the S-3A and Battalion Legal Officer. My final duty station was Guard Officer of the Marine unit at NAS Brunswick in Maine.
What made you interested in starting a technology company, and how did you get involved with Patriot Boot Camp?
I got hooked on creating a tech company after reading "Innovation & Entrepreneurship" by Peter Drucker. My first tech company was CompuGuide Services and we built web intranet sites for Merck pharmaceutical at their global headquarters in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
This time around I'm building a mobile app/web company called The University Prosperity League. UPL helps recent college grads (and their parents) convert career aspirations into career achievement by conducting fun tournaments for teams of five alumni and their assigned mentors. Matches are played against teams from rival schools.
A friend introduced me to Al Doan who introduced me to John Hrivnak, the rest as they say, is history. I attended in NYC in 2014 and 2015, both events were superb!
What have you gained through your your Patriot Boot Camp participation?
Patriot Boot Camp transformed my thinking about myself and my odds as an entrepreneur.
My view of myself went from being "an individual entrepreneur toiling alone" into "a member of a vibrant community of fellow veterans" where the other entrepreneurs, speakers and staff all conveyed the message that my military background gave me a depth of transferable skills that could help me succeed as an entrepreneur.
The encouraging words of the mentors on the Saturday sessions and afterwards have been a boost. The pitch competition on the stage of Goldman-Sachs was another high point of my PBC experience. The breadth of topics and the industry expertise of the speakers is excellent. Craig Newmark, Robin Chase, Paul Walker, and Joanne Wilson are four that have made an ongoing impression.
Out of last year's PBC I took advantage of the generous offer from John Robinson and Michelle Markey of the Kauffman Foundation and participated in their first-ever "FastTrac for Veteran Entrepreneurs" ten week online course. Taylor's event staff last year and Sean's team this year have built something that is truly remarkable.
What is next on your entrepreneurial journey?
Currently I have taken mentor Adam Berk up on his "MilValChal" and theUPL.net is completing 100 Customer Development interviews in 50 days. In parallel with UPL, I have an ongoing interest in "paying it forward" by blogging about entrepreneurship on venturedad.us as well as actively participating in the PBC community on uvize.com.
I intend on entering the Rising Stars program, after I consult with my mentors from PBC. I actively promote the incredible Patriot Boot Camp opportunity for veterans via the USNA Entrepreneurs LinkedIn group and my other social media networks. I hope to come back to PBC as an alumni mentor, or other volunteer, next year in NYC.