Veteran Entrepreneurs Gather at Inaugural Tech Summit in the DFW Area

“It’s important to give veteran’s options. Let them know what resources are available so they can decide what route to take — whether that be entrepreneurial, nonprofit or corporate. It’s powerful to be aware of the resources available to you,” noted Robert Everhart, Recruiting Lead at Accenture Federal Services, on September 17th at Capital Factory’s inaugural Veterans in Tech Summit in Dallas/Fort Worth. Capital Factory is committed to increasing diversity in the tech community by presenting valuable opportunities and resources to veterans looking to join the tech ecosystem.

This was our first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) summit dedicated to veteran entrepreneurs, but it certainly won’t be the last. We look forward to working with local leaders such as Craig Cummings, Capital Factory’s Director of Military and Veteran Affairs, to uplift the veteran entrepreneurial community. Craig often thinks of our space as Fort Capital Factory, home to groups like Army Applications Lab, AFWERX, Defense Innovation Unit, and Bunker Labs, among others. Capital Factory is a strong, structural support that allows veterans within the startup community space to maintain the meaningful connections they made while serving, and meet even more organizations looking to support them.

Jason identified three phases that veterans face:

  • Veterans transition. Grappling with the move from service to veteran, then becoming a veteran entrepreneur.
  • Entering the tech space. Veterans identify tech as a possible career option.
  • Veteran Entrepreneurship. Veteran communities help each other by providing resources and industry guidance.

Empowering, Training & Employing Veterans

Jason’s keynote was followed by an educational discussion on trainings, programs and resources available to veterans transitioning into the tech industry. VR Small, Executive Director at Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center, kicked off the panel by asking: What should our veterans be doing to take advantage of tech opportunities?

Epic Office Hours & Roundtable Discussions

For those that aren’t familiar, Epic Office Hours are a series of lightning speed mentoring sessions that pair startup founders with serial entrepreneurs, corporate executives and investors. Attendees receive a curated schedule of meetings based on various factors including stage and industry. This is a great opportunity to connect with the local entrepreneurial community and receive valuable feedback on your venture.

The Transition from Service to Corporate

Our programming finished off with a Fireside Chat featuring Adam Marr, Management Consultant at Accenture and Co-Founder at the Warrior Angels Foundation; moderated by Sabrina Wojtewicz, Southwest Regional Executive Director at Bunker Labs. Adam’s brother struggled with brain injuries upon returning home from service. After he witnessed his brother grapple with these issues during his transition, Adam vehemently sought out a treatment that proved to be effective for his brother. Though, he soon learned that not everyone had access to the same treatment, so Adam decided to create a non-profit that raises funds and performs outreach to those affected by traumatic brain injuries; offering additional medical care options that aren’t currently offered to active duty or veterans.

Starting the Conversation for Supporting Veteran Founders

By the end of the afternoon, attendees had established shared experiences and familiar issues that arise as veterans explore an entrepreneurial route.

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