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Techstars Hosts Babson Entrepreneur at its Startup Boot Camp in Detroit

Patriot Boot Camp

Patriot Boot Camp

Deniz Emre M’16 and Founder of Qopy was recently selected to represent Babson at Patriot Boot Camp in Detroit, a three day intensive program presented by leading startup accelerator Techstars.  PBC is aimed at equipping Military Veterans with the education, resources, and community needed to be successful technology entrepreneurs.  Below are a few thoughts and key takeaways that Deniz gained from his attendance:

Techstars is Making It Happen for Veterans

There has always been a huge and diverse network of entrepreneurial talent amongst the Veteran community.  Until recently,  it has been largely decentralized with Veteran founders scattered amongst the wider startup ecosystem, and recognized only by the pivotal roles they tend to assume within their respective organizations.

Techstars has recognized this, and decided to take the lead in creating a unique community where Veteran founders can finally connect with one another, and leverage the incredible resources and mentorship that Techstars provides.

The People, Stories, and Speakers Were Unparalleled.

It isn’t easy to transition from military to civilian life as many Military Veterans can surely attest to.  Having said that, the people I met at Patriot Boot Camp made these challenges seem like an afterthought.  It was awe inspiring to hear stories from fellow Veterans who had overcome great personal difficulties, and channeled their innate leadership abilities into founding successful startup companies.

Over the course of the entire weekend we also received eye opening mentorship from 27 presenters that included Venture Capitalists, Patriot Boot Camp Staff and Volunteers, as well as Techstars Entrepreneurs who candidly shared all of their successes and failures with our cohort of 41 Veterans.  When I thought it couldn’t get any better, the caliber of speakers that Techstars brought to Detroit completely blew the collective minds of every Veteran in attendance.  On Day 1 alone, we received a personal welcoming by Techstars co-founder, David Brown as well as an hour long (and much welcomed) lecture on leadership by General George Casey, the 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army.  On the final day of the event, even the Governor of Michigan, Rich Snyder stopped by to show his support.

Highly Motivating  

On Day 3, I had the honor being chosen as one of ten finalists to pitch in front of a panel of Investors and Techstars mentors.  Although I didn’t take first place in the pitch contest, I still felt like a winner in terms of the knowledge, value, and friendships I had gained.  With all that had happened in such a short period of time, I find it incredibly hard to summarize Patriot Boot Camp in a short article.

What I will say to other Veteran Entrepreneurs who want to attend in the future is that it was 100% worth it.   I left with a lot of actionable information that I have since put to good use in my content marketing venture, Qopy.  Looking back at the event over a month later, the fire that was lit in Detroit is still burning brighter than ever.

Special thanks to the Techstars Patriot Boot Camp Team: Charlotte, Sean, and Taylor for making it happen.