Episode 48: Ben Williams, Co-Founder Reelio Labs, Navy Veteran

Ben Willians, Navy Veteran Entrepreneur

Ben Williams, Navy Veteran, Co-Founder Reelio Labs

Ben Williams is a Navy Veteran and Co-Founder of Reelio Labs. Ben grew up outside of Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Navy ROTC Scholarship and was also a member of the Track and Field Team.  He was commissioned upon graduation in May 2001. Ben served on the USS Bunker Hill and served on VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) teams during the invasion of Iraq.

After leaving the Navy, Ben went to work at Lockheed Martin and co-founded Open Sky Energy Systems on the side. I asked him what were the challenges of building a business while he had a “day” job. Ben said:

I would turn that around and say what wasn’t a challenge. Everything about it was hard. But,…I was on such a substantial learning curve that things I was learning in either one (job) reinforced the other. So, it was actually a great help. I think it ended up making both of them more successful more quickly.

Ben has been active in helping Veteran Entrepreneurs (He and I met at TechStars Patriot Boot Camp) and has always been open  helping and connecting people.

You can hear the interview below or on iTunes and Stitcher Radio, don’t forget to Subscribe to the weekly SITREP

Episode 47: Matthew Griffin, Co-Founder Combat Flip Flops, Former Army Ranger

Matt "Griff" Griffin, Former Army Ranger, CEO Combat Flip Flops

Matthew "Griff" Griffin is the Co-Founder and CEO of Combat Flip Flops. Griff grew up in Iowa and graduated from West Point. He attended Ranger School and was assigned to Ft. Lewis, Washington. Griff was assigned to one of the Army's first Stryker … [Continue reading]

Episode 46: Greg Call, Founder PatriotMove, Marine Corps Veteran

Greg Call, Founder PatriotMove, Marine Corps Veteran

Greg Call is the Founder and CEO of PatriotMove. Greg grew up in the Detroit, MI suburbs and got his Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan. He later obtained his Master of Accounting Degree from Michigan State University. He became a … [Continue reading]

Episode 45: Christopher Costa, Marine Veteran, Founder Pocket Square Heroes

Christopher Costa, Founder of Pocket Square Heroes. Marine Veteran

Christopher Costa is the Founder and CEO of Pocket Square Heroes, the world's first award-inspired fashion accessory line for veterans, military, law enforcement, and firefighters. He grew up in northern New Jersey. He enlisted in the Marine Corps … [Continue reading]

Episode 44: Derek Distenfield, CEO and Founder, Legal Docs By Me, Army Veteran

Derek Distenfield, Army Veteran, Founder and CEO Legal Docs By Me

Derek Distenfield is the Founder and CEO of Legal Docs By Me. Derek grew up in California and enlisted in the Army in 2006 and became an Air Traffic Controller. He attended Embry Riddle University while on active duty and was later commissioned as an … [Continue reading]

Episode 43: Josh Karrasch, Founder and CEO TheGunDude.com, Navy Veteran

Josh Karrasch, Navy Veteran, Founder TheGunDude.com

Josh Karrasch is the Founder and CEO of TheGunDude.com. He grew up in Bradford, PA and  served as a paramedic in Pittsburgh after high school. He joined the Navy shortly after 9/11 and served for 5 years as a corpsman. He went to UC Santa Cruz … [Continue reading]

Episode 42: Brian Jaffe, Navy Veteran, Co-Founder Mission Street Manufacturing

Brian Jaffe, Co-Founder and CEO Mission St. Manufacturing, Navy Veteran

Brian Jaffe is the Co-Founder  and CEO of Mission Street Manufacturing. He is from Portland, Oregon and graduated from Princeton in 2006. After graduation, Brian went to Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States … [Continue reading]

Episode 41: Jon Robinson, Veteran Marine Corps Infantryman, Manager in Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation

Jon Robinson dropped out of college after 9/11 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an Infantryman. John served for over 8 years on active duty and in the reserves from Fallujah to Mozambique. Jon currently serves as Manager in … [Continue reading]

What I Learned At Techstars Patriot Boot Camp

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures at Techstars Patriot Boot Camp 2014

I had the opportunity to attend Techstars Patriot Boot Camp in New York City recently. It was an outstanding event and I can't thank the Techstars team enough for putting it on. If you are a veteran who wants to build a technology company, I highly … [Continue reading]