Event Recap: Patriot Boot Camp New York City 2015

The first Patriot Boot Camp of 2015 was held from April 17 to 19 at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York City. This was the inaugural Patriot Boot Camp under the leadership tenure of Sean Maday and Charlotte Creech, and the response from participants was overwhelmingly positive. The New York 2015 cohort can be summed up by the following metrics:

  • 72 military veterans/spouses participated
  • 59 unique startup companies
  • Participants represented 28 U.S. states and 1 Canadian province
  • 34 presenters shared their expertise
  • 46 mentors volunteered their time
  • 407 organized mentor sessions (20 minutes each)
  • 8100+ minutes of professional mentorship



Patriot Boot Camp involves long days of education, mentorship and community building. Each participant came to New York ready to work hard, learn new material and grow their business vision. Below is a sampling of the awesome feedback the event received on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/ComVetwithPTSD/status/590217050683023360 https://twitter.com/jschmeling/status/589860359298756608 https://twitter.com/jamesdalman/status/590181206626607104 https://twitter.com/MarkRockefeller/status/589840069642608640

Guest Blog Post: How The NYC Bootcamp Prepared Me For Battle

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']https://media.licdn.com/media/p/8/005/046/2f6/151fb0d.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jeff Swanson is the Founder and CEO of StreetBuff. Jeff is an Army Veteran who attended Patriot Boot Camp in 2014 and returned as a community member at the New York program in 2015.[/author_info] [/author]

After exiting the military world, I read "The 4-Hour Workweek" and decided to create my first startup. Since then, I have been reading more and more, testing my ideas, taking risks, and learning from failures and successes. Last summer, I attended my first Tech Conference, The NYC Patriot Boot Camp. This incredible event was a game-changer for me. Here is how these four days impacted my battle plan and how I thought about startups.


First of all, I would say that my first major boost of confidence was when my idea was accepted and I was invited to attend. I had applied to the TechStars program twice before and didn't quite make it. Funny story - I found out that I was accepted through a friend of a friend and had to dig through my trash bin to find the official e-mail. Learning that I made the cut was similar to the feeling I had when I first said the oath at MEPS: joining a group of inspiring people who chose to do something that others are unwilling to do. At the time, I didn't quite know what to expect, but I knew that it was a great opportunity and that I needed to make the most of it.


As soon as I arrived to New York City, I took it all in. Monumental buildings, sub-cultures under sub-cultures, the rich and famous living among the poor and hopeful - anything and everything within an arm’s reach. This is the place where dreams are pursued and conquered. It's New York City! It felt like when I had first left the walls of Liberty and witnessed with the consequences of war with my own eyes for the first time. No longer was NYC just a fictional place, the City you see on TV. It was real, right here in front of my eyes sharing its entrepreneurial energy with me and sparking ideas into my brain. More on that later.


Let's talk about the people. The TechStars staff was an overall presence of encouragement. They went above and beyond to express gratitude for our service.  The speakers were an all-star lineup.  There were people who have experienced wild success, like Craig Newmark, who made us dream big, and people who are living the day-to-day grind, like David Cass, who gave us sound practical advice.  We were also able to mingle and network with some very influential professionals from top tech companies like Google and Amazon.  Being around all these people was in my mind like a weeklong training with the Special Forces. An elite level of people with real world experience willing to teach you what you need to know to survive and complete your mission.


And then, there were the other veterans.  One of my favorite parts about the Bootcamp was meeting people who had so much in common with me.  Let's face it: we've done things that most people could never dream of and we now devour the business world as civilians.  Put a bunch of us together and we’ve got a lot to talk about!  Ask any one of us what we miss about the Military and 9 times out of 10, you'll hear "the camaraderie".  It's what keeps us waking up in the morning to face another day of challenges.  We share struggles and victories and together we drive on.

 Street Buff


This brings me back to the fact that when you are around great people and in the right environment, ideas show up.  My idea came as I was walking around the city looking for authentic experiences. In my quest, I was asking locals questions like: "Where’s the best Mexican food around here?" and "Is there anything fun happening tonight?" I learned that New Yorkers are very kind, despite the reputation.  Some of them really went out of their way to help me, and I found myself wishing I could pay them back somehow.  That's when it hit me: how about we create an app that connects travelers like me with friendly, street-savvy locals in real time, and then offer them a tip to show our gratitude? It's called StreetBuff. We are now launching in NYC and helping visitors have a better, more authentic experience of the City. And thanks to the recon I did while at the Bootcamp, we are accomplishing our mission.

If you want to learn more about the Patriot Boot Camp or StreetBuff, feel free to send me an email at: jeff@streetbuff.com. I’m always happy to share my insights and answer your questions. And if you need some insider’s tips to make your visit to the Big Apple special, download StreetBuff from the app store and just ask the locals for some "on the ground intelligence".


Agenda Released for 2015 PBC in New York City

We are excited to release a draft agenda for this month's Patriot Boot Camp in New York City. There are 80 Veteran and military spouse participants confirmed for this event, and we have lined up three days of excellent education, mentorship and inspiration!

We are extremely appreciative for the all of the sponsors that have partnered with us to make this event possible! The anchor sponsors for the 2015 New York Patriot Boot Camp are Galvanize, Palantir, Goldman Sachs and the Jared Polis Foundation.

Patriot Boot Camp - New York City - 2015 - Sponsors

Mentorship at Patriot Boot Camp

Patriot Boot Camp New York starts on April 17, 2015, and the PBC team is working hard to line up a stellar cadre of mentors for the event.


Mentorship is a foundational pillar of Patriot Boot Camp. This underlying focus on mentorship comes from the program’s roots in the Techstars network.


In 2011, David Cohen, the CEO of Techstars, published a canonical piece on mentor behavior in his Mentor Manifesto. Patriot Boot Camp borrows from this Techstars model for mentorship to maximize the impact of our 3-day events.


At each PBC event we seek a ratio of 1.5 participants to each mentor. This gives every participant the opportunity to meet with many different individuals during mentorship blocks in the program schedule. These sessions are akin to speed dating rounds.


PBC Mentorship In Action 2013


Whether a participant is in the early stages of hashing a product idea, is ready to bring a prototype to market, or is already generating revenue, a mentor can add value to their endeavors. That value can come in the form of moral support, help identifying next steps, assistance evaluating market opportunities and everything in between. Mentorship scales to all stages of entrepreneurship.


When the Patriot Boot Camp team recruits mentors, we look for the following characteristics:

  • seasoned business professionals (experience can be relatively broad)

  • expertise in some facet of the tech industry and/or entrepreneurship

  • ability to provide entrepreneurs feedback from many different points of view

There is no expectation that relationships between mentors and entrepreneurs will endure beyond the PBC event. In many cases though, we find that mentors form a lasting connection with at least one PBC participant. The factors that lead to lasting connections involve level of comfort, level of interest and ongoing needs of the entrepreneur.


Entrepreneurship is a team sport, and having good mentors is a critical component to winning!

PBC Application Review Criteria

The early application deadline for the New York City Patriot Boot Camp event closed on Friday, March 6, 2015. We have reviewed all of the applications we received before the cutoff date and accepted 40 participants.

PBC Blog Checklist As the final application window approaches, we wanted to share some details about the framework we use for choosing participants. As we review each application, we assess the following qualities:

  • Is the applicant developing an idea or building a scalable technology company?
  • Does the applicant have genuine interest in technology entrepreneurship?
  • Does the applicant show a commitment to creating a startup?
  • Is the applicant taking steps to mature an idea into a company by actively iterating on a product or service in the market or scaling a technology business?
  • Is the applicant willing to learn and open to feedback?

Finally, we assess if PBC can benefit an applicant’s entrepreneurial endeavors. For instance, if a company has already raised a Series A round of funding, the business is likely beyond the stage where PBC can add significant value.

We are accepting applications through the final application deadline on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Apply now!

We hope to see you in New York!


April 2015 PBC Event Announced for New York City

Patriot Boot Camp Presented by Techstars is coming to New York City from April 17 to 19, 2015.

Click here to apply for the New York PBC event.

Patriot Boot Camp is an intensive 3-day program focused on helping military Veterans and spouses become successful technology entrepreneurs.

PBC is free for all participants. The application for the New York City event is open now and will close on March 19, 2015.

PBC in NYC - April 2015

Click here to apply for the New York PBC event.

Sean Maday Joins the Patriot Boot Camp Team

The Patriot Boot Camp Board of Directors has welcomed Sean Maday full time to the PBC team. Maday-Family-Man

Sean's deep technology and business experience will help us expand the Patriot Boot Camp event schedule and grow the PBC alumni community . Sean comes to the team after founding his own geospatial consulting company, working at two fast-growth startups, doing a stint in Silicon Valley, and spending four years as an active-duty officer in the United States Air Force.

Sean has been an enthusiastic participant in the technology, entrepreneurship and Veterans communities – check him out delivering a keynote presentation at the 2013 Defense Entrepreneurs Forum and (in uniform!) at the 2009 Where conference.

Sean lives in Colorado with his wife, two daughters, and a fierce dapple wiener dog.


Patriot Boot Camp Welcomes Charlotte Creech

The Patriot Boot Camp team welcomes Charlotte Creech. Charlotte brings to PBC a deep passion for entrepreneurship and serving Veterans. An alumna of the first 2 PBC cohorts, Charlotte’s focus will be on expanding programming and business development.


Prior to joining the team, Charlotte co-founded Combat2Career, an edtech startup delivering web apps to match Veterans with higher education programs, and built VOBSource.com, an online resource directory and community forum for Veteran-owned businesses and Veteran entrepreneurs in Connecticut. She also spent a number of years working as a consultant for a Fortune 500 insurance corporation.

Charlotte looks forward to leveraging her business and entrepreneurial skills to grow Patriot Boot Camp’s reach and impact among the “next greatest generation” of Veteran entrepreneurs.

Charlotte resides in Connecticut with her husband, daughter, and one very large cat.


The Patriot Boot Camp Story

With generous financial support from the Jared Polis Foundation, Patriot Boot Camp is executing an ambitious growth plan for 2015. As the PBC team embarks on a year of expansion it is fun to look back at where Patriot Boot Camp has been and the positive impact this program has had on military Veterans and spouses.

This video from 2012 does an awesome job of sharing the PBC story.

[youtube id=KoV8EfQ7oEA]