Patriot Boot Camp and Operation Code join forces to help military veterans become technology entrepreneurs

At Patriot Boot Camp, we’re on a mission to equip military service members, veterans, and spouses with the education, mentorship, access to resources, and community support they need to build technology companies of scale and impact.  We’re excited to announce that, beginning with our 2017 programs, Patriot Boot Camp is teaming up with Operation Code to help drive the technical enablement and competency of our veteran founders!

Since 2012, PBC has delivered startup education and hands-on mentoring to more than 500 military veteran and spouse entrepreneurs. In a symbiotic and complementary way, Operation Code serves the very same population by enabling veterans to learn to code, and empowering them to build software that changes the world.  By joining forces, Patriot Boot Camp and Operation Code can effectively accelerate the founding and growth of new technology startup ventures by cultivating a community and talent pipeline that will connect software engineers with non-technical entrepreneurs, virtually and in-person, at all of Patriot Boot Camp's programs.  

“We could not be more thrilled on this joint PBC/Operation Code partnership to deploy internal assets onsite at all PBC programs, and to help fellow veteran entrepreneurs launch their ideas onto the web,” said David Molina, Founder & Executive Director of Operation Code.  “We look forward to accelerating the growth of more veteran-founded and veteran-led software companies.”  

Operation Code will be joining Patriot Boot Camp at all 2017 programs, volunteering time and expertise to help veteran entrepreneurs with product architecture, technical direction, and pro bono development consulting.

"Patriot Boot Camp is thrilled to partner with Operation Code, to reduce the barrier between startup founders with great ideas and the development of those ideas into viable products," said Charlotte Creech, PBC's Executive Director.  "Not only is Operation Code comprised of several Patriot Boot Camp alumni, including its founder, senior leadership and a board member, but they are incredible, passionate people who care deeply about the economic reintegration and skill development of the veteran community."  

Patriot Boot Camp considers Operation Code a critical partner in our work and is thrilled to collaborate to jointly serve the military and veteran entrepreneurial community in 2017 and beyond!

For more information about Patriot Boot Camp’s 2017 schedule, please visit:

For more information about Operation Code, please visit:

Hillary Clinton visits PBC's Denver HQ; Patriot Boot Camp launches new website

A Momentous Day for Galvanize & PBC

Tuesday, June 28:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, visited the Galvanize Denver (Golden Triangle) campus, Patriot Boot Camp's Denver headquarters.  

During her visit, Clinton toured the campus with Galvanize's leadership team, unveiled her innovation and technology agenda for economic growth, and spent time with two Galvanize-based organizations:  PanXchange and Patriot Boot Camp.

Hillary Clinton discusses military veteran entrepreneurship and transition education programs with Josh Anderson, Director at Patriot Boot Camp, and Ben Deda, COO of Galvanize.

Hillary Clinton discusses military veteran entrepreneurship and transition education programs with Josh Anderson, Director at Patriot Boot Camp, and Ben Deda, COO of Galvanize.

As she addressed the large crowd assembled at Galvanize Tuesday, Clinton discussed PBC's mission and the issue of veteran employment and reintegration:

"I want to thank Josh Anderson of Patriot Boot Camp for working on another set of challenges, and that is:  how we do a much, much better job creating employment pathways for our vets – something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about and working on. 

There are good ideas out there, but they’re not yet broad enough, deep enough, so that we are really doing what we should to give our vets the chance to have a good future.  It needs to start as – I was just talking to Josh and Ben about – it needs to start while they’re still in the military, before they leave.  We don’t do a good enough job with transition planning.  We’ve got to do more to get them connected with successful programs that produce results.

So, using Patriot Boot Camp as an example, and given the results that you’ve had, gives me a lot of hope that we can do a much better job for our vets.  And that’s something that I am 100 percent committed to." 

Mrs. Clinton also shared her tech agenda, using Galvanize as inspiration for her broader vision.  See video below.

The PBC team is beyond grateful for Mrs. Clinton's support for Patriot Boot Camp*, her commitment to our veteran and entrepreneur communities, and we are honored to call Galvanize a partner and a HQ. 

New PBC Website

On the heels of Mrs. Clinton's visit, Patriot Boot Camp is also proud to announce the launch of a newly designed site, that includes a new donation portal, a t-shirt shop, and a new alumni perks page.  Please share your feedback with us!


While Patriot Boot Camp does not endorse any political party or candidate, we welcome and value the support of any candidate who advocates for our entrepreneurs and military veterans.  We see entrepreneurship and veterans programs as transcending party lines.  While we welcome feedback and positive discourse on substantive issues, we do not welcome vitriol or politically-charged comments.

Event Recap: Patriot Boot Camp in Austin, TX (June 3-5, 2016)

Thank you to the amazing entrepreneurs, sponsors, speakers, mentors, volunteers, and community members who helped make Patriot Boot Camp in Austin, Texas a huge success! Below is an infographic with details on this event:


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#PBCATX would not have been possible without support from these sponsors. Thank you!


Press Release: Patriot Boot Camp coming to Austin (June 3-5, 2016)

Patriot Boot Camp is coming to Austin, Texas next week, from June 3-5, to host the 9th installment of their technology entrepreneurship education program for the military community. The program will welcome 50 military veteran and spouse entrepreneurs from 15 states, who will participate in education, mentorship and networking programs at the Texas State Capitol and the new Austin Galvanize campus over the course of three intensive days.

The event will be sponsored locally by USAA.

Click on the image below to download the press release announcing this exciting and impactful event!


Josh Anderson Joins the Patriot Boot Camp Team

The Patriot Boot Camp Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Josh Anderson to the PBC team as the organization's Development Director, leading community development, partnerships and alumni programs.

Josh is no stranger to helping early-stage organizations grow.  After cutting his teeth consulting with larger organizations including Google, Vail Resorts and Accenture (where he built their Military Recruiting program), he built and managed talent & people operations functions at SendGrid, Ello, Parkifi, Ibotta and FullContact.  He is also a mentor to the Galvanize community and has been an organizer of Denver Startup Week since it began.

Prior to his foray into managing people operations and growth for scaling companies, Josh spent five years on active duty in the Marine Corps, leading intelligence operations for a Special Operations Capable unit during two expeditionary deployments to over a dozen countries.

Josh has been an outspoken champion of Colorado's entrepreneurial and veteran communities, and is honored to be working with Patriot Boot Camp in this capacity, to develop partnerships and programs that will equip military veterans and spouses for greater success as entrepreneurs.

Josh lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, son, and French Bulldog.  In his free time he enjoys listening to jazz records, working on old houses, quality time with his wife, and trying to raise a well-adjusted child.

Derek Herrera - From Special Operations to Startup Founder

I ask a lot of people, “What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?” Derek Herrera’s inspiring entrepreneurial story begins very differently than most:

“I was paralyzed while conducting combat operations in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan when I was shot in the spine while leading my team on patrol.”

A Marine special operations officer, Derek was paralyzed from the chest down in June 2012 when he was hit by a sniper's bullet while leading members of Marine Corps Special Operations Command in Afghanistan. Derek spent months in hospitals recovering but he wasn’t just learning to adjust to his injuries; amazingly, he was planning his next career. While most people in that situation would be asking questions like “why me?”, Derek spent most of his time asking “what’s next?”. He told me, “I wasn’t about to rot away in a hospital bed”. Derek is a fighter. I first met Derek at Patriot Boot Camp (PBC), New York in 2014. I immediately knew Derek was a force; he is one of those people who you just kind of know is impacting the world in a very positive way. His intelligence is clear and his attitude is driven; it was clear to me that I should either get out of his way or get in his corner; I chose the latter. Derek is the CEO and founder of Spinal Singularity, but more on that in a bit.

After medically retiring from the Marine Corps, Derek was accepted to UCLA’s prestigious Executive MBA program. While he enjoyed the education at UCLA, like many academic programs, he felt it was very theoretical. Derek is a pragmatic entrepreneur and his military experience told him that he needed not only strategic theory, but also to learn the “tactical application”. When a friend and fellow Veteran told him to “check out PBC”, Derek being Derek, forged ahead. At PBC Derek found a network that helped guide him on his next mission. Derek goes on to say:

“Patriot Boot Camp connected me with a global network of veterans who I now have in my corner as mentors and teammates.”

Derek’s emotional intelligence is second to none and he credits that to his special operations background. He clearly understands the value of mentorship:

“Special operators don’t really specialize in any one thing; our specialty is critical thinking and being adaptive while solving problems. We are not the best at any one thing; therefore, we have to constantly seek mentorship and learn from subject matter experts.”

This mindset is one that Derek applies every day as the CEO of Spinal Singularity. It may shock someone to hear this but Derek describes starting a company as “far scarier than anything I’ve ever done”. For a little perspective, let’s keep in mind that Derek is a special operations veteran critically wounded in combat. Entrepreneurs are often described as ‘fearless’ but in reality, Derek says, “that’s BS”. The sentiment makes for cool articles heroizing founders in entrepreneurship magazines but Derek teaches us all that emotional intelligence is the ultimate foundation of strength.

  photo credit: Nelvin C. Cepeda, San Diego Tribune

Like many passionate founders, their company is an extension of their soul. Derek is no exception. His company Spinal Singularity is the maker of the “connected catheter, the world’s first smart catheter system for a neurogenic bladder.” So what is a neurogenic bladder? The short answer is the lack of bladder control due to a brain or spinal cord injury. Neurogenic bladders have many effects, one of which is the inability to sense the fullness of the bladder (learn more). In other words, not knowing when you have to urinate. Derek states,

“Neurogenic bladder is a problem that has affected me every day since I’ve been injured.”

It is often said that the greatest source of entrepreneurial passion is to “scratch your own itch”.  Derek takes this concept a huge step further. Like most paraplegics, “walking” was not the function that Derek missed most after his injury. In fact, according to Derek, bladder control is missed more by most paraplegics than walking. This is more than an “itch” to Derek. He describes modern day catheters as “medieval” and “unchanged for decades” and to make matters worse they have to be inserted and removed up to ten times per day.

If we’ve learned one thing about Derek it is that he doesn’t wait for others to fight his battles. Derek, utilizing his resources at UCLA sought out and found biomedical engineers that could help him to create the connected catheter. It’s an implanted device that senses bladder fullness and controls urine flow without the need to insert disposable catheters. In fact, the connected catheter amazingly relays information, such as bladder fullness, to a smart phone or watch. Spinal Singularity went on from PBC to Y-Combinator, one of our nation’s most competitive startup accelerators (about 98% of companies who apply are rejected). Derek and his team are moving quickly toward a $2.2m seed round of investment and the connected catheter will seek FDA approval in 2017.

Derek’s entrepreneurial spirit I think is captured by a powerful balance of determination and humbleness; traits he credits to his Marine Corps background. A warrior with an endless fight, Derek also readily acknowledges all that he doesn’t know. For all that he “doesn’t know”, Derek constantly seeks mentorship from those who hold deeper expertise than him. In many conversations with Derek, he acknowledges the significant lessons he has learned from his many mentors. I often wonder if Derek realizes how much we are all learning from him.

By Dave Cass | @davidleecass

For more information on Derek and Spinal Singularity: | @spinalsingularity

Patriot Boot Camp (PBC) is a nonprofit on a mission to equip active duty military members, Veterans, and their spouses with the education, resources, and community needed to be successful technology entrepreneurs. Apply here:

Maday Joins Stabilitas as Chief of Data; Creech assumes Executive Director Role

As many of you know, Patriot Boot Camp's Program Director, Sean Maday, stepped down in March to embark upon a new professional pursuit. We are pleased to announce that he has joined the ranks of PBC alumni company, Stabilitas, as Chief of Data. Operations Director, Charlotte Creech, has assumed the role of Executive Director of Patriot Boot Camp.

Sean Maday at Patriot Boot Camp in New York City, April 17-19, 2015.

During his year with Patriot Boot Camp, Sean was instrumental in building new partnerships and executing four Patriot Boot Camp events serving 200 entrepreneurs. Although we will miss working with him on a daily basis, we couldn't be more excited that his talents will remain in the Patriot Boot Camp portfolio family.

After attending Patriot Boot Camp in New York City in 2014, Stabilitas founder, Greg Adams, met his Chief Technology Officer through the PBC network. Since then, the company has raised private capital, and completed the Techstars Cloud accelerator. We look forward to tracking their continued success and have no doubt that Sean will play a critical role in helping them grow.

Best of luck, Sean!

Note from Sean Maday: Moving On from PBC

Friday, March 25, 2016 will be my last day as an employee of Patriot Boot Camp. My wife and I are expecting our third daughter in a few months, and in order to pay for prom dresses, college tuition and weddings at some point in the future, I need to rejoin the private sector.

Baby Maday - March 2016

Leading Patriot Boot Camp has been one of the most personally and professionally rewarding experiences of my life. I have been privileged to meet amazing Veterans and military spouses who are building phenomenal companies. It has truly been an honor to serve alongside Taylor McLemore, Charlotte Creech and the rest of the Patriot Boot Camp team.

PBC - NY - 2015 - PBC Team

During my PBC tenure we worked with 200 entrepreneurs through events in 4 different cities. This success would not have been possible without generous investments of time, energy and resources by many wonderful people.

Shared experience, hard work and a “Give First” spirit are a few of the qualities that make the Patriot Boot Camp family unique and special. I am humbled to be a member of this family and plan to stay involved as a volunteer and advocate.

Charlotte Creech is driving PBC strategy and execution from this point forward, and I have no doubt the community will continue to grow and thrive under her steadfast leadership.

Thank you for all of the Coors Light!

Event Recap: Patriot Boot Camp in Phoenix, Arizona

From February 19 to 21, 2016 we ran an outstanding Patriot Boot Camp in Phoenix, Arizona. Here is an infographic with details on this event:

PBC - Phoenix - 2016 - Recap Infographic

Download a Low Resolution PDF Version  |  Download a High Resolution PDF Version

The Phoenix Patriot Boot Camp would not have been possible without support from these sponsors!

PBC - Phoenix - 2016 - Sponsors

Below is a sampling of the awesome chatter that the Phoenix Patriot Boot Camp event generated on Twitter.

Sharks & Food Trucks: A Proud Week For PBC

In 2015 Patriot Boot Camp worked with 155 early stage entrepreneurs from Veteran and military spouse backgrounds. These passionate founders are building awesome technology-enabled companies with ambitions of changing the world.

Patriot Boot Camp alumni work hard and score wins every single day. This week two achievements from the PBC community made national headlines.

PBC - Sharks and Food Trucks

Fieldvine is headed to the food truck capital of Texas.

Ray and Rebecca Antonino of Fieldvine attended the 2015 Patriot Boot Camp at Goldman Sachs in New York. They have worked tirelessly to build a software platform for managing construction projects while also finding time to support the PBC events in North Carolina and Detroit. This duo has grit, vision and a keen prowess for execution.

Yesterday it was announced that Fieldvine has been accepted to the Techstars accelerator program in Austin, Texas. Less than 1% of the companies that apply to join the Techstars network are accepted. Fieldvine’s success is an incredible accomplishment for a fast-growing company.

Major Mom is swimming with the Sharks.

Angela Cody-Rouget of Major Mom attended the 2015 Patriot Boot Camp at the University of North Carolina. Angela sat in the front row at the Chapel Hill event, greeted everyone with a smile and asked awesome questions of the presenters and mentors. Angela is a dynamic leader who has built an incredible business helping families organize their lives.

Tonight Angela and Major Mom will be featured on Shark Tank seeking an investment from America’s most famous television venture capitalists! Shark Tank receives over 100,000 applications from entrepreneurs each year, and only chooses to work with the most promising companies. Angela is an outstanding entrepreneur whose relentless positive attitude is certain to be a hit with Shark Tank's investors and it's national television audience.

The next Patriot Boot Camp will be held in Phoenix, Arizona in just two weeks. We are excited to welcome this 40-person cohort of great entrepreneurs to the PBC community and look forward to publicly bragging about all of their future accomplishments!

Consider Making A Year End Donation to PBC

There are 17 days left in 2015! As you evaluate your year end giving, please consider making a monetary donation to Patriot Boot Camp.

Patriot Boot Camp is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all contributions are tax deductible.

PBC - Donate - Sign

We strive to keep the financial overhead of Patriot Boot Camp low so that every dollar we raise can be used to positively impact Veterans and military spouses who are building technology companies!

In 2015, only 4.5% of the organization's operating budget was used to cover admin expenses.

You contribution will help Patriot Boot Camp continue to spread entrepreneurship among the military Veteran and military spouse communities in 2016.

Click here to make a donation to Patriot Boot Camp!

Webinar Recap: Ash Maurya – Intro to Running Lean

Earlier this month the Patriot Boot Camp team had the honor of welcoming Ash Maurya to our monthly webinar series.

Ash is a seasoned entrepreneur who's book Running Lean is the quintessential blueprint for turning an idea into a scalable business. During this webinar Ash provided some powerful startup insights and we also heard from Patriot Boot Camp alumni KC Chhipwadia about how he is applying the Running Lean methodology to his new company. Check it out!

[youtube id=Gm9e5vVi_8g]

PBC - Webinar - Ash Maurya - Intro to Running Lean

Join us on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 11am Mountain time for an introduction to the Running Lean methodology with Ash Maurya. Learn how to systematically turn your idea into a repeatable and scalable business and hear how one PBC alumni is applying this methodology to his startup.

This live webinar is absolutely free, open to the public and will run 60 minutes in length.

PBC - Running Lean - Webinar

Click here to add this event to your Google Calendar.

Click here to join this event live on 11/4/2015 at 11am Mountain.

Event Recap: Patriot Boot Camp in Detroit, Michigan

From October 23 to October 25, 2015 we ran an excellent Patriot Boot Camp in Detroit, Michigan.

 PBC - Detroit - 2015 - Cohort

The Detroit Patriot Boot Camp yielded some impressive results, and that impact can be summed up with the following metrics:

  • 41 military Veterans/spouses participated
  • 35 unique startup companies were represented
  • 27 presenters shared their expertise
  • 44 mentors volunteered their time
  • 261 organized mentor sessions were convened
  • 6,525 minutes of professional mentoring were delivered

Patriot Boot Camp Detroit was made possible by support from these sponsors!


Professional photos of the Detroit event were taken by Steve King of

Below is a sampling of the awesome feedback the event received on Twitter.

Webinar Recap - John Hill of Techstars

Last week Patriot Boot Camp held it's first live educational webinar! The guest for this inaugural broadcast was John Hill the Network Catalyst for Techstars.

John has spent more than 10 years connecting people to opportunities through relational networking and he shared some amazing LinkedIn tactics and techniques during this webinar. Check it out!

[youtube id=ELKffPbMz2w]

PBC Webinar - John Hill - Relational Networking and Personal Branding with LinkedIn

Join a Patriot Boot Camp webinar this Friday (October 2) at 1pm Eastern for a live presentation by John Hill on navigating and leveraging LinkedIn as a networking tool. John Hill is the Network Catalyst at Techstars and has a wealth of business experience. The format will be a 30 minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of time for questions and answers.

PBC Webinar - John Hill

Click here to add this event to your Google Calendar.

Click here to join this event live on 10/2/2015 at 1pm Eastern.

Q&A With PBC Alumni Josh Karrasch - The Gun Dude

Who you are and what you did in the military?

Who am I? What a great question! By name I am Joshua Karrasch, I am thirty-four years old, I am from Bradford, Pennsylvania and am a veteran of the US Navy where I served as a Hospital Corpsman, Petty Officer Second Class for five years.

PBC  Blog - Gun Dude

After the Navy I completed my degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz; a life changing experience to say the very least. After graduation I migrated back to the east coast in search of “the dream”. During that time I worked as a carpenter and then as a physical security specialist and counterintelligence agent at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. As things tend to go, I became uncomfortable in my comfortable job, I became disenfranchised with the dream of a stable job, retirement, blah, blah, blah.

So I set out to find my own path! The result: The Gun Dude. For the past three years of my life and with the help of some really great people, I have plucked this loose concept from my brain and turned it into a reality. Who I am is a statement I am trying to fully answer in my own head…so let us leave it that I am “in transition” discovering new and exciting things about myself on a daily basis.

How you got interested in creating a tech company?

The Gun Dude started as an online retailer of firearms with the intent being that I could operate it from any location. I soon discovered this was not a viable model and adapted to the reality of the market. I discovered that the firearms industry, as a general rule, is technophobic, lacking in customer service, and down right intimidating for many.

PBC Blog - Gun Dude Logo

With that in mind I have set out to develop a new model for firearms retail- to become the gold standard in the industry. By implementing uncompromising customer service and leveraging technology and innovative lean business models, I am providing a community where my customers can engage firearms, an admittedly daunting topic, through digital and physical means.

All of that said, I never planned on starting a tech company or a retail business. What I have found is a nice blend of tech and local retail to create an entirely new and exciting experience. In the end it is my goal to create responsible firearms owners and decrease the occurrence of negative outcomes associated with firearms.

What led you to Patriot Boot Camp?

I have heard many times that where you end up is right where you are supposed to be. In the early stages of the start-up I experienced a great deal of isolation and loss of identity, both of which I was admittedly unprepared for. A good friend and mentor called me one day after hearing of my challenges and stated that I needed to be at the next Patriot Boot Camp. While the event was free the expenses involved in the travel were prohibitive, but we pulled it together and made it happen. And wow what an experience!

To be exposed to other veterans going through the exact same challenges that I was facing was invaluable. To hear that the feelings of isolation, the emotional roller coasters, and the loss of identity were all normal in the start-up and entrepreneurial journey gave me hope that I would make it out alive. I went from feeling like I was loosing my mind to feeling like I was part of a community again. The connections I made during Patriot Boot Camp continue to this day.

What did you gain from Patriot Boot Camp?

Without a doubt Patriot Boot Camp gave me hope; it refilled my reservoir with whatever it was that I needed to continue to preserver along the journey. I argue that resilience is the single most important trait in many instances, not least of which is being an entrepreneur. My resilience at the time I traveled to PBC had been worn down and I was in dire need of a family.

What better family than my military brethren? And in what better format than to receive mentorship and guidance from some of the most successful names in the business!

What is next on your entrepreneurial journey?

World domination….. just kidding!

It is my goal to open a Gun Dude in every major US city center over the next ten years. That is going to require solidification of my brand, creating replicable processes, and continuing to develop a digital and tech presence. I have many side projects that I am excited to begin as well!

PBC Blog - Gun Dude

The world is full of complex problems that need to be solved and I want to try my hand at a few of them. I have many role models, but one person who I admire from a business aspect is Sir Richard Branson. His willingness to tackle large problems and develop great outcomes is not only an inspiration, but a level of success I aspire to.