About Veteran Startup
Veteran Startup is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start (or buy) a small business. There are four main services offered to veterans:
Veterans Need Help
Veterans need help. The unemployment rate among veterans – especially post-9/11 veterans – is two percent higher than the rest of the population. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, there are 722,000 unemployed veterans. This problem is only bound to get worse over the next few years when as many as 360,000 veterans will enter the workforce every year.
A major contributing factor is that many new veterans struggle to find purpose outside of the military. The military creates a clear vision and mission, whereas veterans are on their own in society. As evidence of this, more veterans have committed suicide than been killed in combat. 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year – 22 every day.
Veteran-Owned Small Business is the Solution
The solution is to help veterans start and build businesses of their own. Starting a business immediately reduces veteran unemployment in two ways – the business owner is employed, and most veteran-owners make it a point to hire other veterans. In addition to reducing veteran unemployment, running a business gives the veteran a strong sense purpose. and makes them a valuable contributor to society.
Veterans leave the military already equipped with the raw skills they need to start and own a small business. Among their many talents, they have the ability to deal with ambiguity, strong leadership skills, and the emotional fortitude to deal with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, nearly one in ten businesses are owned by veterans.
While veterans have the right mix of talents and experience, they often don’t have the necessary business education. Veteran Startup bridges this gap by giving them the tools and support to succeed starting and running a small business.
How Veteran Startup Works
We offer veterans free access to one of the most comprehensive online courses on entrepreneurship. Created by a professor of entrepreneurship at UCLA and LMU, it guides veteran-entrepreneurs through the 13 steps necessary to start a small business. Since the course is online, veterans can proceed at their own pace, on their own schedule.
Access to Resources
We have a directory of resources for veteran-entrepreneurs, and access to the people behind these organizations. This includes everything from financing sources to local business consulting programs.
We have a “matching” program that pairs veterans with business opportunities – mostly franchises – that would be a good fit given their military experience.
The experts at Veteran Startup offer 1-on-1 consulting services to help individual veterans with specific business challenges. We work with veterans to ensure they can break through any roadblocks preventing them from moving forward.
Matt Richter-Sand, Founder of Veteran Startup
Veteran Startup was created by U.S. Air Force Veteran Matt Richter-Sand to share lessons learned over the years founding startups, working with early-stage companies, and consulting with entrepreneurs. Matt has an extensive background in technology and entrepreneurship. After graduating from Tulane University with degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Political Science, he joined the U.S. Air Force as a Communications Officer. While stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Matt was responsible for all core IT services.
After a brief stint in Corporate America, Matt decided to pursue his passion for entrepreneurship full time. He has consulted with entrepreneurs, invested in early-stage companies at two Los Angeles-based investment firms, and founded four companies. One of the four companies was successfully acquired. Matt now actively invests in and partners with early-stage companies.
Matt earned a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He recently published a book with Wiley called The Agile Startup.