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Patriot Boot Camp Helps Military Veterans and Spouses Build Technology Companies

November 11, 2015

Michigan’s first ever “Patriot Boot Camp,” presented by Techstars, was held recently in Detroit, drawing more than 40 veterans to the three-day event designed to help military veterans and their spouses build technology companies.

Six Varnum attorneys served as mentors throughout the weekend event. The firm also supported the event financially.

Patriot Boot Camp is an intensive three-day event to provide early-stage entrepreneurs with mentorship, education and community. It leverages a nationwide network of business and startup community thought leaders to guide entrepreneurs in bridging the gap between military service and entrepreneurial life.

“This was the first Patriot Boot Camp we have ever run in Michigan and we were blown away by the community’s willingness to help,” said PBC representative Sean Maday. “The advice, mentorship and expertise you shared in Detroit has helped a group of great Americans on their path toward realizing the American Dream.”

Varnum attorney Matt Bower said the firm’s decision to support the program was an easy one because of Varnum’s long-standing support of startup and early-stage companies.

“I was initially interested in the project from a startup perspective and I knew some of our attorneys who are also veterans would be interested as well,” said Bower, whose practice focuses extensively on startups. “It was a great event. We had fun and we all felt good about participating.”

The event was presented by Techstars, a startup accelerator program operating in cities around the country, including Detroit.In addition to Bower, other Varnum attorneys who served as mentors were Kevin DiDio, Rick Manczak, Will Thompson, Kristen Veresh and Katie Wilbur. DiDio and Thompson proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to their law careers.

The Michigan event was held at the Techstars offices at Ford Field in Detroit. A total of 41 military veterans and their spouses participated, with 35 unique startup companies. Participants learned from world-class speakers and industry leaders, including individual mentoring sessions with speakers and other subject matter experts. On Friday and Saturday, participants were able to meet one-on-one with mentors who provided advice, feedback and recommendations on how to grow their businesses.

The objective of PBC is to provide military members, veterans, and spouses with access to mentors and training to help them innovate and build the next generation of high-growth, scalable and impactful companies. See for more information.

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