New program to create the next wave of veteran start-ups

WithYouWithMe, the military talent incubator helping veterans get employed, has announced a partnership with Fishburners to help bring veteran business ideas to life on Wednesday 25 October.

WithYouWithMe is establishing the first Veteran Start-Up Pathway – a program to assist veterans with a great business idea make their dream a reality. Veterans will submit their business ideas, with a number chosen to undertake the program free of charge.

The program will culminate in a veteran pitch event, hosted by Fishburners, where the veterans will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to investors and industry leaders, with the best idea winning a free starting membership to Fishburners.

Tom Moore, WithYouWithMe founder and CEO said: “I know from personal experience how difficult it is turning a business idea into a fully-fledged company. However, we’ve seen a number of veterans set up successful companies through sheer drive and tenacity to make their dream a reality.

“This program will make that process a little bit simpler by offering real tangible advice about how to establish and scale a business. Many of the skills learnt in the military set up veterans perfectly to be successful business owners, and the pathway program will offer the additional support required to take them to the next level,” Mr Moore said.

The program will train veterans in everything they need to make their start-up a success, from developing a pitch to setting up financials. Each veteran on the program will also be assigned a mentor who has experience in establishing and scaling businesses to offer real support.

One veteran who has successfully transitioned from military life to establish a tech start up is Tim Walmsley, CEO of BenchOn. BenchOn is a B2B Professional Services platform that matches a business’s idle staff to short- term contracts from reputable companies and Government Agencies.

Mr Walmsley said that many of the skills he learnt in the military gave him an advantage when starting his own business: “From my own experience, I believe veterans are perfectly placed to found their own start-ups.

“The Defence Force teaches you to be mission focused including how to create workable plans to complex situations and then how to implement that plan to achieve success. Not only that, veterans are some of the most innovative people I know and coupled with the intense work ethic you get from serving, they can be unstoppable,” Mr Walmsley said.