“Vetrepreneurship” is sweeping the country. The SBA reports that 25% of Post-9/11 veterans want to start their own businesses. From Forbes by Mark L. Rockefeller 11/11/2106
Over the past two months, we scoured the country for the best veteran-owned startups in the nation. We asked venture capitalists, angel investors, veteran founders and industry experts to send us ideas. We received 85 nominations, and culled those based on five factors to rank the companies and create this list.
Our five-factor score ranked nominees by prior 12-month revenues, previous 12-24 month revenues, revenue growth rate, employee headcount and external capital raised. Each factor was weighted equally. To qualify, startups must be for-profit companies, no more than five years old, and at least 50% owned by or operationally controlled by a military veteran founder. Nominees confidentially reported revenues and the amount of capital raised in order to produce the rankings.
#1. Plated – Founder(s): Nick Taranto, US Marine Corps, Infantry.
Employees: 700+ Description: Plated is on a mission to use data and technology to create a world where healthy, affordable, and delicious food is available for everyone. Plated delivers everything you need to cook a chef-designed dinner at home in around 30 minutes.
How the military impacted you as an entrepreneur: “There is no better training for the long, hard, emotionally draining early days of getting your business up and off the ground.” — Nick Taranto
#2. RallyPoint – Location: Watertown, MA. Founder(s): Yinon Weiss, U.S. Army, Special Forces. Aaron Kletzing, U.S. Army, Field Artillery Officer. Dave Gowel, U.S. Army, Armor Officer. Employees: 22
Description: RallyPoint is where warriors come to talk. The network is home to 1 million members who gather online every day to have open and candid conversations about things like: military life, transition to civilian life, careers & jobs, education opportunities, family matters, entertainment, and their favorite brands.
How the military impacted you as an entrepreneur: “It created the desire to bring private sector social networking technology and opportunity to the military.” — Dave Gowel
#3. RedOwl Analytics. Location: Baltimore, MD Founder(s): Guy Filipelli, US Army, Intelligence.Employees: 65
Description: Combining sentiment analysis with behavioral analytics, only RedOwl identifies the precursor activities that indicate unwanted behavior, such as insider trading, data theft, or employee flight risk.
How the military impacted you as an entrepreneur: “Military service prepared me for the complexities and turbulence entrepreneurs encounter when building a business from the ground up.” — Guy Filipelli
#4. UniteUS – Site: UniteUS.com. Founded 2013. Location: New York, NY Founder(s): Dan Brillman, US Air Force, Pilot. Taylor Justice, US Army, Infantry. Andrew Price. Employees: 30
Description: Unite US revolutionizes the delivery of health, human & social services by designing, building, and deploying best-in-class case management and care coordination technology. The Unite US software empowers public, private, and nonprofit resources within communities across the country to leverage a common platform. From housing, to employment to healthcare, Unite US networks address the social determinants of health by coordinating resources via secure electronic referrals and collaborative case management tools tracking 100% of outcomes.
How the military impacted you as an entrepreneur: “My military service was cut short, Unite US is my chance to serve and solve a problem that all my military/veterans brothers and sisters were experiencing.” — Taylor Justice.
#5. StreetShares – Site: StreetShares.com. Founded 2014. *Disclosure: Author’s company. Location: Reston, VA (Outside of Washington, DC) Founder(s): Mark L. Rockefeller, US Air Force, JAG. Mickey Konson, South African Air Force Employees: 27
Description: StreetShares uses social loyalty within the military community to lend and invest at better rates. StreetShares funds Veteran small businesses and allows individuals to back loans to these businesses at a fixed return.
How the military impacted you as an entrepreneur: ”The military gives you a strong sense of community, and community gives you the eyes to see the unmet needs of people around you. Entrepreneurs simply meet those needs.” — Mark L. Rockefeller