William Treseder is your stereotypical problem child who had his teeth kicked in by some San Diego drill instructors. He is a partner at BMNT Partners, a consultancy that brings together government and Silicon Valley groups to solve complex, critical problems. Treseder served as a U.S. Marine between 2001 and 2011, first in infantry then in civil affairs. He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. After graduating from Stanford University, Treseder tried out a few startups and was lucky enough to settle in San Francisco, where he met and married Oluwadara, the love of his life.
Veteran entrepreneurship is again a hot topic. America needs job creators now more than ever, and veterans are a great pool to draw from. We are resourceful, driven, work well in teams, and can get stuff done. The perfect archetype for an entrepreneur.
A few key decisions made all the difference for Justin McCarty, a former soldier now living in San Francisco. He grabbed opportunities as they were presented, accelerating the successful transition to a rewarding post-military career. McCarty, 30, now works in operations for a fast-growing startup. There he applies everything he learned in the military, college, and at previous jobs.
Brendan Hart wanted to be a fireman, not a Marine. As a New Yorker who saw the devastation of the Sept. 11 attacks first-hand, he felt a burn that all veterans can identify with: the desire to serve. He immediately tried to join New York Fire Department, but so did a lot of other people in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.The waitlist was several years, forcing Hart to reevaluate his future.
Chris Taylor stared at the limp body of a newborn baby. It was 2006, and he was in East Africa visiting a Darfur refugee camp. A young woman, too malnourished to breastfeed, was watching her own child die in her arms. “We immediately took her to our tent where we had Enfamil,” Taylor told me in an email, “We spent an hour teaching her how to feed her baby with the bottles.” Amazingly, the baby recovered almost immediately.
It’s funny how much another person can change your life. Especially when he’s wearing a vest full of explosives and wants to blow you up. For Chris Clark, an otherwise normal day with his Marine reconnaissance team in April 2006 became a turning point in his life after he narrowly survived a suicide bomber in al Anbar province, Iraq.