Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

Today’s guest is a Navy Veteran that served 26 years, and he didn’t just decide to get out and start a business. He decided to start a business that directly helps Veterans gain new skills in areas of cutting-edge technology. He is the Co-Founder, President & CEO of Vets2Data. I would like to welcome Enrique Acosta Gonzalez.

You can follow Enrique here

Website: http://vets2data.org/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/enrique-acosta-gonzalez-7b6b241/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Triad-Leadership-Solutions-775547112654006/

Twitter: @TLS_FL

Topics

So while in the Navy you were a Pastor at a church in Hawaii, that is awesome. Tell me how that happened. I go to a great non-denominational church called theChapel.cc

So tell me a little bit about what you did in the military.

Transition from the military (easy or hard)

What was it that caused you to start your business?

Tell us about your company’s mission: Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What were the steps you took to get your business up and running?

Do you feel like your military experience and training helped prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

Networking with people that move your industry

What is the key to the success of your business?

Would you say it was your military experience or other things you learned that have been more helpful in making you successful in your business?

Are you going to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with future Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items list would you give them?

Summary

In this episode with Enrique we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • Volunteer at companies in the industry you’re interested in, become a board member and gain the knowledge you need now before you get out
  • Make sure that when networking things are two-sided, if someone is helping you ask them how you can help them
  • Three key elements to success are:
    • Plan like you did in the military, don’t stop when you get out!
    • Preparing and doing your recon will help you get off to the right start
    • Execute, you have to get started so go do it!
  • Get a sounding board, a group of people you can get feedback from
  • Join a chamber of commerce
  • Utilize the SCORE program for free

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete