What is noticeably missing from the ranks of most top-tier tech companies in the United States is the presence of military veterans. Over the last decade, many of the technology companies that have come to dominate the consumer and enterprise markets were not founded by veterans. There are likely many reasons for this trend, but contributing factors include a lack of entrepreneurial role models in the military community and a military transition process that is optimized for helping Veterans become employees, not entrepreneurs.
Current transition support programs offer educational experiences that are dominated by exercises in composing resumes, tailoring cover letters and rehearsing for job interviews. Topics like venture capital, bootstrapping a business, and finding cofounders are noticeably absent from the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.
The underrepresentation of entrepreneurial topics in TAPs is not due to a lack of interest. A recent report by the U.S. Small Business Administration suggests that 25% of all returning post-9/11 veterans want to start a business.