Those who live in NYC will understand this cheeky description of the up and coming-isms for veteran entrepreneurship. For those who don’t: Williamsburg is that trendy Brooklyn neighborhood that all the cool kids want to live in and be a part of. Bushwick, the hood next door is sometimes considered the new hotness, however, it’s very rough around the edges and will need a lot of work to get it to where it’s truly the new thing.
Brad Feld’s blog has a great guest post from Taylor McLemore (props to last month’s TechStars Patriot Bootcamp) and Dave Cass about how Boulder, Colorado isn’t too keen on veteran entrepreneurs – as a veteran entrepreneur, I’d like to take this one step further: most places in this country are not friendly to veteran entrepreneurs. Yep, the truth really f’n hurts.
As a NYC veteran entrepreneur, there are only a handfull of organizations that are available to veterans in the start-up community and I can’t thank them enough for giving back to a community that is often overlooked and/or treated with fear. I blame a lot of people, the government, other veterans and the press for this inaccurate portrayal of post military life. Taylor and Dave make a point that often falls on deaf ears: vets know risk, adversity and execution – you’d be crazy not to hire them in your organizations.
However, I have a sinking feeling that despite having these hard-to-find characteristics in entrepreneurial candidates, veterans are treated as damaged goods or worse: objects that people just don’t want to get to know because of an irrational fear that we are all broken inside and therefore are afraid to see what makes us tick.
Sure, we’ve all been through a lot – but listen very carefully, so has EVERYONE IN THE WORLD. We’ve all felt pain, suffering and loss and it’s no different from the non-veteran standing next to you.
My message to non-veterans – despite what you’ve heard, we’re some tough SOB’s but we’re also very rational and savvy at getting things done while in a bind. If you ever have a chance to make it to Bushwick, walk around and take a good look because you’re looking at the rough and tough, up and coming, new entrepreneurial hotness.