“It’s great to get together with like-minded individuals to discuss the things that bring us together and certainly, the vetrepreneur community that we’re part of is something that’s growing and thriving…we wanted to create a fund that addressed the veteran network because we know how veterans have this incredible ability to execute and get things done. They’ve served their country, they continue to serve when they take off that uniform, and want to continue to make that same difference. That’s really the catalyst behind Veteran Ventures Capital. We’ve developed it, we’ve grown it, we’ve had some challenges, but just like a typical veteran, we’ve adapted and overcome.”
– Derren Burrell
“We all know and believe that veterans make great entrepreneurs for a variety of reasons: leadership, teamwork skills, mission-focused, effectiveness, perseverance and grit…all those things contribute to making the founding principles of good business leaders. And yet, even though we have those data points and even though we see that veterans are overrepresented in the CEO S&P 500…you still have this funding gap. It’s 30% more difficult to get venture capital backing as a veteran. That’s crazy…how do you fix that and how do you make sure the money is betting on the best horse? That’s really our founding rationale and when I heard about what Derren is doing, I said I’ve got to get involved with this.”
– Joshua Weed
Derren Burrell is Founder, President & Managing Partner of Veteran Ventures Capital and a Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. After a 21-year military career that included five deployments, Derren started Veteran Ventures Capital, a company that funds military veteran entrepreneurs. Joshua Weed (USAFA ‘01) is a Senior Director at Veterans Venture Capital and also a former Air Force financial management officer. Derren and Josh met while serving in the U.S. Air Force and “financing the fight” in 2005. They’ve been working together at Veteran Ventures Capital since Josh joined the team in 2020.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Why Derren started Veteran Ventures Capital
- How Josh transitioned into venture capital
- What military veteran company profiles attract venture capital funding
- How Veteran Ventures Capital facilitates access to both network and capital
- Why military veteran business partnerships are often very successful
We also discuss why military veterans excel as entrepreneurs and what types of military veteran-owned businesses attract investors. Derren and Josh also share how Veteran Ventures Capital multiplies investment power while reducing risk at the same time. The guys also share why they invest in post-revenue stage businesses and how they advise pre-revenue companies. We enjoyed hearing how Derren and Josh connected while serving in the U.S. Air Force and learning more about their experiences of working together.
Connect with Josh and Derren:
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Special thanks to Derren and Josh for joining me this week. Until next time!
– Scott Mackes, USNA ’01