Veteran & Apprentice 2 Winner Kelly Perdew Helping To Lead Startup America Veteran’s Initiative

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Veteran & Apprentice 2 Winner Kelly Perdew (photo CY Interview)

Thinking back to the days of the second season of Apprentice, before Donald Trump went crazy on social media, we recall the season 2 winner Kelly Perdew. The Lexington Kentucky native, West Point graduate and army vet, went on to oversee and promote the construction of Trump Place in New York City, and serve as the Executive Vice President of Trump’s, now defunct, signature water brand, Trump Ice.

Perdew didn’t let the Trump Ice failure set him back he’s gone on to found or lead other successful startups including, and eTeamz.

Now, in an announcement by the Startup America Partnership, it’s been revealed that Perdew will help lead a team of Veteran and Veteran service entrepreneurs, in an initiative called the Veteran’s Working Group.

The Veterans Working Group, an initiative that highlights the best practices for helping veterans become successful entrepreneurs and promotes startups that are successfully serving our nation’s vets. Led by Regional Championsfrom across the country, the creation of the group is a response to a tremendous level of interest from Startup Regions across the U.S.

“In working with our 30 Startup Regions, we’ve found that communities across the country are trying to figure out how startups can better serve our returning veterans and how they can provide support for veteran entrepreneurs,” said Donna Harris, managing director of Startup Regions at Startup America. “The Veterans Working Group will collect and distribute the most promising ideas, programs, activities and events to help veterans as they pursue their own entrepreneurial goals.”

Although just announced this morning, the Veteran’s Working Group has already been active. They participated as part of TechStars Patriot Bootcamp in Washington DC, over the summer. They also just helped with the Veteran’s Day Weekend Hackathon in San Francisco.

The Veteran’s Working Group will have immediate access to these two important resources:

Troop ID has agreed to donate software to all of the launched Startup America Regions on a pro bonobasis so that community organizers can validate the military credentials of participants in these types of Veteran-centric events. Troop ID is groundbreaking technology that allows Service Members, Veterans and Military Spouses to digitally verify their military credentials to military-friendly brands and reputable organizations in order to claim discounts and benefits.

In conjunction with VETransfer, the Veterans Working Group will be organizing a multi-city hackathon, in which any of the Startup America Regions may participate. VETransfer is a nonprofit business accelerator for America’s military veterans, which has seen incredible demand from Veterans who want to start a business. The hackathon will take place in early spring, and it is designed to encourage the community at large to connect with Veterans and build a stronger entrepreneurial community

In addition to Perdew the leadership team also includes; Page Craig, Angel Investor and Veteran; Dawn Halfaker, CEO of Halfaker & Associates, and Veteran; Blake Hall, CEO, TroopSwap, and Veteran; and Nick Wichert Co-Founder and CEO of VETransfer.


Check out the Veteran’s Working Group here

Register for Startup America here

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