For over a year, Bunker Labs’ Transition Podcast has been demystifying the entrepreneurial journey for Veterans and military spouses. Thanks to generous support from the MetLife Foundation, host “Iron” Mike Steadman is able to reach out to real entrepreneurs and talk about their triumphs and tragedies, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Today, we’re taking a second look back at some of Mike’s favorite interviews with black entrepreneurs over the past year. You can see the previous year’s list of entrepreneurs here.
Charlynda Scales, Air Force Veteran
Turning a Family Recipe Into a Bustling Brand
What happens when you inherit a family recipe for the best sauce you’ve ever tasted? You bottle it up! Charlynda Scales is an Air Force Veteran and CEO of Mutt Sauce, an all-purpose specialty sauce company founded in memory of her late Grandfather, Charley “Mutt” Ferrel Jr., who made the coveted sauce.
In 2013 Charlynda decided to draw on her military experience and business background to launch the business and distribute the sauce across the United States. On the Transition, Charlynda opens up about her struggles with imposter syndrome and the challenges of running a small business.
Marvin Johnson, Navy Veteran
Starting Over from Scratch
Marvin Johnson is a former Navy Submarine Officer and founder/CEO of Dashible, a mobile app that connects and builds long-lasting relationships between consumers and local retailers through an integrated deal and loyalty platform. He talks about what happens when you are CEO of a venture-backed start-up competing with Paypal and things don’t go as planned, and how he overcame the depression that followed.
We hope Marvin’s transparency and vulnerability empower you to overcome your own entrepreneurial challenges.
Marlon Terrell, Navy Veteran
The Benefits of Becoming A Franchise Entrepreneur
Hear from Navy Veteran Marlon Terrell, owner and operator of two New Jersey-based Chick-fil-A franchises.
Marlon gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to buy into a franchise, leadership challenges, and opportunities available to Veterans and military spouses in the franchise space.
Carla Bond, Navy Veteran
Paving The Way In Emergency Response Training Using VR
A former US Navy police officer and medic, Carla Bond founded Upskill VR after teaching herself the basics of virtual reality development.
On the podcast, we discuss what led to founding UpSkill VR and the many mistakes that almost tanked her business.
Carla shares her process she used to transition from a small business to a start-up, and licensing her Upskill VR technology to train the next generation of first responders.
If you are in the market for emergency response training, look no further.
Haley Marie McClain Hill, Air Force Veteran
Creating A New Type of Athletic Wear
On this episode of the Transition, we are joined by Hailey Marie MCclain Hill, NFL Cheerleader, entrepreneur, and soon-to-be transitioning Air Force officer.
Hailey founded Torch Warrior Wear, an L.A.-based clothing brand for modern-day women warriors in the armed forces.
We invited Hailey on the show to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey and discuss some of the challenges she’s facing along the way, and even some questions of her own.
Pick up your own Torch Warrior Wear here.
James Samuel, Air Force Veteran
Leveraging Technology As a Force for Good
Air Force fighter pilot, engineer, and tech entrepreneur, James Samuel is the founder & CEO of PLURIBUS Inc., a big data, geospatial analytics company.
James recently launched Pluribus’s Anjel Tech, an app that turns any smartphone into a powerful bodycam. The goal of the app is to provide security and safety for black and brown lives in response to violence, police misconduct, and racial injustices across the country.
James believes technology can be leveraged as a force for good. On the show he opens up about the challenges that come with raising capital as a founder of color. Learn more about James on the podcast episode.
Download Anjel Tech app here.
Mario Mitchell, Air Force Veteran
Launching an Early Stage Venture Capital Fund
Air Force Veteran, Bunker Labs Las Vegas Ambassador, and co-founder of Mech Ventures, Mario Mitchell is an early-stage entrepreneur building the future of pop culture.
On this episode, Mario and his co-founder open up about their entrepreneurial background, what led them to start Mech Ventures, and how they’re planning to redefine VC culture by investing in underestimated and underrepresented founders.
Learn more about Mech Ventures here.
About The Transition Podcast
Demystifying Entrepreneurship & Small Business Ownership
“Iron” Mike Steadman interviews veterans and military spouses with businesses and startups from all industries and stages. Listen each week to dive deep into their stories and lessons learned. New episodes drop on Thursday. Sign up for the newsletter and never miss an episode.
About The Transition Host, “Iron” Mike Steadman
“Iron” Mike Steadman the Founder and CEO of IRONBOUND Boxing, a nonprofit that provides free amateur boxing training, entrepreneur education, and employment opportunities for Newark youth & young adults. Mike and his partner Keith Colon, oversee the legendary IRONBOUND Boxing Academy, their free boxing gym for youth in Newark, NJ. He also runs IRONBOUND Media, a podcast production company that produces branded podcasts for veteran-owned businesses.
Mike is a three-time National Collegiate Boxing Champion from the United States Naval Academy and Marine Corps Infantry Officer, with deployments to Afghanistan and Japan/Philippines. He’s currently a Hoover Veteran Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank promoting the principles of individual, economic, and political freedom. His goal is to raise 1.5 million dollars to build the first ever IRONBOUND Courage Academy, a 5,000 sqft boxing facility and small business incubator space for Newark’s youth and young adults. Through his efforts growing IRONBOUND Boxing and IRONBOUND Media, Mike has established himself as a high profile veteran advocate and the new face of social entrepreneurship.
To learn more visit www.IRONBOUNDBoxing.org and www.IRONBOUNDMedia.com
Bunker Labs is Now Part of IVMF
As of January 2024, Bunker Labs is now a part of Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). In addition to ongoing Bunker Labs programming, we’d encourage you to browse IVMF’s deep wealth of entrepreneurship programming, much of it available virtually or at locations across the country. Find the program to help your business take the next step today!