On November 10th, 1775, the Continental Congress directed the naval committee to raise two battalions of marines, prompting Captain Samuel Nicholas to open the very first Marine Corps recruiting post at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From a few good men at the Tun Tavern to the first amphibious raid at Fort Nassau, the Leathernecks on the shores of Tripoli, and raising the flag at Iwo Jima, the legendary heroism of the Marine Corps has only grown with time. This Friday, the United States Marine Corps, grown to a force of 177,200 of the world’s fiercest fighting men and women, celebrates its 248th birthday!
There is no better time to highlight some of the Marine Corps veteran entrepreneurs who have participated in Bunker Labs’ programming and events.
Transition Podcast Episodes
Thanks to the generous funding of the MetLife Foundation, host “Iron” Mike Steadman talks with fellow veteran entrepreneurs about the challenges of transitioning from military life to entrepreneurship. Below are some of his favorite episodes this year with Marine founders, only on Bunker Labs’ official podcast, Transition Podcast!
The Strength Co, bundles a Brick-and-Mortar Gym, Online Coaching, and a manufacturing arm producing American-made plates and other barbell equipment. Shortly after transitioning from Active duty and into his business full-time, COVID forced him to shut down one of two gyms, but presented the opportunity to start his own manufacturing company. On the show, Grant opens up about how he managed to pull it off, the pains of running a brick-and-mortar gym, and why he believes there’s a future in American-made Iron.
Co-Founder and CEO of Countabl
Episode 112: From Humble Beginnings as an Enlisted Marine to Scaling a Financial Operations and Planning Business
Countabl provides Financial Operations and Planning for Startups & Small businesses, empowering entrepreneurs with the financial team they need for growing businesses in the digital age. On the show, Co-Founder and CEO Taylor White opens up about the success and challenges of his business as they reach the next stage of growth, his journey from growing up in a trailer in New Orleans to becoming a Marine, and what motivates him as an entrepreneur and leader.
“Iron” Mike Steadman
Founder and CEO of Ironbound Media
Episode 100: Celebrating 100 Episodes & The Making of a Veteran Entrepreneur
For the 100th episode, our host flips the mic and gets interviewed by friend Glenn Moyer. Glenn reached out to discuss “Iron” Mike’s entrepreneurial journey for his MBA class at The University of North Carolina Chaphill. As the saying goes, “the path to success isn’t a straight line.” There’s been a lot of pivots, along with bumps and bruises, for “Iron” Mike to get to where he is now.
CEO of Rally Pointe Grille Franchising
Episode 92: Serving our Nation’s Veterans, One Restaurant at a Time
Carrie Roeger is the Co-Founder of Rally Point Grille, a restaurant franchise that brings the camaraderie and tradition of the American military to you in a family-friendly environment, complete with a full menu, bar, and friendly staff. Carrie and her husband Ralph opened their first restaurant, Semper Fi Bar and Grille, in 2015, in order to build community and create a home away from home for veterans.
Rob Ardnt is the founder of Buffer Springs, a training and consulting firm builds customized military recruitment, retention, and employee engagement programs for companies that are serious about their veteran talent initiatives. Rob’s still in the early days of launching his firm and we talk through how to navigate that early go-to market phase, when there’s still a lot of uncertainty, and an immense amount of pressure to get profitable ASAP, which I’m sure many of you can relate to.
Founder of Nashville Analytics
Episode 49: Data Analytics, Tacos, and a Whole Lot of Life In Between
James Suh is the founder of Nashville Analytics, a Nashville based analytics firm, and founder of Taco Diplomacy, a pop-up taco shop, committed to bringing the world together, one taco at a time. Learn about James’ path from the Marines to entrepreneurship, and how he found success.
In In the following episode, host “Iron” Mike Steadman catches up with fellow Marine Corps veteran and entrepreneur Marco Fiallo, CEO of Community Travel Group, an all-inclusive Travel company based in Ecuador that consists of a hostel, along with food, adventure, and walking tours.
Anthony J. Gantt Jr.
Anthony Gantt is an Active Duty Marine Officer and founder of At Ease Rentals, a one-stop-shop for short-term rentals that are pre-approved for reimbursement when used by military and federal employees. Anthony and his team are committed to making the process of moving as painless as possible for the approximately 450,000 military and federal employees assigned station transfers each year.
Anthony shares insights into the challenges of launching a business while balancing his active duty responsibilities and family life. What I find particularly insightful about Anthony’s story, is his ability to launch a technology platform, despite not having the traditional background common in today’s start-up space. Despite having a non-tech background, Anthony refuses to take no for an answer and learned everything he could about launching a start-up.
COO of Bunker Labs
Episode 35: The Common Trends and Mistakes of Veteran & Military Spouse Business Owners
In today’s episode, we sit down with Marine Corps veteran and Bunker Labs COO and founder of Embrace Process, Reggie Ordonez. We talk about common trends and mistakes Main Street small business owners face and how they can avoid
Bunker Labs Entrepreneurs
In addition to the great business leaders covered on the Transition Podcast, there are many more Marine Corps veteran-led companies in the Bunker Labs ecosystem we are excited to draw attention to.
Julio & Juan Pablo Osorio
The Osorio Brothers are a fixture at Bunker Labs, and have brought their enthusiasm, work ethic, and success to nearly every program we offer. Before Bunker Labs, the two served together in the Marine Corps. After, they each launched businesses, with Juan Pablo’s focused on marketing and specializing in marketing to a Spanish-speaking audience, and Julio co-founding J and M Advising for tax, accounting, and advising services.
Jessica van Dop DeJesus
A recent addition to the Bunker Labs team, Jessica van Dop DeJesus is our Latinx and Women cohort facilitator for our Breaking Barriers in Entrepreneurship program. She’s also the Co-Founder of the Dining Traveler, the hub for her own digital content creation and social media strategy consulting. Jessica served as a Marine, serving in Okinawa, Japan.
Joey “Mac” Dizon
The Mobile Cigar Lounge was born out of hangs Joey would attend between patrols and minesweeping operations in Iraq. He recognized the power of cigars to facilitate conversations and connections, and built the Mobile Cigar Lounge as a way to export that experience.
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 Podcast 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.
Find Fellow Veteran Entrepreneurs
Join one of our programs at Bunker Labs to meet other Navy veteran entrepreneurs, and veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs of the other branches as you build community and grow together!
Breaking Barriers in Entrepreneurship: Breaking Barriers in Entrepreneurship is a virtual workshop series that facilitates business growth and support within AAPI, Black, Latinx, and female veteran and military spouse communities. The eight-week workshop is designed to create an immediate impact for early to growth-stage businesses by providing access to business tools, resources, capital opportunities, mentorship, and a stronger peer network.
Veterans in Residence: Veterans in Residence is a professionally facilitated, 16-week business incubator that provides veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs a networking community, business skills, and opportunities to help grow their business.
CEOcircle: CEOcircle is a monthly peer accountability group for growth-stage companies looking to scale. The year-long program builds a brain-trust of peers scaling and growing their companies and as CEOs through education, connections, and mentorship.
The Ambassador Program: The Ambassador Program is a 12-month volunteer program that helps develop and connect the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ambassadors ensure there is a clear path for Bunker Labs entrepreneurs to access the local resources and networks they need to successfully launch and grow their businesses.