Grind Capital is a seed-stage innovation fund collaborating with Louisiana Tech University, Duke Angel Network, and AFWERX focusing on technologies with applications in the defense industry that also have private sector commercial applications in the following sectors: Cybersecurity, Defense & Aerospace, Critical Infrastructure, Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR, Robotics, IoT, Telecommunications, CIS/MIS, BI/Analytics, Manufacturing Automation, BioTech/BioMed, NanoTech, GreenTech, Agricultural Science, Advanced Materials, Energy, Supply Chain, and Natural Sciences.
“We’re excited to begin taking applications for our first ‘Chalk’ of Veteran Entrepreneurs in Residence at Grind Capital. The battlefield perspective and the team mentality Veterans possess make them ideal for helping us achieve our mission of building tools that solve problems for our Warfighters. From VR and Defense & Aerospace to Behavioral Analytics, I’ve quietly…and might I add successfully, worked with Veterans for most of my career which has been spent working in innovation of some sort. Different or otherwise, I value the communication style and efficiency. Veterans are mission oriented, disciplined, and thrive in a team environment. As a venture capitalist, I’m not only challenged to see where the market is going, but to quickly build teams that can make the problems they’re solving larger than themselves to allow them to put down their individual BS to accomplish the mission. I’ve worked with a lot of Veterans who share those principals. I’ve partnered with the ones who’ve demonstrated a track record of lifetime learning. We’re excited to partner with Louisiana Tech University in a Veteran-focused accelerator track where we will use our VCs, community partners, researchers and students to assist us in our mission to develop dual-use technologies for our partners in the Army and Air Force,” said Brent Upshaw, Venture Partner, Grind Capital, Ruston.
“The LA Tech College of Business initiated an outreach program to build on the practical success of our Top Dog program, where students not only build entrepreneurial businesses but also seek funding to launch new ventures housed in a campus incubator. The experience rich environment means the Veterans in Tech programs can roll up their sleeves and implement what they’ve learned, applying their wealth of experience. They flourish in these practical applications as they embrace real time decision-making, building on adaptation to the business environment they face. Veterans have experience adapting plans to a changing landscape, valuable personal skills for entrepreneurs. LA Tech supports the growth of more Vet owned startups, building on the advantages of the Tech entrepreneurial culture,” stated Robert W. Sweitzer, Ph.D., Professor, McGehee Chair in Entrepreneurship, LA Tech College of Business.
“At Louisiana Tech University, community most often develops through a shared sense of purpose and determination to achieve success in new ventures that are powered by diversity rather than common demographic characteristics. Tech’s Innovation Enterprise has thrived as a result of blending diverse groups of varied ages, industry, stage of business development, technological sophistication and experience to create intentionally open groups of entrepreneurs and innovators who establish community through the encouragement, support, knowledge sharing, common struggles and tenacity of small groups that explore, investigate and pursue opportunity. Flipped classrooms, self-guided study, online courses, peer learning, mentoring, coaching, traditional courses and networking events are employed to help match resources to the individualized needs of adult learners through offerings such as the FUNDamentals for Founders training, Won in One idea pitch competition, and I-20 Top Twenty regional showcase. This university has learned that it is both an honor and benefit to include veteran entrepreneurs and active service members whose experience, skill, discipline and leadership provide a solid example for others,” confirmed Kathy Wyatt at LaTech.
Grind Capital and Precision Procurement Solutions (PPS) are set to attend Air Force Pitch Day in New York on March 6, 7 to learn more about how the Air Force is partnering with small businesses and VCs to assist them in modernizing our fighting force.
Precision Procurement Solutions facilitates collaboration between government and private sector clients with Dual-Use technologies and services with a mission to provide solutions in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors.
“We’re eager to see the US Air Force’s national vision for leveraging small business and Veteran-owned companies partnered with VC’s and universities to bring Innovation to the Air Force, meet with other Defense Entrepreneurs, and train,” said Grant Rogers, CEO, Precision Procurement Solutions, Bossier City, LA
The Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The opportunity affords small businesses access to the military market as well as non-dilutive capital, which is funding that does not require a company to share its ownership.
“Mind-blowing ideas are being birthed in U.S. start-up companies, but the Pentagon largely misses out on them,” said Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. “We have to do business at the speed of ideas so we can both inspire and accelerate start-up creativity towards national security challenges. The only way we’re going to do that is by making sure partnering with the Air Force is easy and energizing.”