Voting: Ignition Challenge, presented by MidCountry Bank
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Tyler Weston (Marine Corps veteran)
We SAVE LIVES! Our company provides Situational Awareness and Critical Incident Management Training (Active Shooter) as well as detailed site security plans. Our training is like nothing on the market as we train in the classroom AND with live scenarios. With 2021 on pace to have the most mass shooting in U.S. history, everyone needs to be vigilant and aware so they can help SAVE LIVES.
We would use the financial award to buy some more equipment, help with marketing, and buy inventory. We just launched in October 2020 and though I am not personally new to running a business, I am a new veteran business owner. I am looking for any and all help I can get! I know that I cannot do this on my own. I like to network, meet new people, and learn from successful business owners/entrepreneurs. I believe winning this challenge will help to take us to the next level and get us out there even more. We want to help SAVE LIVES. I know I have said it over and over again, but that is our mission. Winning this challenge will get us closer to achieving that!
Sean Grorich (Army veteran)
Our mission is to be sustainable (using earth friendly products) and socially responsible (our Coffee with a Cause Campaign). With our Coffee with a Cause Campaign we donate 12% of our proceeds from our coffee blends to local community charity causes. I just began roasting coffee beans last September in the middle of the pandemic. We mostly wholesale but also sell some retail and online.
Improvement in efficiencies of production with weigh scale machine and improved packaging/labeling along with targeted marketing. These could help us grow to the next level where we could then take on a new employee or two.
Leonard Peterson (Air Force veteran)
Rebound has designed, developed, and manufactured medical accessory parts for use with personal equipment that requires an air hose, or similar attachment, to connect a patient with health supports.
My PDHC (Personal Device Hose Caddy) offers a completely different level of safety and convenience because its primary premise is to grant the user an ability to move freely in their sleep/resting quarters without being limited by a fixed metal, or other encumbering tree type device. This PDHC part also offers a variety of currently fashionable colors for their visual comfort. We offer installation materials that WILL NOT damage any area of a painted wall, or furniture. All facets of this product, including manufacturing, are sourced from American (USA) companies and this primary device is manufactured in the USA only.
I would use up to 1/3 to complete a professional Website, 1/5 to develop introduction videos and the balance in reserve to advertise and service debt.
Benjamin Koberstein (Army veteran)
Red Arrow Crane & Rigging provides training for individuals to acquire a nationally recognized certification to operate different types of cranes. The cranes very from Articulated Cranes to Tower Cranes and everything in between. We also provide certification training for riggers and signalpersons. Once the individuals pass both a written exam and hands on exam they receive their certification from The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).
Marketing would be the biggest use. Currently the majority of the sales have come from word of mouth which is not a bad thing but getting the name out more never hurts.
Another use of the funds would be for securing a building to locate all of the testing/training material in one location and hopefully have a large enough space to do some testing/training in house.
Having a mentor to talk through different ideas, problems or situations would be great.
Scott Shirk (Army veteran)
Redleg Custom Woodworks is providing a unique, personalized gift idea for the Field Artillery community. We specialize in handcrafting personalized wooden artillery rounds for service related awards and gifts for retirements, graduations, change of duty stations, and other occasions.
One of my goals with Redleg Custom Woodworks was to let the business grow naturally and not try to push it. We have grown so much already that I would use the award and coaching to learn about marketing material and website design along with updating some smaller equipment.
Percy Duckworth (Army veteran)
Robles & Duckworth is a 24-hour emergency services/janitorial services, which specializes in hoarding and organization. We provide counseling and pastoral care free of charge because we understand the challenges of mental health. We also give back to the community we are involved local and international with human rights. Our company in not just a cleaning company; we change lives by providing services and care for all.
We would use funds to be able to hire more employees and to market our business to take it to the next level.
Jeremy Neuharth (Army veteran)
Sycorr has created identity & access review tools exclusively for banks. We integrate with non-friendly applications that banks use in an operations-friendly way to shrink the effort required to pass required regulatory activities dramatically. A typical mid-sized bank (~3B) spends about eight weeks to complete a reach permission review (entitlement review, access certification); our case studies show we can shrink that effort down to roughly a week.
The top five ways we would use the award include: 1) We would use the fact that we received the award in marketing materials to continue building momentum. 2) We would leverage the award for PR in bank trades and associations to get our story out there. 3) We would use the funds to invest in marketing activities. 4) We would use coaching to expand our network and refine our approach to reaching our potential network. 5) We would use the award to help accelerate partnering with more financial industry application vendors.
Andrew (Cody) Norton (Air Force veteran)
Wing & Wrench is an aviation maintenance technician trade school. Our curriculum goes beyond every other technician school; it is proficiency focused, and is all-inclusive of equipment, tools, books, and testing to ensure student success. There is a two-year waiting list locally for this education, and the airlines are in dire need of local technician sources. Students will get the training they need for a successful career in the aeronautical industry.
We would use funds to secure facilities, use as equity to urge lenders, and take the coaching as an opportunity to fine tune.
Greg Fischer, (Marine Corps veteran)
Burn Pit BBQ provides grilling and barbecuing tips, techniques, and products to aspiring backyard pitmasters. Our products are all natural, gluten free, gmo free, and taste delicious. It's the same products we feed our families. Since starting in August 2020, Burn Pit BBQ has had over 400 online orders and is in eight retail shops in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Burn Pit BBQ is at an exciting crossroads in our young journey. The money would help us expand our inventory needs to meet the demand of our growing customer base. A portion would also be used to increase our marketing efforts to reach new audiences.
Kyle Gernhofer (Navy Veteran)
Because of corporate dentistry's growing presence, more people today than ever before are receiving unnecessary, poor quality and/or less personalized dental care. This costs patients millions of dollars every year in unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses along with physical and emotional suffering. Thousands of corporate dentists participate in TriCare Dental and military family members have no way of knowing which dentists in their plan provide the best overall care. DenScore is a software solution powered by artificial intelligence that helps military family members and everyone else find the most desirable dentists in their dental plan.
The cash prize and coaching would be a game-changer for DenScore! We've validated that enterprise companies are willing to pay for DenScore services and we're getting very close to entering a contract agreement with a few of these companies. Charlie has built one of our insurance products which is an application programming interface (API) and he manages our data science/machine learning needs on a daily basis. However, he is not a software engineer and we need to pay someone to write additional code for the software we intend on offering to our early employer clients and healthcare navigation partners. Eventually, we will bring a full-time software engineer onto the team but we are unable to do this until we raise our pre-seed round and/or generate revenue. We are a very coachable team and we understand there are a lot things we don’t know that we don’t know! We would be humbled and grateful to receive any amount of mentorship from the PenFed mentors!
Aimee Slaughter (Air Force Military Spouse)
Epiphany Care Homes was founded by Aimee and Derek Slaughter as an alternative to traditional large-scale assisted living, memory care and nursing home facilities. We focus on residents with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, seniors with mental health disorders and general ageing related disorders. Our home operates with a philosophy of care that allows aging-in-place, with more intensive services available on-site as needs progress. We take a holistic care approach when partnering with a resident and family, focusing the physical, mental and psychosocial of a resident need; to develop and drive a customized care plan which results in the highest quality of life.
If we received this award, we would use it to open a second facility. We receive calls daily asking if we have openings and we do not. We would like to be able to offer excellent services to other seniors with mental health issues in the community.
Chelsea Andrews (Air Force National Guard)
I am currently a Licensed Family Childcare Provider and am able to serve 8 children and their families. Due to COVID, there is an extreme need for childcare services throughout the country and Brodhead, WI is no exception. I want to expand my childcare center into a group childcare center which could serve approximately 70 children and their families. Getting off the ground has been difficult, but I am determined to open this center to make a difference for the families and children in my community before I am ordered to deploy for the US Air National Guard.
I will be a nature-based childcare center. I believe that children learn best when they are outdoors so they are free to explore and be creative. I am dedicated to high-quality care as I am currently the highest rated YoungStar provider in Brodhead, WI. YoungStar ensures quality within a center and assigns a star rating accordingly. My goal is to become a 5 Star center through a play-based, nature environment where children can thrive.
It would be life changing for my community. I know that my business will be successful but just getting off the ground has been tough. I will be able to use this to invest in high-quality materials for classroom use. This is no small feat as the environment is the children's #1 teacher.
James Zess (Army veteran)
MCHX Technology is a certified VOSB that provides mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services, and product design services associated with small turbine engines for power production and aviation applications. The Company holds a Certification of Authorization to perform engineering services in the State of Wisconsin. MCHX Technology is subcontracting to a Milwaukee architectural company to provide MEP engineering services for the Milwaukee VA Medical Center Historic Buildings Reuse project for veterans. MCHX Technology also has current and past contracts with aviation companies to design turboprop engine recuperators for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and small, high performance planes.
We are in desperate need of engineering software. MCHX Technology would use the funds to secure a network license in SolidWorks to perform CADD, FEA and CFD fluid simulation. MCHX Technology would also obtain a license and training in Autodesk REVIT software for MEP analysis and design optimization.
Kyle Nyseth (Navy veteran)
Navy Paddles offers handcrafted, high quality memorabilia, paddles, plaques, coin boxes, and carriers. Products are made by a retired navy lieutenant from a combination of woods grown in Wisconsin. Serving all branches of the military, fire, and police. Our products are a very unique way to honor and recognize someone’s achievement. It is not just a plaque or card, but it is a way of display that can be presented beautifully. The piece we handcraft is an icon of teamwork.
Our first thing we would do to help grow our business would be hire additional employees for production, social media, and invoicing/QuickBooks. We would also process automation on our website to streamline more orders and business.
Barma Malekebu (Marine Corps veteran)
Next Global Security provides security guards and patrol services for businesses and governments. We’re constantly improving our methods to provide the best cost effective security solutions. Our training methods are rigorous. As a company, we embrace technology to become more efficient at what we do. We provide specific training on defensive tactics, patrol techniques, criminal law, and customer service.
If we won the award, I would use this funding for marketing. Marketing strategies are very important. Improving our website, print advertising, and commercials would increase sales.
Josue Roman, (Army veteran)
Abacrop provides a mobile, digital platform for small farmers to manage operation data, reports, and analyses. In other words, farmers can input and access critical internal information via any internet-connected device, including from out in the field. As we know from first-hand experience, instant access to data empowers farmers to make more informed, quicker, and better decisions. Moreover, Abacrop provides farmers with clearly documented data for compliance with safety and food management regulations. Through comprehensive regulatory compliance, farmers can acquire additional customers and remain competitive in the market.
We intend to introduce a Spanish-language platform — allowing us to expand into to South America. Additionally, we aim to expand platform capability and incorporate data capture via our iOS app.
Rocky Takapu (Air Force veteran), Nate Gilman (NOAA Commissioned Corps), and Hammad Mushtaq
Traditionally, non-developer employees (the majority of most business teams) report technical issues to developers via chats. The chat method, however, is utterly unproductive and infuriating. Often, non-developers and developers end up wasting time in a seemingly-endless back-and-forth in which neither party wholly understands the other. BUGr offers a solution: an in-browser extension that automatically captures softwares’ back-end technical details and shares them with development teams. In turn, development teams receive the exact information they need to quickly solve any software issue. Through BUGr, non-developers can easily report and triage bugs — and developers can have a precise understanding of any issue. Without infuriating chats, teams can go back to focusing on their jobs and prioritizing customers.
In the next three years, we aim to grow our business and integrate it into Microsoft Azure, Atlassian's Jira, or another player in the software project management space — and seek acquisition. To achieve a successful and advantageous acquisition, we anticipate learning from advisors, mentors, and investors.
Finally, we intend to use our funds to implement our GTM strategy. In our strategy, we aim to collaborate with Wise Advise and Assist in the creation of seven regional pitch competitions. Through these competitions, we plan to break into our next beach head market (small to medium sized startups). Additionally, we will increase our marketing and brand recognition.
Edwin Rivera (Marine Corps veteran)
CG1 Solutions provides mixed reality software and content development for enterprise customers. We are launching a subscription-based content library of augment reality (AR)-enabled training instructions for the healthcare industry.
We would use the award towards the development of our public-facing marketplace.
Michael Loyd (Marine Corps veteran)
Dope Coffee is a premium coffee brand that combines great coffee and Hip-Hop culture to create unique products and cultural experiences. Primarily, we operate our business via partnerships and crowdfunding. In Q3, we are poised to expand nationwide with 10 flagship stores. Dope Coffee exists to break down barriers and build community.
Initially, we would use $5k for a lease on a brick-and-mortar retail flagship. Additionally, we would apply $15k to purchase K-Cup supplies. Through a K-Cup channel, we can immediately fulfill several pending office coffee contracts. Dope Coffee is in a growth phase and we need capital to sustain our daily operations.
Candice Dietz (Army military spouse)
Through our B2B cause marketing platform, GIVESPACE empowers the world to come together and give back. GIVESPACE offers businesses a streamlined platform to connect with 1M+ charities and initiate their own give-back campaigns. Additionally, our client’s customers can directly engage with each charity and opt to direct their donations.
With funding, we will hire an additional junior software developer to meet the demands of our growing wait list. With a larger team, we can continue to enter more markets and scale our business.
Nneka Brown (Army veteran)
Innovative Supplies Worldwide is a sustainable stationery manufacturing company. More specifically, we focus on school and office supplies that represent diverse art. Through our company, we hope to introduce education products with new perspectives and, in doing so, change the education industry.
With funding, I would build our first fully functioning manufacturing site. Additionally, I would focus on developing site for our upcoming product lines.
Broderick Neel-Feller (Navy, active duty)
Jammin' Together is a platform that connects local bars and restaurants to local musicians. Within this collaboration, we help artists promote their shows and venues promote their locations.
Often, small, local venues find themselves filtering through cold calls and emails to hire live music — a process which neither guarantees the best band or the best price. On the flip side, local musicians face a high barrier to entry when finding new gigs. Jammin’ Together offers a centralized platform that eliminates this inefficient process and allows fans to support local musicians and institutions.
The award would cover website development and maintenance costs. As for the coaching element, I believe that there is always room for growth by learning from other people's experiences and hearing their perspectives. Recently, when I met with a business coach, I learned that military members struggle to transition from working in the business to on the business. With a coach, I believe I could learn how to make that transition and to look at the business as a whole.
Kelli Mumphrey (Navy military spouse)
At MilkSpace, we are passionate about providing outdoor public space operators and event organizers with a premium, mobile, public-use lactation space. Fundamentally, we aim to solve the all-too-prevalent challenge of outdoor breastfeeding. To achieve our mission, we plan to partner with local governments organizations and other events to enable their female customers to comfortably breastfeed — “No Matter HER Location.”
Finally, MilkSpace strives to spread its social impact initiative, "Match It 4 HER!" Through our initiative, we hope to lessen breastfeeding disparities in communities of color, specifically for black low-income mothers. Specifically, we plan to partner with Community-Based-Organizations (CBO) and for-profit entities to provide access to breastfeeding essentials and breastfeeding resources by way of donations!
If MilkSpace, LLC was blessed to receive the award, the funds would exclusively support the purchase a high-roof van and its modification into a MOBILE MILKSPACE. To convert the van, we plan on implementing internal and external modifications that allow for private, convenient, and sanitary outdoor lactation space. Once converted, we will offer our services to any DFW, B2B, or B2C — this year!
Additionally, the $10,000 will significantly enhance my ability to attract, engage, better serve, and retain my customers. I intend for MilkSpace to become the leader in mobile lactation and to be recognized as such.
A coach is crucial in achieving my mobile MilkSpace goals. As a one-woman-show, the day-to-day responsibilities and distractions can become daunting. Sometimes it is challenging for me to escape from a tunnel vision. I could really benefit from a coach that listens to my complex thoughts, provides me with constructive feedback (even if it hurts ;), and holds me accountable to my goals. I am eager to listen to as much as my coach can offer — whether that’s daily, weekly, or monthly.
Finally, I am fully aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I hope to use this knowledge and my coach’s input to become a better leader and entrepreneur. Although I feel I have been blessed with a clear vision for MilkSpace, as a new business owner, I have both arms opened wide to receive any and all advice. I am ready to listen to and learn about the best business practices to position me for immediate and long-term growth.
Henry Rosario (Army veteran)
Through destination-themed patches, Outpatch makes it easier for socially-conscious travelers to give back to the communities that they. More specifically, the patches highlight local artists and the proceeds go to community non-profits — #givewhereyougo.
At Outpatch, we've reached an inflection point — we've tested and validated our product, but we need external capital to expand our national availability (currently we are in seven US states). The award would allow us to hire an additional employee, pay more local artists, purchase additional product, and, more broadly, expand. At the moment, it costs us about $1,000 to expand into a new state. The award’s size, therefore, determines the extent of our expansion.
Just as valuable and timely, the coaching services would help us navigate this impending growth stage. We're facing a lot of operational and strategic questions and would benefit greatly from seasoned experts that can guide us on the right path.
Scotty Jones (Air Force veteran)
STEAMVision, by Sterile Geeks VR, harnesses augmented reality to increase productivity within hospitals’ Sterile Processing Departments (SPDs). In many ways, SPDs are the heartbeat of every hospital. On a daily basis, SPDs handle thousands of items and, if improperly handed, these items can cause life-threatening infection and costly surgical delays. Through the STEAMVision program, we aim to promote work efficiency, offset issues related to high staff turnover, and accelerate education/training (regardless of skill level).
As a growing company, any funding would go towards development and marketing. More specifically, we would use funding to enhance our website, marketing materials, and create a virtual mock-up of our concept to present to investors.
William Hill (Navy veteran)
Uncharted Territory Solutions aims to provide accessible, widespread health, safety, and emergency education. Our program will offer courses and certifications in CPR, OSHA, and Mental Health First Aid.
I would apply the award to marketing and hiring. In terms of marketing, I hope to increase our content and reach more students. In terms of hiring, I hope to grow our team and offer more classes. As an entrepreneur, I believe that knowledge is power and the more I learn, the better my business will operate. I would cherish a coach and immensely appreciate the value of a coaching-based relationship.
Clarice Williams (Air Force military spouse)
Through W.E.B.S, we want to teach tax, bookkeeping, and notary skills in a cosmetology school-inspired training center — ultimately, giving individuals’ marketable skills and decreasing overall unemployment. In our program, we will provide our students with three employment pathways: interviews with our partner companies, employment in our organization, and guidance through entrepreneurship. Additionally, we will accommodate students through sliding scale fees for services rendered. Within this model, our students will graduate with their own book of business. We plan to generate revenue from tuition, sale of classroom materials, and other career related products.
The award will help us implement a pilot program with a few students and instructor. The award will also pay for written materials, classroom equipment, and community outreach.
Ashley Booker-Knight (Army veteran)
Words Unite Bookstore is a mobile bookstore that showcases independent authors’ published works. Given our unique platform, we can offer customers signed copies of our written material. Through Words Unite Bookstore, we aim to ignite a passion for literature — one book at a time.
With the award, I would take my traveling bookstore to more states and reach more communities. In particular, I would focus on communities that need additional reading material. Finally, I would use the coaching to advance my team, building better relationships, and grow my business.
Margo Jordan (Army military spouse)
Youth Enrichments is an e-learning platform and gaming app that leverages technology, data, and entertainment to prevent violent youth behavior, teen pregnancy, and suicide. Our platform is specifically engineered to increase self-esteem throughout youth populations. Through individual subscriptions, school curriculum, and licensee programs we aim to capture 10% of the e-learning market — and, eventually, achieve acquisition or IPO.
This fund will allow us to both further our research and fully develop our beta platform. Through our platform development, we will empower youth, around the world, to develop their self-esteem and reach their full potential.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve realized that a leader always looks to learn more and to grow. In building my company, I would continue to seek out coaching. I know that as a more effective leader, I can grow my company even faster and more efficiently.
Juan Baret (Air Force veteran)
Since 2013, Baret Sporting Goods has been crafting high-quality, handmade-to-order wooden baseball bats — internationally known as “Baret Bats.” The company, owned and operated by Juan Carlos Baret, is proudly family, veteran, disabled, and minority owned. In addition to bats, Baret offers custom fielding gloves, batting gloves, and unique baseball accessories. Baret also provides glove repairs and bat-making demonstrations. For nearly a decade, Baret has been refining his technique out of his Virginia workshop. Ultimately, Baret aims to lead and support young athletes, local entrepreneurs, and the broader military community.
From our inception, Baret Sporting Goods has been entirely bootstrapped and self-funded — while maintaining little to no debt. More specifically, the Baret family has invested $15K and reinvested $40K of profits (without taking any salary). Although there have been challenges along the way, I deeply believe in our company’s mission — to spread compassion and build community through baseball. Moreover, I am so grateful for our wonderful, diverse, and growing customer base. As our demands rapidly increase, we aim to channel any investment towards increased product strategy, marketing, and operations within 2021 and 2022.
Monika Jefferson (Air Force military spouse)
AMSE agency creates economic impact military spouses through entrepreneurship. Our organization is two years young, free, and provides the resources for spouses to start, scale, and sustain a business while supporting their military spouse. AMSE offers a digital platform with access to curriculum, high touch masterclasses, laser coaching, cowling, business blue prints, discounts, and so much more.
I would continue to build out our technology. We are currently working on an app where military spouses can showcase their businesses. I will also use funds to continue to pay my team.
Marsha Stephanson (Air Force veteran)
Cater to Mom is monthly postpartum care subscription box focused on catering to needs of moms after giving birth. The box includes postpartum recovery essentials, aromatherapy, health & wellness supplements, skincare, books, healthy snacks (with allergy sensitive, gluten-free, and vegan options per request), teas, and other postpartum-inspired products carefully curated for new and seasoned moms.
Each monthly box is themed with a focus on different challenges moms face during the postpartum period, recovery, breastfeeding, relieving stress, postpartum depression, postpartum sleep and insomnia, returning to work, relationships with partners, and so much more. There are so many gifts for the baby, but this box is just for mom.
Our business has grown significantly so much that it is time to scale. We would use the money to move into a larger space and hire part time staff to help with packing/distribution of orders. The coaching would be beneficial to guide us in scaling and continue to grow.
Patrick E. Alcorn (Army veteran)
BidExecs is a global business development and proposal management company with a global reach to experts across 11 different public and commercial sectors. BidExecs d/b/a Government Contract Management Executives, LLC (GCMExecs) is a local franchisee to be solely owed by Patrick E Alcorn. GCMExecs provides business solutions that show results that fit the business growth strategy of prospective government and corporate prime contractors (and subcontractors), including full-service business development, capture support, technical writing, and proposal management solutions.
The PenFed Foundation Ignition Challenge Award will be used as follows:
Initial BidExecs Franchise Fee: $15,600Initial BidExecs Training Fee: $5,500Initial Operating Capital: $3,900
The coaching will be used to accelerate the sales strategy to ensure that financial projections are achieved (or exceeded).
Yusuf Henriques (Army veteran)
IndyGeneUS AI is a Black-Owned & Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) genomics company creating the world's largest digital blockchain-encrypted repository of indigenous and diasporic African clinical and genomic data. Our proprietary technology can detect novel signature sequences, biomarkers, and polygenic risk scores by integrating "multi-omics" data, electronic healthcare record (EHR) data, and textual information such as scientific manuscripts.
The award would enable us to Enhance our bioinformatics and blockchain digital platform to engage more black, Hispanics, and indigenous participants.
Felicity Krohne-Thomas (Navy military spouse)
Le Pique Nique is a full-service luxury picnic experience that brings glamour and ambiance to all picnic experiences, accompanied with exceptional customer service. We provide beautifully-woven floor rugs, blankets, and pillows in addition to an elegantly-appointed hand-crafted table set with top quality linens, dinnerware, candles, and fresh flowers. We also provide bites and beverages suited for an intimate picnic as well as luxury transportation for an even more luxurious experience. From set-up to clean-up, we handle everything.
If we win the award, we will use the money to pay off outstanding credit card debts and a recently purchased vehicle, which required many repairs. Additionally, we would hire a social media marketer to bring more exposure to our business and boost our following and sales. Whatever money is left will be reinvested back into the business for things like renewing our bookkeeping service, website maintenance and buying new and additional inventory as well as supporting other small businesses that play a role in our daily operation.
Kelli Mumphrey (Navy veteran and military spouse)
MilkSpace, LLC is a Veteran Woman-Owned Business that is passionate about providing outdoor public space operators and event organizers with premium public-use lactation services that addresses the gap in outdoor breastfeeding amenity solutions. MilkSpace, LLC's vision is to become the #1 Dallas-Fort Worth business to provide premier innovative lactation solutions for outdoor public space operators and event organizers.
In addition, MilkSpace, LLC is committed to lessening breastfeeding disparities in communities of color through collaborative community efforts to ensure disadvantaged communities have access to breastfeeding resources.
MilkSpace, LLC is feverishly working to develop a "Mobile MilkSpace" to better serve DFW events as a brand offering on-demand lactation service solutions!
The award and coaching will significantly enhance MilkSpace, LLC's capacity to attract, engage, better serve, and retain my DFW target audiences.
As a one-woman-show, I have yet to master the art of attracting and engaging with my ideal target audiences. Coaching will help me to identify weaknesses to improve my engagement approach to secure contracts enabling me to generate sales throughout the year. If MilkSpace, LLC was Blessed to receive an award, the funds would be used to support the costs of trailer modifications to convert into a MOBILE MILKSPACE to be available as a climate-controlled sanitary lactation space service for DFW events 2nd Quarter of 2022. In specific, the award funds would be allocated to:
Dr. Kenya Lee (Air Force veteran and military spouse)
PureLee Redefined is a physician owned and operated medical aesthetic spa which fuses primary care knowledge with cosmetics. We aim to help clients receive a polished, refined appearance as well as a strong, fit body by merging medical science with safe and natural appearing aesthetics. Physician owners have carefully curated and vetted procedures and treatments to meet client goals, minimizing downtime and discomfort while offering services to a market which has traditionally been excluded. We are deeply committed to the concept of graceful aging for all; maintaining an ideal degree of functionality to prevent injury, facilitate healing post injury, and maintain quality of life.
We would use the funds to create our own branded medical grade skincare lines; one line with anti-aging benefits, one for pigmentary correction, and one for acne and congested skin. The funds would also support marketing and growing the line. Coaching would be very helpful in the areas of e-commerce, marketing campaigns, supply chains, writing the brand story and determining the look. We are interested in international private label companies and coaching with knowledge and expertise within that space would be extremely helpful and appreciated. Coaching on acquiring and keeping the best employees in the face of this pandemic would also be welcomed.
E. Sean Lanier (Army veteran)
Resolve Solutions Incorporated (RSI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation headquartered in Alexandria, VA, is dedicated to providing educational, financial support, and early college preparation to under-represented/underserved students nationwide (and DoD dependents abroad). We prepare students for college and service to our nation as military officers, captains of industry, and government service. Our Support includes mentorship, standardized college admissions test preparation, language/cultural immersion, internships, and independent study.
COVID-19 has extremely disrupted the number of students who were able to take the SAT/ACT, coupled with an increasing number of colleges and universities that no longer have a standardized test score requirement which decreases the overall pool of potential applicants. Any award and coaching received would focus on growing the applicant pool and improving the marketing and staffing to cultivate that talent to increase application submission.
Kira Clark (Army veteran)
SassKo, LLC is designing devices for service dogs to use to summon assistance for their handlers. A service dog will be able to perform medical alert by summoning emergency services, call for help for a Veteran experiencing a PTSD episode or turn lights on/off for a Veteran to perform nightmare disruption, and so much more.
I will bring in an administrative professional and purchase inventory. A portion will go to marketing, website build and continued research and development on this product and the next one already being planned.
Reamonn Soto (Marine Corps veteran)
Sensatek Propulsion Technology, Inc. is veteran owned business based in Daytona Beach, Florida. Sensatek offers patented battery-free wireless sensing technology, TurboTrack, to gas turbine fleet owners to help avoid multi-million-dollar unexpected outages caused by early part failure. TurboTrack alerts engine operators when parts become bad, allowing them to prioritize and schedule maintenance while minimizing human intervention
We're at the threshold of strong revenue growth and would be honored to partner with PenFed a veteran owned business to help create the best-in-class company to have impact all around the world. We want to perfect, with the guidance of subject matter experts, our business model, fund raising process, and our operations to become better positioned as prepare for our capital fundraise. We would set milestones from the coaching and mentoring available in the program, and deploy the award in a way that will best achieve the milestones. We have been blessed to become a much-lauded success story for the University of Central Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University incubators, and we are confident that we can do the same for the Ignition Challenge.
Tiffany Jones (Navy veteran and military spouse)
TJL Collection is Tall women's specialty brand that caters to women who are overlooked by the fashion industry. We carry inseams from 35” to 39”. Our specialty is business casual pants, jumpsuits, and dresses.
I would expand my inventory with my manufacturing. Plus, I would hire more help.
The award would also help with my building costs because I am brick and mortar. Finally, I would use the funding towards social media advertising.
Ruben Ayala (Army veteran)
Triple Nikel is a lifestyle apparel brand that celebrates diversity within the communities that make up our country. We created Triple Nikel in 2020 after seeing how the majority of mainstream Veteran Owned apparel brands were marketing themselves - mainly "alt-right." The concept of the company is simple; we mean to Trendset the perception of what veterans look like, Amplify stories seldom heard and Inspire the next generation. The name Triple Nikel is derived from the 555th Parachute Infantry Regiment (A/K/A Triple Nickels) which was the first all black airborne unit in the military.
We would love to utilize these funds to invest in equipment (embroidery machines) to further increase efficiency of our supply chain. We would love to have insight on how to increase the efficiencies in our B2B relationships and grow those revenues in 2022-2023.
Joshua Dew (Marine Corps veteran)
Vagrant Coffee is a craft coffee cafe, roaster, and mobile espresso bar company that offers an elevated beverage experience in four retail locations and off site events.
In a world where style and presentation matter more and more, we have crafted amazing cafe environments in addition to our ability to step out of the walls and bring the cafe experience directly to you. Don't settle for bad coffee, so turn our cafe into your office, or book us for your venue, expo booth, or bring our coffee home to craft your own beverages.
With any level of placement, we would be able to expand our offerings with our mobile operations. Every additional mobile set up gives us the ability to reach a whole new region of customers, create jobs, and increase revenue.
John Scholtz (Air Force veteran)
Barnside Woodworks creates unique woodworks such as custom keepsake boxes, live edge tables/coat racks and high quality cutting boards.
I would be grateful for the assistance and would use what I learn in a practical setting.
Christopher Wysong (Army veteran)
Bucket of Bread Brand Dough Mixes, made from certified organic ingredients, are super fast and surprisingly simple to use, last up to two whole weeks in your fridge, and can be used in so many different easy baking recipes such as: pizzas, cinnamon buns, calzones, pretzels, bagels, naan, and yes... even bread! Pretty much any recipe you have that needs a dough, Bucket of Bread is for you! One bucket makes around 4 pounds of dough! But the best part of all of this is the impact your purchase and support has.
40% marketing efforts (site improvement and digital target marketing), 30% operational costs (excluding labor), 30% product expansion (toppings/bottles/labels). Remaining funds are prioritized towards marketing efforts then operational costs.
Ryann Engholm (Marine Corps veteran)
Using a dynamic combination of skilled Mental Health Occupational Therapy services, certified self discovery coaching, personal mentorship, and peer support, Catalyst Group LLC will empower clients to seek increased independence and a higher quality of life for themselves within the greater community.
Our team will facilitate individual and group services for young adults post high school and/or college (ages 18-26) who are struggling with the transition to adulthood. Our unique offerings—six-week group coaching experiences called Catalyst groups—will guide and support clients as they find a greater sense of identity, personal values, goals, and deeper sense of life purpose. This work will be the catalyst for improved well-being, resilience, and the ability to foster greater independence and interdependence in life.
The award funds will be used for:-Application fees for establishing an LLC in the state of MN-Website hosting and development-Rental of space in the community to conduct groups and individual sessions-Partial subsidy of fees for private pay clients and those experiencing financial barriers to care
We are both committed to growth and excellence. Coaching will help us broaden the overall scope and vision of our business, while keeping us grounded in the work of building and developing our current programming ideas.
Thomas DeJan (Air Force veteran)
Repair and maintenance of light aircraft. Pilot services. Aerial patrol.
Complete the airborne FLIR sensor aircraft.
Joan Sallee (Air Force veteran)
Drive through health conscious specialty drinks and snacks.
We would be able to purchase the land, building, permits, and equipment to get started.
Jaden and Erica Peck (Air Force veterans)
We create and develop all-natural and hand blended spice blends, rubs and Bloody Mary mixes. We create each recipe ourselves and strive to bring our customers the best tasting and healthiest all-natural blends.
We would use the coaching to develop a strategic business and marketing plan. We would use the award to grow our business and continue to donate to various Veterans organizations all across the Midwest! Veterans need our help and we strive to give back as much as we can with MRFC! We will also use some of the award to secure a commercial kitchen and obtain our manufacturers license in order to expand our business throughout the Midwest!
Marcie Fulford (Army veteran)
Our business is geared toward the hunter. All game calls are custom made by hand from wood and epoxy. The customer can go to the web site and choose from all different woods and apply colors. We sell turkey, duck, geese, elk, grow, deer, and rabbit calls.
We would finish the wood shop so that we can add a wood dryer. We also have some electrical work that needs to be done. Some wood all go to advertising.
Cindy Brosig (Air Force veteran)
A Registered Nurse and certified dog trainer who supports children and adults with physical, social, emotional challenges by working with therapy animals (dogs and horses).
Reach more children and adults to begin the healing process.
Andrew Britton (Air Force veteran)
Two veterans who have served together for over a decade and two deployments to the Middle East are partnering to open a food preparation area on the premises of a well-known brewery in western WI. The menu items will consist of oven prepared, frozen items.
Our biggest challenge is that of staffing. We believe that to add value to our key stakeholders, we need a staff that has buy-in to the mission of Rivers Edge Bistro. In order to establish buy-in, we would like to offer compensation that is above competitive food-service industry rates, and pay profit-sharing on an EBIT benchmarked basis. This award will provide the capital freedom to do-so. Once we have buy-in, we know that certain employees will grow to become managers and directors of future locations and franchises.
David Graham (Navy veteran)
Rock Ridge Retreat is a unique therapeutic riding center in Northwestern WI. Established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2022, we are a veteran owned and operated organization with a mission to ensure that our clientele and their families receive support to nurture hope, create a safe haven, and cohesive environment to feel at home and welcome through multiple challenges. Rock Ridge Retreat offers professionally-certified equine assisted therapy to all who seek it utilizing the resources of our 57-acre ranch, indoor and outdoor arenas, and 20 acres of extended riding trails. Our services help reestablish resiliency and hope for distressed individuals that they can not only survive, but experience positive life change.
Though we are currently operational, Rock Ridge Retreat has been funded out of pocket by co-founders David and Cindy to date. In order to best serve our clients and create organizational sustainability, this award would be used toward startup costs and equipment. Currently we have a need for additional supplies including saddles, tack, and helmets, and accessibility equipment such as ramps and stairwells. We also have a need for funding to cover general operating costs, such as liability insurance. Coaching and funds will be used to help us make our business more accessible, sustainable, and increase our potential to serve more clients as we grow.
Daniel Olson (Air Force veteran)
Voyageurs E-bike Rental & Tours provides a unique mode of transportation that is becoming more popular across the country. Electric bikes are a great way to get around, see new sights, and provide healthy activity outdoors. E-bikes are an activity that all ages and abilities can participate in and create lasting memories with family and friends.
Voyageurs E-bike Rental & Tours would use this award and coaching to scale the business to a larger customer reach with more options and services. We would look for coaching on ways to improve our systems, determine financial sources, and increase the business's awareness through marketing, social media and other outlets. It is important to set goals, but having systems in place to help achieve, measure, and improve along each step is how to become successful.
Manny Lara (Navy veteran)
We are a staffing platform using a web-based, app that helps to fill open shift work positions for restaurants, bars and hotels. (Think of Uber for staffing). Our app is also configurable, so we can work in other industries. And you can earn badges for experiences gained while using the app.
We would intend to lean into marketing to grow the brand and some staffing support to handle guest relations and operations.