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Mayor Stanton Welcomes Techstars’ Patriot Boot Camp, Commits to Making Phoenix a Hub for Veteran EntrepreneursMayor Stanton Welcomes Techstars’ Patriot Boot Camp, Commits to Making Phoenix a Hub for Veteran Entrepreneurs<div class="ExternalClass6AF78C8B69B841DC81AF32C8AC17C093"><div>​CONTACT: </div><div>Robbie Sherwood</div><div>(480) 246-7944 C</div><div>robbie.sherwood@phoenix.gov</div><div><br></div><div>Charlotte Creech</div><div>(720) 689-1676</div><div>charlotte@patriotbootcamp.org </div><div><br>PHOENIX – With acclaimed national startup accelerator Techstars is in town this weekend hosting its annual Patriot Boot Camp, Mayor Greg Stanton has vowed to make Phoenix a hub for veteran-led businesses.<br></div><div><br></div><div>More than 50 veteran entrepreneurs from Phoenix and around the country are taking part in Patriot Boot Camp, a conference focused on supporting early-stage veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs.  </div><div><br></div><div>“I think when we look back at Patriot Boot Camp, we’ll see it as the event that ignited our community and launched a movement for veteran-led enterprises,” Stanton said during his remarks to kick off the conference earlier today. “We are going to put Phoenix on the map as the epicenter for veteran entrepreneurship.”</div><div><br></div><div>Stanton sited Maricopa County’s dense veteran population – the second largest in the nation – as well as the number of existing veteran-owned businesses as indicators for Phoenix’s potential to lead in this space.  The Valley is home to nearly 30,000 veteran-owned businesses totaling $16.4 billion in sales receipts. </div><div><br></div><div>A big part of Patriot Boot Camp’s mission is to help those numbers grow. The nonprofit, launched in 2012, works to equip active duty military members, veterans and their spouses with the education, resources and community needed to be successful technology entrepreneurs.  This is the first year the event has been hosted west of the Mississippi. </div><div><br></div><div>“Phoenix has a powerful resource in the local veteran and military spouse community,” said Patriot Boot Camp Founder Taylor McLemore.  “Veterans and military spouses are dynamic problem solvers and understand the tenacity required to execute a plan and mission. Those characteristics make them the best kind of entrepreneurs. We, at Patriot Boot Camp, are excited and honored to support the Veteran community in Phoenix this weekend.”</div><div><br></div><div>“Veterans bring unique skills to entrepreneurship such as tenacity, mission focus and execution that help them be successful,” said Techstars Vice President of Partnerships Dave Drach. “I grew up in Arizona and am excited to see the development of the startup community here in Phoenix.”</div><div><br></div><div>The event also brought executive leaders from the private sector to serve as mentors for participants.  Vice President of Investor Relations and Market Intelligence at Zillow Group RJ Jones joined Stanton to emphasize the importance of community support for veteran entrepreneurs. </div><div><br></div><div>“The City of Phoenix continues to set a leading example in veterans’ advocacy by a municipality and its surrounding community,” said Jones.  “With the city’s tremendous success in answering First Lady Michelle Obama’s call to end chronic veteran’s homelessness achieved, they now embark on the next exciting phase of empowering veterans through entrepreneurship.  Hosting Techstar’s Patriot Bootcamp represents the start of much to come for Phoenix in terms of community economic development, corporate and investor interest, neighborhood enrichment, and long term sustainable opportunities for veterans.  We are all thrilled to join forces in this endeavor.”  </div><div><br></div><div>Local incubator Bunker Labs Arizona is committed to Stanton’s goal to make Phoenix a destination for veterans looking to start a business. </div><div><br></div><div>“We're humbled at how welcoming and supportive the Phoenix community is of our veteran entrepreneurs,” said Bunker Labs Director Phil Potter. “My colleague Felix Zayas and I look forward to working with the Mayor's office, aspiring founders, and the rest of the ecosystem to make this the best city in America for veteran-led startups.”</div><div><br></div><div>Patriot Boot Camp wraps up on Sunday and dovetails into Phoenix Startup Week – a week-long conference featuring more than 150 free workshops, speakers, and panels at five locations throughout the Valley. </div><div><br></div><div style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Background</strong></div><div><ul><li>Compared to civilians, veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed. [Source: https://sba.gov/content/factors-affecting-entrepreneurship-among-veterans]<br><br></li><li>Six of the nine Arizonans on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires ($16.2 billion collective net worth) are military veterans or heirs to companies started by their veteran fathers. [Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2015/03/9-arizonans-make-forbes-billionaires-list.html] <br><br></li><ul><li>Bruce Halle, Discount Tire Founder and Chairman ($5.9 billion)</li><li>Mark Shoen, U-Haul International Vice President ($4.6 billion)</li><li>Bob Parsons, GoDaddy Founder ($1.8 billion)</li><li>Arturo Moreno, former CEO of Outdoor Systems ($1.5 billion)</li><li>Peter Sperling, Apollo Group Chairman ($1.3 billion)</li><li>Joe Shoen, AMERCO President, Chairman and CEO ($1.1 billion)<br><br></li></ul><li>Three of Arizona’s Top 10 private companies ranked by revenue were founded by veterans and collectively employ more than 2,600 veterans. [Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/subscriber-only/2015/11/06/ace-private-companies.html] <br><br></li><ul><li>Discount Tire</li><li>Russel Sigler, Inc.</li><li>​Kitchell<br><br></li></ul><li>Nearly 30,000 veteran-owned firms in Maricopa County generate more than $16.4 billion in sales receipts (2012). [Source: US Census Bureau] <br><br></li><li>New veteran-led startups are being launched and incubated in Phoenix across such high-growth industries as cybersecurity (Intellispyre), healthcare technology (Movement Interactive) and manufacturing (EZDumpCommercial).<br></li></ul><div style="text-align:center;">-30-</div></div><div style="text-align:center;"><br></div><br></div>2/19/2016 5:00:00 PMRobbie Sherwood robbie.sherwood@phoenix.govCharlotte Creech charlotte@patriotbootcamp.org (480) 246-7944