Victor App has launched its Indiegogo campaign to help post-service military men and women figure out where they belong as they launch their civilian lives. We sat down with founder and former Marine Greg Jumes to talk about the military community and its unique path into entrepreneurship. Read his full Founder Story HERE. Contribute right now to his Indiegogo HERE and don’t forget to #thankaVeteran please.
By SHELAGH BRALEY
Q: How do you think the service you all share in common translates to supporting each other’s businesses?
A: I think veterans share a strong bond that has been formed by the traditions and history of the military. We don’t stop supporting each other when we leave the battlefield, it’s not something you can turn off, it’s ingrained into you.
Q: When a veteran launches a business, how do fellow servicemen and women respond?
A: They’ve seen and felt firsthand the hardships associated with starting their new life after service and they want to be a part of a movement that will set a path for success in the next generation of veterans and their families.
Q: Have you seen a lot of support?
A: The support I’ve seen thus far has been monumental. The Indiegogo campaign has generated over $2,000 in less than two days of the campaign being live. I’ve had a lot of veterans tell me how badly this tool is needed and how they wish there would have been a resource like Victor when they separated from active duty. Hearing support like that motivates me, and looking back on my difficult transition and how alone I felt brings me solace in knowing that I wasn’t alone in such a dark time when I felt like I was taking on the world by myself.
Q: What’s the big mission you want to accomplish with Victor?
A: My mission with Victor is to bring local businesses and communities together to fill the gaps in the transition process when leaving the military. The goal is to help integrate veterans into a new city and social community because for most veterans, they’ve been in a “tribe” of their own and up until separating, have not had to identify a social community of their own.
Q: What problem are you passionate about solving in this space?
A: Besides fixing the transition process of leaving the military, I’m very passionate about changing the way civilians and businesses think about veterans. The media and social media promote a certain stereotype that vets are dysfunctional, depressed, irritable and must be handled with care. We are not UXO (unexploded ordinance), we won’t blow up if the wind hits us the wrong way or you hurt our feelings.
Q: What value are you offering to the companies joining Victor to support veterans?
A: I feel that with Victor we can make personal connections between the military community and local communities of civilians and small businesses. If a veteran becomes a regular customer at a local restaurant because of a recurring veteran discount, they will be slowly introduced to the staff and other regular customers of that business, which will in turn allow a connection to be made, that’s the goal. The value prop for the business is allowing them to acquire a customer who is loyal by nature and is familiar with going to the same place every time they need a particular service. This allows the business to offer a discount in return for acquiring a customer who will continue coming back and bringing their friends and family.
If you are a veteran starting a business, or if you know of one, please let us know RIGHT HERE. We’re always looking for veteran-run companies to share.