Feb 9, 2015
-by Joshua L Karrasch,
Mission: Entrepreneur member & leader
I want to take a moment to share the value
I derived from my involvement in Mission: Entrepreneur and Semper Startup
I met Michael Beirne
in May of 2014 at the TechStars Boot Camp at Goldman Sachs in New York City. We made a good connection at the event (TechStars is a great company and that event was stellar as well) and followed up upon returning to the Northern Virginia Area. Mike pitched me on this #startup he was working on to support veterans in entrepreneurship, Mission: Entrepreneur (M:E).
M:E’s mission closely aligned with a passion of mine, building support programs for veterans to enrich their lives and enable their dreams (see VETS at UCSC). I was quickly on board lending whatever support I could. In late 2014, as life is prone to doing, I was thrown some challenges in both The Gun Dud
e and my personal life. At one of my lowest moments as I was preparing to sell my company and pack my bags for the hills (literally), M:E was hosting it’s first Semper Startup event.
Mike invited me to attend the event to which I politely accepted but simply did not have the will to leave the house and attend the event. The day before the event Mike began relentlessly texting and Facebook messaging me “you should come to SemperStartup.org”, “Are you coming to SemperStartup”, “you need to be at SemperStartup!” In an attempt to stop the message I was able to find the motivation to press a shirt, throw a suit on, and endure the metro ride to the event.
Folks, this single action has made the difference between The Gun Dude closing it’s doors for good and our current success
(we now have a retail location in Falls Church, Virginia and made our first payroll last Friday). While going through the motions of the event, attending to keep Mike from harassing me any further, I saw this bald guy step up on stage; #ScottDuffy shared his story….and what a story… That was a turning point for me.
Someplace in the 30 minutes of his life story, of how he overcame the odds something changed, the stars aligned, and my #mojo returned. I walked out of that event resolved to #succeed come hell or high water. Today my company has three paid employees, a brick and mortar store front, is generating a small profit margin, and is growing beyond even my high end projections.
I want to thank Mike for his #mentorship, M:E for giving me an opportunity to give more to my military family, and to Semper Startup & Scott for giving me the motivation to persist. I am now progressing through the steps of a growing CEO, am the first #paying member in DC and Chair of the member board at Mission: Entrepreneur. As a #vetrepreneur I strongly encourage you to engage with this worthy mission and join us. You will come upon hard times and as you may recall from your time in the service, there is nothing we cannot achieve with our military family’s support…
Joshua L Karrasch