Hanscom FCU awards $5,000 in seed money to veteran-owned startup
HANSCOM AFB, MA (June 15, 2022) — Startup founder Seth Jordan was one of three top performers at the recent Mass Fallen Heroes InnoVets Business Expo & Pitch Competition held in Boston recently. Jordan, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, is a co-founder of ServDAO (ServDAO.io), which was awarded the $5,000 “fan favorite” seed money prize by the event’s presenter, Hanscom Federal Credit Union. A total of $25,000 in seed money was donated by Hanscom FCU.
In a “Shark Tank-style” pitch competition before a panel of four judges, Jordan made the case for the successful future of ServDAO, which is being designed as a safe environment for the Veteran community to learn and grow in an exciting segment of the innovation economy. Said Jordan, “We are building the most inclusive and rewarding military/Veteran community leveraging Web3.”
Jordan said he plans to use the seed money for ServDAO’s early capital needs, legal work, and engineering and development. “The entire organization we’re building is for Veterans,” he said. “Our core team is Veterans and most of the work is being done by Veterans.”
“Seth and his team are creating a forward-thinking organization that will use NFTs and cryptocurrency to unite the Veteran community so that they can exchange ideas in a safe space and engage with a community unconstrained by physical geography,” said Peter Rice, Hanscom FCU’s President/CEO and one of the judges of the event. “Since one of Hanscom FCU’s core values is ‘innovation,’ we’re particularly pleased to support ServDAO and the vision of the future that Seth laid out of us in his presentation. Since 1953, supporting the personal and business dreams of those in and associated with the military has been a mainstay of Hanscom FCU’s own purpose.”
The other presenters who participated in the InnoVets Pitch Competition included:
- Lauren Ayube, a Gold Star wife, who won first place with $12,500 in seed money for The Salem Plant Witch, LLC
- Erik Diedrichsen, a U.S. Army Veteran, who won second place with $7,500 in seed money for Riverbend Resources
- Darlene Flores, U.S. Army Veteran, Karaya Wellness, LLC
- Nicholas Vardaro, U.S. Army Veteran, South Shore Dog Waste Removal
In addition to Hanscom FCU’s total contribution of $25,000, the credit union is providing financial counseling and support to these Veteran and Gold Star family businesses through their association with InnoVets and Mass Fallen Heroes. The donation is part of the community support channeled through Hanscom FCU Charitable Foundation, which has donated more than $1.5 million in support of Veterans, Gold Star families, and underserved members of the community.
The InnoVets Business Expo & Pitch Competition for Veteran and Gold Star family entrepreneurs was hosted by Mass Fallen Heroes as part of their 10-day Patriot Week celebration last month. Besides Peter Rice of Hanscom FCU, the judges included David Bellavia, Medal of Honor Recipient, U.S. Army Veteran; Jack Child, Co-founder of Veteran Service Brands; and Brian Shortsleeve, Founder M33 Growth, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran.
The Mass Fallen Heroes InnoVets program is Boston’s first Veteran and Gold Star family-focused entrepreneurship accelerator program designed to connect, inspire, and support Veterans and Gold Star families as they establish and grow their businesses. In collaboration with sponsors like Hanscom FCU, corporations, investors, educational institutions, and associations, InnoVets provides dedicated resources and opportunities to Veteran and Gold Star family entrepreneurs in Massachusetts.
“Starting a business is never easy,” said Rice after the event, “but the research shows it’s even harder for our Veterans to come home and find support for their ideas. Nearly half report that find the financial resources to get their businesses off the ground isn’t easy, and when they do get funding, it’s often not enough for the business to survive. These men and women have proven through their service they are driven and focused; that’s why the research also shows 94 percent of them don’t give up, even when faced with a lack of support.”
He added, “The InnoVets Pitch Competition offers them the support they need to continue strengthening America as they did in the military, now as civilians by bringing to life their startups. We’re honored to be part of their work the organization does on behalf of Veterans and Gold Star families.”
About Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union is a purpose-driven organization based in Littleton, MA, empowering its members to achieve financial wellness. Guided by its five core values of Members First, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation and Empathy, Hanscom FCU serves more than 95,000 members across the country and overseas through 21 branches, more than 100,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 5,000 service centers, and a web-based branch. The credit union holds $1.9 billion in assets. Follow Hanscom FCU on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and check out our MoneyWisdom blog today.