Veteran entrepreneur accelerator program lands in Bentonville

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 228 views 

Coffee, hair care and artificial intelligence (AI) are businesses that are part of the first cohort of a PenFed Foundation veteran entrepreneurial accelerator program based in Bentonville. It’s the first time the national nonprofit centered the program in Northwest Arkansas.

The six-week program brings veteran-owned companies from across the country together to participate in networking events, roundtables and mentorship opportunities. Seminars with business leaders cover topics ranging from business development, sales, legal considerations, media training, branding, scaling and exiting.

“The PenFed Foundation is proud to further our legacy of support to veteran entrepreneurs with this inaugural Bentonville cohort,” PenFed Foundation President Andrea McCarren said in a statement. “Members of the military community possess skills that are well-suited to the business world, and we will continue to empower entrepreneurs who served our nation.”

Following are the June 2024 cohort members.
• Trident Coffee
Founded by U.S. Navy veteran Eric Johnson, Trident Coffee has three physical tap rooms in the San Diego Bay area. Johnson has developed a proprietary instant cold brew coffee that will be sold directly to customers.

Co-founded by U.S. Army veteran Justin Neal and U.S. Navy veteran Taylor Cassat, SABO offers a mobile app designed to connect landowners and outdoor enthusiasts, enabling access to exclusive properties and outfitter experiences.

• WellCapped
Co-founded by Ohio Army National Guard veteran Shante Frazier, WellCapped is the first rental platform for luxury hair extensions and wigs.

• Onbrand
Founded by U.S. Air Force veteran Preston Plowman, Onbrand is an SaaS company connecting product designers and manufacturers to enable them to build specification packages.

• Signum Technologies
U.S. Navy veteran Sean Freitag serves as CEO. Signum Technologies is an artificial intelligence and computer vision company that harnesses technology to address challenges faced by humanity.

• Terra Arma
Co-founded by U.S. Army veteran David Reid and Air Force National Guard veteran Christian Meyers, Terra Arma manufactures premium, functional apparel that withstands the rigors of the field while ensuring optimal comfort.

Veteran and military-spouse owned and led companies who are interested in the next cohort, scheduled for Sept. 24, can apply at this link. Since 2018, the PenFed Foundation has helped educate over 4,700 veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs.