Mission driven innovation

Army Vet Finds Success Through University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans

David BurnettDiane Holliday at Saint Joseph's University has a great article about David Burnett, Founder and CEO at Blackbridge Defense.

Below is a brief excerpt and a link to the article.

Six years in the United States Army — four served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) — six deployments and one mission: Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. David Burnett began his journey in the armed forces as an aviation maintainer and worked his way up to one of the most elite aviation units in the world. SOAR members are known for their unparalleled precision and adeptness during nighttime operations, and only the best of the best aviators qualify.

But Burnett’s time in the Army didn’t prepare him for the abrupt transition from soldier to civilian when his contract came to an end. It would take a never-quit mindset and the support of his family, therapists and mentors in Saint Joseph’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans to dig out of his dark depression and start a “Mount Everest climb to entrepreneurship.”

She also spoke to him regarding the idea for his first product—the quick-release machine gun mount.

“After several deployments in the 160th, I noticed the guys wouldn’t have a way to quickly secure their gear in the aircraft,” Burnett explains. “So, when we landed at a target, it would take longer for them to get out of the aircraft than if they had a device that their stuff was secured to that could quickly release.”

His concept that started as just a napkin sketch turned into a quick-release technology that he thought would be widely adopted by the Department of Defense. When the concept wasn’t as well received as he had hoped, he began cold calling military units to see if the technology could be applied to ground vehicles.

You can read the full article SJU—Saint Joseph's University