'Startup Standup' competition awards $3500 to veteran small business

Lauren Warner
December 18, 2018 - 10:19 am

Photo courtesy of Kim DeFiori

Army veteran Kim DeFiori and her non-profit Badges United Foundation won $3,500 in last night's Startup Standup pitch competition.

Photo courtesy of Kim DeFiori

Hosted by Capitol Post and the D.C. chapter of Bunker Labs, Startup Standup is the culmination of a nine-week intensive program designed to help military veterans and their spouses grow and scale their businesses. Capitol Post's Startup School focuses on teaching vetrepreneurs how to really think and act like entrepreneurs.

"The program is super intense but absolutely worth it," says Kim DeFiori, Co-Founder of Badges United. "They take you from having a business to accelerating it; to getting more customers and making the best product or service for your customer."

Image courtesy of Capitol Post

Badges United Foundation (BUF) focuses on the wellness of the First Responder community; working to rebuild the mind-body disconnect that often occurs when first responders and service members put their lives on the line to survive and save lives. Founder Kim DeFiori understands the importance of this healing process, having been medically retired after nine years of active duty serving with the Army's Military Police Corps. Before founding BUF, DeFiori spent two years working through her own PTSD and found that her path to healing came through a journey of mindfulness. 

Image courtesy of Badges United Foundation

Through monthly events such as hiking in Great Falls National Park, Badges United Foundation plans to strengthen communities within the First Responder network and improve the wellness of participants during each event. 

"We’re [planning to use the funding] to do a rock climbing and team building event in March," says DeFiori. "We’re also going to use it to fund wellness workshops that we plan to start teaching to local fire and police stations starting next year."

For more information about Capitol Post, click here. To find out more about Badges United Foundation, click here

 

Want to get more connected to the great stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.