“5 Minute Salute” with Kevin Landtroop of SBIR Advisors

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Each week on “5 Minute Salute” our host Chris Budihas talks to veterans making a difference in their communities. Today, Chris has the honor to speak with Kevin Landtroop of SBIR Advisors.

Short company description:

We help emerging technology startups develop dual-use product strategy and win DOD R&D money, advancing the company’s product development while enabling the DOD to receive and evaluate hundreds of new technology solutions each year that would otherwise never make it into the DOD technology pipeline.

How do you define success?:

Everybody wins. I love setting up systems where we set a reasonably achievable goal, and when we achieve it, everyone wins. In the case of our company, the client will get non-dilutive funding to develop their product, the DOD gets more engagement from nontraditional providers, the client is happy to pay our fee, and we’re able to leverage that for a sustainable business.

How did you get started in your field or work?:

We created it. Towards the end of my military career I discovered that I was likely an entrepreneur trapped in a bureaucracy, so my post-gov exploration focused on the entrepreneurship community. I saw a massive need that I could fill, so I did.

What’s one thing we should know that makes your company unique?:

We hire all (nearly) vets (46/47 FTE currently), and we’ve deliberately set up a new-hire strategy that attracts vets and enables them to transition well.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your business?:

Focus. In the military we’re taught to be generalists, and there are no shortage of problems to work on. In business you really have to figure out what you’re going to focus on. Yes, you can do lots of things, but you can only build a viable business around one or two of those things at any one time.