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Startup of the Year Podcast

#0026 - Veteran Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders

· SOTY Podcast

On this episode of the Startup of the Year Podcast, Frank Gruber talks with US veteran startup founders Blake Hall and Kimberly Citizen about how their military experience helped them with their roles as startup entrepreneurs.

Blake Hall is the founder of, a digital identification platform where individuals can verify who they are online and receive discounts and benefits if they are part of groups like first responders, the military, students or teachers. Blake was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for leading his men during a firefight against insurgents and credited with saving twenty American lives. Blake also obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Kimberly Citizen is another US veteran and an Inc. 5000 Entrepreneur. She is the CEO at Applied Development, that champions the rights of people of all abilities to work and communicate effectively through sign language interpretation, reader services, advocacy, and outreach.

Frank also talks about Established's partnership with .US and suggests that veteran startup founders apply for the .US Veteran Startup of the Year, which will be awarded at the 8th Annual Startup of the Year Summit, produced by Established, will take place in the fall of 2020 (date and location to be announced soon). At least 10 of our Top 100 Semifinalists will also compete for the .US Veteran Startup of the Year (must qualify) of $10,000 non-dilutive cash from .US, in addition to the prizes from the regular Startup of the Year competition itself. Application deadlines are on our website and coming up fast - go to

.US is also proud to support the Established Community. A thriving community made up of veterans, entrepreneurs, startup teams, and industry leaders all making a difference around the world. We are proud to provide each of you a FREE .US domain and website builder. Startups can obtain their free .US domain at the following link:

Lastly, Frank talks about Established's upcoming virtual even, which is focused on showcasing a handful of startups taking on the COVID19 pandemic. The event will air live on April 17 2020 and you can join us and participate in the conversation. To learn more about the participating companies and the virtual presentation and register to attend at:

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