My partner Ryan and I just returned from SXSW. We spent a lot of time meeting with entrepreneurs, spending time with some of our companies and catching some great music. (In short if you don’t know who L.P., Punch Brothers and Ed Sheeran are, find out immediately – amazing music).
But the coolest idea that I ran across was part of my office hours at Startup America. The entrepreneur is Eric Fitzsimons and his company is IEmployVeterans. The concept is simple, create a line of food and clothing products (akin to the Newman’s Own brand) that provides great quality at similar prices to other brands, but where 100% of the profits go to supporting our military veterans in their civilian job lives. Currently 30% of veterans looking for work are unable to find it and the number is expected to rise in the future.
Eric has entered his company into a contest sponsored by Walmart, called Get On The Shelf. In short, Walmart is crowdsourcing what new product to put on their shelves. If Eric were to get one of his products sold at Walmart, it could have a huge impact on his efforts.
Eric’s first product is bottled water. In a 100% biodegradable form, it’s simple, it’s neat and it’s easy to buy rather than your current brand. And the profits go to those who help us so much. Eric needs votes.
Want to “meet” Eric? Here he is below. Good luck Eric!