Small Business Development

Army Vet Parlays Experience into Global Small Business

Lee Platt was determined to find a way to parlay the skills and experience she gained in the US Army as a Russian language translator and in the 30 years since her military service into a successful future.

That determination led her to become an entrepreneur, building a fast growing small business with global reach. Platt is the owner of AveningTech, a Maryland based business that provides technical expertise to Federal Government organizations. In 2015, after being in business only a few years, Platt has a staff of 30 employees located in Virginia, Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and Japan, and expects the company’s revenue to reach $3M.

For Platt, the resources and opportunities provided through several organizations designed to help veterans transition into entrepreneurs made all the difference in helping her prepare to open and grow AveningTech. One of these organizations, Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC), is an initiative developed by Count Me In to help strengthen women entrepreneurs. It provides the tools and support system needed to help women entrepreneurs be sustainable assets in their communities by contributing to job creation and economic activity. It also helps foster financial stability within their own households.

Platt’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Take advantage of all resources that are available to you. At a minimum, you will build relationships. Relationships are the key to everything.”

Lee Platt used the skills and experience she gained in the US Army to build AveningTech, a small business that provides technical expertise to Federal Government organizations.

Creating a roadmap for success

“WVEC was the first group I connected with. I participated in a business plan pitch program that WVEC and Count Me In worked with Capital One to sponsor. I was selected from that program to participate in the Count Me In business accelerator program which gave me access to mentors and other small business owners to help me refine my business plan and learn about managing and growing a business,” Platt explained.

“I also used the services provided by the SBA Small Business Development center at the College of Southern Maryland, and was selected to participate in the SBA Emerging Leaders Program. And, as a member of the Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), I was one of the first business owners to complete their WOSB certification process.” (The first year membership in WIPP was part of the “award” from the WVEC/Count Me In/Capital One competition.)