The USPTO helps service members start businesses on the outside

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force article by Airman 1st Class Derrick Bole
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The United States Patent and Trademark Office hosted an Entrepreneurship Essentials Workshop and Resource Fair at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, March 28, 2023.


Multiple panelists shared business tactics, stories, and advice that helped them through the years as they transitioned from military service to a personally owned business or started a business as a military spouse. Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the, wants service members to know that the USPTO is willing to help those looking for a future in entrepreneurship.


“We as the USPTO are trying to bring more service members into the field of innovation,” said Vidal “Any time we come on base to meet military members, we look forward to talking about opportunities and ideas involved with entrepreneurship.”


Each panelist at the convention had a prior military connection and provided a lot of information to the service members and their families in attendance.


“It’s vital in the world of entrepreneurship to make friends and network in your local area,” said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Russ Barnes, Tampa Action Zone vice president of education and workshop panelist. “This workshop helps people get on the right track when it comes to starting or maintaining their own business.”


Attendees were given time to network before and after the workshop with panelists and others in attendance. They were able to share ideas and information to make their lives as business owners easier.


“We’re here to help you,” Vidal said. “We make sure military members and their families know what’s out there, so when the time comes, they know where to go and what to look up.”


The USPTO has many options open to help with starting a business. They have free attorneys available when needed, articles and discussions dedicated to advice, and business help and more.


Vidal says that the USPTO is also looking to employ veterans and families of service members. “We currently employ several veterans, military spouses, and families of service members. Our agency offers many employment benefits that support the military lifestyle including

 the flexibility to work remotely anywhere in the country.”


Find more information at the USPTO website at, or call their toll-free call center at 800-786-9199.

Panelists deliver remarks during an Entrepreneurship Essentials Workshop and Resource Fair at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Mar. 28, 2023. This workshop was meant for service members and their spouses who might be looking to start a business outside of the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Derrick Bole)