Air Force veteran Matt Butler is using his business acumen to help veterans and military service members who are thinking about transitioning out of the military.
“I felt that I learned quite a bit with building the business,” said Butler. “And I wanted to turn that around and start helping my brothers and sisters in the military because I know the transition can be daunting at times.”
Butler served in the Air Force for more than two decades and was deployed 10 times to various contingency operations around the world. That travel inspired him to start Rollors, an outdoor game company. Rollors combines traditional outdoor games like bocce, bowling and horseshoes, and rolls them all into one game.
“Over my 20 years in the Air Force, I saw a lot of other outdoor games on the market,” explained Butler. “I took a little bit from each one of those games and combined them into one.”
Butler then developed a Rollors prototype in his garage through woodworking skills that he learned on base while in the military. His product began to sell at local markets, but he wanted more information on how to build a solid foundation for his company.
“That’s when I started to look for business education, because I wanted to make sure I was putting the right money, sweat [and] equity into the business,” said Butler. “I really wanted to make sure that I was doing things properly for it to be a success, and that’s when I learned about Boots to Business.”
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University established Boots to Business in 2013 to introduce service members and veterans, like Butler, to entrepreneurship and business. Boots to Business is a two-day course that is typically offered as in-person training on military installations around the country. Now, due to COVID-19, Boots to Business is delivering its services virtually.