BTU #69 – Alex Martin: Marine to Global Entrepreneur at AC Global Risk

“At this point, I don’t think I really could have a boundary [between professional and personal life]. It’s not about a forty-hour work week, and being able to accomplish everything in forty hours; I get that. It’s about constantly thinking about the product, thinking about the customers we have and the customers we want, where we’re going to go and what the next steps are. I just can’t turn it off: I dream about it, I think about it every minute, and there is no separation. Maybe that’s unhealthy and a bad thing, but at this point if no one is as fanatically excited and obsessed with the product we’re trying to create than the founders then I don’t think it can work at this stage.”
– Alex Martin

Alex Martin is the CEO & Co-Founder of AC Global Risk, a company that creates solutions to transform how companies & governments vet, screen and assess internal and external human-based risk. Alex started out at the Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps for seven years as a Infantry & Ground Reconnaissance Officer. After his transition from the Marines he founded Skye Maritime – maritime security services to commercial shipping – as well as the Kenya Team Leader for the non-profit, Nuru International. Alex is currently a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

  1. Service – Alex has continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, he worked in Kenya with the organization Nuru helping local farmers grow their income, and his own company – AC Global Risk – has a service element as well. He’s a great role model for keeping service an active component in his life, and talks about how to serve as a for-profit venture
  2. Startups – Alex started his first company straight of the Marine Corps and it failed. He learned from it, and is on his second company, AC Global Risk. He is very honest and balanced in this interview about failure, about mistakes, and how these are essential for entrepreneurs
  3. Stanford Ignite – Alex goes in depth on the Stanford Ignite program as well as many other really valuable resources for those of you interested in startups

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Show Notes

  • 2:08 – Alex’s background
  • 2:50 – Alex’s decision to transition from the Marine Corps to a civilian career
  • 3:39 – Alex’s experience being part of the Reserves and how it has impacted his civilian career
  • 5:32 – Alex’s experience as part of the Stanford Ignite program and how this impacted his entrepreneurial experience
  • 7:49 – An overview of Stanford Ignite as a program for veterans
  • 10:22 – Alex’s experience at Nuru International
  • 15:15 – The genesis of Alex’s second company, AC Global Risk
  • 17:40- An overview of AC Global Risk
  • 19:21  – What Alex’s day-to-day life looks like as the CEO of AC Global Risk
  • 21:11 – Alex’s lifestyle as an entrepreneur married to another entrepreneur
  • 24:27 – How long it took Alex to be able to pay himself as salary while he was starting his own company
  • 28:43 – Alex’s biggest mistake in starting his own company and what he learned from it
  • 33:03 – Alex’s team size at AC Global Risk and what his team looks like
  • 34:22 – Advice for any veteran thinking of starting their own company
  • 35:36 – Resources Alex would recommend to any veteran thinking of starting their own company
  • 37:53 – Advice for veterans seeking to raising capital for their own company, and the fundraising experience
  • 43:40 – Habits that Alex had to break when he left the military in order to be successful in his civilian career
  • 45:55 – Other mistakes that Alex made since departing the military and what he learned from them
  • 48:47 – Final words of wisdom for veterans of the Armed Forces