The PopSmoke Show

Why Veterans Struggle Transitioning to Higher Education (PS006)

Meet David Cass

David Cass PopSmoke Show

David Cass, co-founder of Uvize

My mentor David Cass served as a Navy Lieutenant Commander and aviator where he completed 2 combat support deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

He has volunteered as a veteran’s career transition adviser and has taught business classes at the University of Colorado.

Dave’s deeply committed to higher education progress through technology, veterans issues, and student success.

Currently, Dave’s the CEO of Uvize. He lives in Boulder with his wife, two daughters and golden retriever.

I met Dave at TechStars Patriot Boot Camp, a program to help veterans start their own business and advance as entrepreneurs.

About Uvize

Uvize — academic success for military veterans.


  • RallyPoint: RallyPoint is the world’s largest professional military network. Signup for Free and start making valuable connections.

Show Notes

In this episode, Dave answers:

  • How do you come up with new business ideas?
  • What’s the 1st step you take once you think of a new idea?
  • What’s 1 idea you’ll never pursue?
  • What’s 1 mistake you made after transitioning out of the military and starting Uvize?
  • What’s 1 personal or professional challenge you’re right now?
  • What’s working for your sales process?
  • After getting out of the military, veterans have an 85% higher education dropout rate. Why’s the veteran dropout rate so high?
  • What’s a veteran’s biggest weakness when transitioning out of the military?
  • What can veterans do to work on their weaknesses prior to transitioning out of the military?
  • What are your thoughts about the 1st ever veteran MOOC?
  • How did you start building a team when you had no revenue?
  • After finding co-founders, what’s the 1st position to hire for?
  • What’s the best tip for finding a mentor who can hep you?
  • What’s the best business advice you ever received?
  • What’s an actionable tip for managing your time to get more things accomplished?
  • How do you eliminate distractions when you’re trying to focus and get work done?

Key Topics Discussed:

  • A 3-part process for generating great ideas
  • Knowing when to pivot or persevere in your business
  • The biggest challenge you need to overcome when starting a business
  • Whether you should listen to the customer or focus on your own game plan
  • Tips for finding mentors who can coach you
  • The new Global Mentor Project
  • TechStars Patriot Boot Camp opportunity for veteran entrepreneurs
  • Smart tips on how to maintain proper work-life balance

Apps Mentioned

  • Streak: The CRM Dave uses right inside Gmail.
  • Contactually: The current CRM I’m using to help me manage 2000+ contacts.
  • Nimble: The current CRM I’m flirting with because of its power social features.
  • Rapportive: Shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox.

Favorite Weapon

  • Allows Dave to share open spots on his calendar so people can schedule appointments with him. Unfortunately, Assistant is shutting down next month. To the rescue comes …
  • Calendly : A simple, beautiful scheduling tool that’s easy to use.

Favorite Quote

I really believe in good luck. I find the harder I work the more of it I have. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Book Mentioned

  • Strategic Student by David Cass: Tactics guide on how to become an A+ student for people transitioning out of the military.

Favorite Read

  • Find The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman on Audible for Free: Not just straight business startup stuff, but a book that focuses on branding yourself — Dave recommends this book whether you become a veteran entrepreneur or not.
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