Veteran-friendly companies get smart with business incubator

Patrons test new products at the Anteris Alliance Try & Buy event just prior to SHOT Show 2017.

Patrons test new products at the Anteris Alliance Try & Buy event just prior to SHOT Show 2017. (Photo: Eve Flanigan)

There’s a new business collaboration in town, called Anteris Alliance. If the buzz at the group’s “try and buy” event in Las Vegas, held just prior to the kickoff of the 2017 SHOT Show is any indication, the alliance may re-define the way gun business gets done.

Anteris is a Latin word referencing a support, pillar or prop. CEO Casey Betzold says, “We are growing fast. We have been working on this project since late 2015, and now expect to be 40-plus manufacturers and service providers after this week (SHOT show), as a result of the ‘try and buy’ event.”

What does Anteris Alliance do? It’s a business force multiplier for companies that Its member businesses are owned, substantially participate in, and/or commit measurable support to American heroes.  It welcomes current and past military service members, first responders, and their families. The Alliance exists to provide for needs that are common to businesses. Support includes IT assistance, marketing across numerous platforms, and, where applicable, direct aid with research and development when the needs of a member company match Alliance resources. The intent is to help new firms find solid ground in a complex market, and shoring up areas in which more established firms are challenged. Member companies pay annual dues; there are two levels of membership depending on company profile.

Member companies are vetted by the Anteris leadership coalition. In order to be accepted into Anteris Alliance, a company must be oriented to customer care as well as what Betzold describes as a commitment to patriots. That commitment can include domestic rather than foreign sourcing and/or provable, material support of veteran and first responder causes. 

“It’s not enough if a company says we love veterans and first responders, they have to be able to prove with numbers that they are benefiting patriots in some way. We’re helping veterans who are out there creating business. In turn, they’re helping veterans who are unable to work and those who are going back into the workforce.”

Frontier Tactical CEO Nate Love is bullish on Anteris and its impact on marketing. Motioning to his neighbor’s booth at the “try and buy” event, Love says, “He builds rifles; I build rifles. It’s not competition, it’s the fact my customers are now aware of my product because it reached people in his sector, and likewise my customers are introduced to his inventory too. We both have our loyal following, but people are better educated and have more choices. What Antteris Alliance does is bring a military approach to the private sector: one team, one fight. It’s not what the industry is used to, but it works.”