Matthew Harper is from San Francisco and retired after 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Matt was a Surface Warfare Officer, his last at sea assignment was Executive Officer of USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), a guided missile destroyer based in Yokosuka, Japan. While not assigned to ships he worked on multiple Navy, Joint and Combined staffs, was a Navy assignments officer and a Combatant Commander’s speech writer and special assistant.
Matt was the founding program manager of TacticalLaunch Veteran Business Incubator in San Diego. The program’s first cohort had 16 veteran founded startups and over 25 veteran entrepreneurs. Over a three-month period, the program provided the building blocks of founding and running a startup business, mentorship from successful San Diego veteran startup founders and made connections with the resources, expertise and networks. To date, TacticalLaunch companies have raised over $1.5M in debt and equity. Matt was on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Turn San Diego, a non-profit based in San Diego that works to bring peace to young children facing family separation and was a mentor and advisor to Veteran Ventures, a business incubator at UCSD’s Rady Business School and ZIP Launchpad at SDSU. Matt has a degree in History and Political Science from Boston University and a master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School. He is also an award winning published author for an article detailing U.S.-Chinese relations titled Chinese Missiles and the Walmart Factor.