Helping Military Refugees Succeed Without Uncle Sam

No one knows more about how much defense scientists can contribute to the commercial world than James A. Cole, managing director of Spectra Enterprise Associates, a $25 million venture capital fund in Westlake Village, Calif. Since 1986, Spectra has launched or invested in 17 electronics companies that have sprung from military research. Cole frets over the fact that about 50% of defense engineers who have tried to run Spectra companies have failed so far. They typically "don't think strategically, don't think products," he gripes. "They think solutions, but they're not trained to finish a task."

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