Here’s how a Tampa military training firm is doubling its revenue
As a result of that growth, Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting, a military and intelligence training firm, is opening new offices in St. Petersburg, near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and in Washington, D.C.
The company’s growth is based in large part to its emphasis on innovative technologies.
“As our national defense faces increasingly challenging and ever changing field conditions, special operations forces must be equipped with the most state-of-the-art, mission-ready tools,” said VATC Co-founder and President Sara Moola.
While the products and services VATC offers are unique to the special operations and intelligence communities, the company’s model for success is not. Its use of emerging technologies is reminiscent of other burgeoning startups that are now earning into the billions in revenue. like Uber and Airbnb.
“Instead of pretending what the threat is, we bring innovative technology that actually replicates that environment so we’re training more like we fight,” said Co-founder and COO Mike Vaughn.
One of those technologies is a digital media replicator. That technology simulates information environments, meaning it uses publicly available information from things like news media and social media to reflect real world happenings.
The simulation allows training to reflect real life population dynamics and intelligence to enhance the exercise.
“We’re really pushing the envelope with augmented reality,” Moola said.
That kind of virtual reality can incorporate things like sound, video, graphics and GPS data to simulate a situation.
Moola also attributes some of her company’s success to employing people with real world experience to develop training products. The company is staffed with 90 percent veterans in the armed forces or intelligence communities.
“We started a company that builds on the premise that we could build a better company for support of special operations by creating a forum of veterans, intelligence community veterans, state department veterans, and provide a more realistic training environment,” Moola said.
The company also gives back to the community. VATC contributes to several local charities, but their number one cause is SofWolf. It’s a leadership and mentor program for teens of fallen soldiers.
“While our government provides them a full [college] scholarship, there’s little emphasis on career building,” Vaughn said.
The group hosts workshops each summer with mentors ranging from Olympians to CEOs.
The company has spent three years on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.