An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsroomNewsArticle Display

Article - Article View

Airman uses training to start business

Staff Sgt. Timothy Tavarez, 561st Network Operation Squadron, works on a mobile application from Epicentral, a shared office space located in downtown Colorado Springs. He is developing software that allows mobile devices to access 3D printers and resources to help create ideas from a cell phone or tablet. (U.S. Air Force Photo, Dave Smith)

Staff Sgt. Timothy Tavarez, 561st Network Operation Squadron, works on a mobile application from Epicentral, a shared office space located in downtown Colorado Springs. He is developing software that allows mobile devices to access 3D printers and resources to help create ideas from a cell phone or tablet. (U.S. Air Force Photo, Dave Smith)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Training and skills learned in the Air Force are intended to give Airmen what they need to "Aim High... Fly-Fight-Win." Every Airman has a story and for Staff Sgt. Timothy Tavarez, 561st Network Operations Squadron, his Air Force training is helping him start his own software company.

Tavarez saw how libraries were integrating technology, especially in the realm of makers' spaces. He thought it could be improved so about eight months ago he put his Air Force training to work and began creating a solution.

Libraries, in his opinion, were limited in connecting users to creative technology like 3D printers. Tavarez wanted to help people create so he learned programming and turned his attention almost entirely to connecting mobile device users to the printers from nearly any location.

"We are giving people access and the ability to interface with 3D printing. We are giving an opportunity to do it easily and conveniently," he said. "You can have a great impact on the whole world being able to access the creativity process."

His software application focuses on cell phones, but other mobile devices, such as tablets, will be able to employ it as well. Users will access an application, browse through a variety of 3D models that can be customized or redesigned. From that point, Tavarez said the user goes through an e-commerce process to print the project. Jobs can be sent to a his software company's printer or one at a library or other site.

Because cell phones are so prevalent - he calls them the most powerful computers in the world - creating his application for them opens up creative expression to many people.

"I want to remove the barrier of entry for everyone," Tavarez said.

The many challenges related to bringing his software to market - long days, numerous presentations, seeking funds - would be too much to handle without his Air Force experience. He said he could never have taken on what he has to introduce the product and push for its success without the Air Force.

In the Air Force Tavarez learned to inspire and lead people. In Airman Leadership School he learned to work with others and to lead a team, two valuable skills as he continues to move ahead with his product.

"It's hard to keep going at times, but I learned to stay with (a project) until it is done. Civilian Timothy could not have done that, military Timothy is," he said.

Tavarez said he met his initial co-founder, a fellow Airman, through his job at the 561st NOS. Without that partnership he said he might not have attempted to start a business. He needed to be immersed in that kind of talent to encourage him.

He will finish his military commitment in the coming months and then he will enter post-secondary schooling locally at Colorado College. Tavarez is going to work from his downtown office at a shared space with like-minded techies, continuing to refine and release his application. Working with such a diverse group will put him in contact with many other creative folks who have provided feedback, a place to pitch his business and exposure to new concepts and ideas.

For Tavarez and many others, they find that when it comes time to leave active duty military life the thing learned and practiced in the Air Force continues to keep them aiming high and winning.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui