By Senior Airman Alexa Culbert, Air University
/ Published November 02, 2018
Capt. Samantha Snabes, Squadron Officer School graduate, speaks to Airmen and local community members at MGMWERX, Oct. 24, 2018, in Montgomery, Alabama. MGMWERX is a collaborative initiative between Air University, the City of Montgomery, The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery County to foster innovative thinking and problem solving. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexa Culbert)
A student from Air University’s Squadron Officer School partnered with MGMWERX Oct. 24, 2018, to share with Airmen and members of the community on how she kick-started her own business outside of the military.
Capt. Samantha Snabes is a member of the Air National Guard and a recent SOS graduate, but in her civilian capacity she is the CEO of a company she co-founded.
During her time at SOS, her class visited MGMWERX and on the day of her graduation she visited once more to share her story and give tips to aspiring business owners.
"MGMWERX works with a variety of thought leaders outside the gate to better leverage ideas for warfighter solutions," said Steve Werner, MGMWERX director. "Our mission is to facilitate the 'collision of ideas' with the goal of inspiring innovation. Samantha's success as an entrepreneur is the kind of informative experience MGMWERX seeks to harness in our ecosystem. We want to expose our partners to emerging technologies and new thinking, and will continue to provide these opportunities to integrate Air University's research and processes with our activities so that we can get innovation to the warfighter faster."
Snabes was working for NASA when she unintentionally began her business. She helped design a 3D printer that uses recycled materials to create new products, which is why she dubs herself as an “accidental entrepreneur.” However, even after her business kicked off she still felt called to serve in the military.
“Through the military we get a lot of leadership training, which is invaluable,” said Snabes. “For example, I just spent the last six weeks at SOS and it’s been a great time for introspection and an opportunity to get tools and experiences that I can translate to my civilian job.”
On top of keeping up with the SOS curriculum and maintaining a business at home, Snabes began promoting a new cost-saving tool she created as well.
“It’s kind of funny that I would leave my company to go to leadership school and in the process start yet another thing, so I’m learning that I am creative and I am a builder, and that’s kind of just who I am and I need to embrace it,” Snabes said.