BTU #116 - Finance, Founding team at Live Ops, and starting High Ridge Global (Patrick McKenna)

"I was a Signal Corps Officer trained in telecom - I managed switches and all those kind of things, so I really understood traditional telecom infrastructure. These engineers who became my co-founders developed a soft switch - basically, using a computer, you could control a big piece of hardware somewhere else to make a phone ring. What I knew was that was massively disruptive. And what we didn't know together was where that disruption was going to lead us.  And that disruption led us, eventually, to LiveOps." - Patrick

Listen to the full interview here

Patrick is the Founder and Managing Partner at High Ridge Global, which is a private investment and advisory firm. He started out as a ROTC student at the University of Southern California, after which he served as a Signal Corps Officer in the Army for four years. After his service he got his MBA at Georgetown. He has worked at JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, was part of the Founding Team of LiveOps (a company that grew to over $100M in revenue), and has founded, invested in, and served on the board of multiple companies.

Why to Listen:

  • Networking & Preparing for meetings (~43:00) - Patrick talks about how one of the best things you can invest in is your network. His personal story illustrates how his network led from one incredible opportunity to the next. But he also provides tactical advice about how to prepare for meetings that we haven't covered in other interviews.
  • Building expertise - although Patrick rotated between industries (finance, tech) and companies (JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, LiveOps, and more) he consistently built up expertise that he was able to leverage in his career. His thoughts for veterans about building up expertise and taking a 10-year time frame approach are incredible
  • Resources - Patrick has been part of incredibly successful startups and has started his own investing and advisory fund. He has coached many entrepreneurs and business operators. His advice - and recommended resources - are really priceless in this interview

Our Sponsor:

  • StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at

Selected Resources:

Show Notes

  • Patrick's background
  • For someone on active duty, how would you describe High Ridge Global?
  • In terms of whereHigh Ridge Global is at today - what would you want listeners to know (head count, investments, etc)
  • Advice to evaluating an idea/
  • Skills veterans may need prior to starting a company
  • Many listeners to the show are interested in the world of finance - how vital is an MBA in this career path?
  • What was your experience like at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, and how has that helped you in your current role?
  • Lifestyle differences between finance and startups?
  • What lead you to make the shift to startups and Live Ops?
  • What would you want listeners to know about your career path from Live Ops untilHigh Ridge Global ?
  • How did you go about starting your own investment company?
  • What did your day-to-day life look like when you first started?
  • What skills did you need to develop to start your own firm, and what advice do you have for veterans seeking to do the same?
  • What resources have been helpful to you that you would recommend to veteran listeners?
  • Final words of wisdom?