Entrepreneur & Veteran: Kevin Bubolz of Golden Retriever Life

Kevin and Ellie smiling


Kevin Bubolz

Founder - Golden Retriever Life

November 9, 2022

IMU Main Lounge

5:00 PM doors open for drinks and refreshments

5:30-6:30 PM Kevin's lecture

6:30-7:00 PM Questions and student meetup with Kevin

Click HERE to RSVP for Golden Retriever Life

About the Speaker

As an Army helicopter pilot, Kevin Bubolz saw firsthand the benefits of animal-assisted interactions while deployed overseas. This experience inspired him to start a mission to spread smiles with his golden retriever, Ellie.

After the military, Bubolz completed his MBA at the University of Minnesota and worked at several companies, from a small tech startup to Microsoft. During this journey, he began experimenting with various types of marketing and realized the potential of short-form video.

Founded in 2020 as a veteran-owned business, Golden Retriever Life (@EllieGoldenLife) has quickly become recognized as a leader in short-form video. With a global presence and headquarters in Arlington Virginia, Golden Retriever Life averages over 150 million engagements monthly on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Web.

With a specialty in short-form video, Golden Retriever Life partners with brands seeking to resonate with a diverse audience to create captivating and authentic content. Recent partnerships include Amazon, Starbucks, PetSmart, Outward Hound, Spot & Tango, ABC, Dog Threads, Julius K9, and LG.

Golden Retriever Life has also been featured on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Rachael Ray, Ellen, Newsweek, Good Morning America, CBS, BuzzFeed, Sports Illustrated, and E! News.

Kevin is being Co-hosted by IVETS Veteran Innovation Series and John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) as part of their Innovation and Inspiration Speaker Series.

About the Veteran Innovation Series

The Veteran Innovation Series brings Veterans who are some of the most successful innovators in their field to the University of Iowa to build connections with our students, and to provide UI student Veterans with the opportunity to share their expertise. Speakers share stories of innovations, creativity, and problem-solving, helping us reimagine what it means to be a military Veteran in the twenty-first century. The Veteran Innovation Series is open to the public.


The Veteran Innovation Series is hosted by Iowa Veteran Education, Transition, and Support (IVETS) with generous support for 2021-2022 events from the College of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Carver College of Medicine, Office of the President, College of Public Health, Graduate College, and University College.

Become a VIS Speaker

Who's eligible to apply?

All currently enrolled students at the University of Iowa who are Veterans of the US military or currently serving in the US military are eligible to apply.

Successful applicants will: 

  • Share their research in an accessible, approachable way for non-experts in their field
  • Articulate why their research is innovative and why it matters, e.g. what work it is doing in the world
  • Receive a $200 honorarium upon completion of their participation in the event

Speakers for the Spring 2022 event have already been selected. Check back in early 2023 for the next application cycle.

Email UI-IVETS@uiowa.edu with questions. 

What happens if I'm selected?

IVETS will select two students from the spring 2023 applicants in March 2023. VIS speakers will give a 30-minute virtual presentation, open to the university and surrounding community, in April. There will be a 30-minute combined Q & A with the audience immediately following the presentations.