‘60 Minutes’ correspondent Steve Kroft ’67 to deliver opening keynote address
This weekend, Syracuse University will welcome a new class of post-9/11 veterans to the sixth annual Barnes Family Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program, which provides cutting-edge training in entrepreneurship and small-business management to veterans with service-connected disabilities as they pursue the American dream of business ownership. Since its inception, the EBV has been offered without cost to participants.
SU’s Barnes Family EBV Class of 2012 is made up of 27 veterans, three women and 24 men spanning the ages of 24-57. They hail from every corner of the U.S., including five from New York state. Participants include 12 U.S Marine Corps veterans, 10 Army, two Navy and three Air Force. They have business ideas and ventures that include government contracting, TV commercial production, a high-end cafe, wilderness camp, law practice, veteran advocacy, consulting and counseling, management, music therapy for wounded warriors, creative prosthetics design to improve the lives of veterans, holistic fitness, still photography, franchising, leather craftsmanship, supply chain management, community integration of veterans, an adaptive sporting goods store, trucking industry services and finance.
Offered in three phases, the EBV provides veterans with skills necessary to successfully launch and grow a new business. Through online coursework, an intense residency experience and 12 months of ongoing support and mentorship via the EBV-Technical Assistance Program (EBV-TAP), veterans learn how to write business plans, raise capital, attract customers and develop a marketing strategy.
During their eight-day residency at SU, veterans will be exposed to accomplished entrepreneurs, academics, disability experts and business leaders from across the country. Their residency experience is intense: a typical workday begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Participants spend their time on campus in classes, workshops and breakout sessions, hearing from industry professionals about best practices that will help them start a business and/or grow a current endeavor and attending a few social events to encourage discussion, camaraderie and provide a taste of the Syracuse community.
The EBV is widely acclaimed as the premier entrepreneurship training program for veterans in the nation, recognized as a “National Best Practice” by the Department of the Army for serving soldiers and their families, and by the editors of Inc. magazine as one of the “10 Best” entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. By the close of 2012, more than 200 veterans will have received training through the EBV consortium; to date, 500 veterans have graduated from the national program since 2007. Though some participants operate previously established ventures, 57 percent of all EBV graduates have launched a new venture following their time in the program, and 88 percent still have those ventures operational. Through their ventures, EBV graduates have added more than 650 employees to the national workforce.
The Barnes Family EBV program at Syracuse begins with an opening ceremony on Saturday, July 28. SU alumnus Steve Kroft ’67, “60 Minutes” correspondent, is keynote speaker. Kroft, an alumnus of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, joined CBS’s television news magazine in 1989; the 2012-13 season is his 24th on the broadcast. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, and early in his career served with the Army in Vietnam as a correspondent and photographer for Pacific Stars and Stripes. He was honored by SU in 1992 with the Arents Award, the University’s highest alumni honor, and is a member of the SU Board of Trustees. The EBV program closes with a graduation ceremony and awards presentation on Saturday, Aug. 4.
The EBV was founded at SU’s Whitman School of Management in 2007 and is operated under the auspices of the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). A national consortium consisting of a network of eight world-class schools offers the EBV nationwide through programs at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles; College of Business at Florida State University; Mays Business School at Texas A&M University; Krannert School of Management at Purdue University; School of Business at the University of Connecticut; E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University; and the EBV’s first specialty program in hospitality and real estate at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, which holds its inaugural program this fall. The SU program is endowed by alumnus and SU Trustee Steven Barnes ’82, a longtime member of the Whitman School Advisory Council.