The University of Connecticut (UConn) will host a new class of post-9/11 veterans Aug. 10 -20 for the eighth annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). The program is offered at no cost to participants. It combines the resources, infrastructure and world-class faculty of the UConn School of Business to give veterans with service-connected disabilities the cutting-edge training in entrepreneurship and small-business management necessary to pursue their dreams of owning a business. The UConn EBV class of 2017 includes 20 highly accomplished veterans.
Offered in three phases, the EBV provides veterans with skills necessary to successfully launch and grow a new business. Through online coursework, an intense on-campus experience and 12 months of ongoing support and mentorship via the EBV Post Program Support, veterans learn how to examine business feasibility, write business plans, raise capital, attract customers, develop a marketing strategy, and create collaborations in their communities. Participants spend their time on campus in classes and breakout sessions, hearing from industry professionals about best practices that will help them start a business and/or grow a current venture. The veterans arrive this year on Thursday, Aug. 10, and graduate on Saturday, Aug. 19.
To date, the UConn program has graduated 157 veterans. The program has produced 114 for-profit businesses, 11 non-profits, 31 full-time employment transitions, and 19 full-time career education transitions.
A snapshot of the class of 2017:
This year’s class consists of 16 men and four women from 12 states across the country, including five from Connecticut and the other participants traveling from as far as California and Washington. They represent all branches of the military, having served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard. This year’s class includes three veterans awarded Bronze Stars for valor, two veterans awarded the Purple Heart, one Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and 12 Meritorious Service Medals. Two have Ph.D.’s, eight have master’s degrees, seven have bachelors, and three have associate degrees. Nineteen served in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat areas. Each veteran admitted to the program has had an exemplary military career; many have been decorated for their bravery and accomplishments in service (stated some awards above), and are recognized leaders in their respective areas of expertise.
Many of this year’s students have begun laying the foundation to launch a successful business venture. Regardless of their current stage of planning and launching a business venture, each member of the 2017 class has already demonstrated the drive, creativity and self-discipline needed to succeed in the demanding entrepreneurial world. This year’s class will use the EBV program to increase their skill set and make their dream of successful business ownership a reality. Learn more about the UConn EBV at www.ebv.business.uconn.edu.
How impactful are graduates of the national Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program? The following results speak for themselves …
- Over 1,400 EBV graduates/aspiring entrepreneurs have been trained
- $288 million (and growing) in revenue has been generated by EBV graduate businesses
- 72% of EBV graduates have started their own businesses; 92% of those are still in business today
- 1 out of every 4 EBV graduate businesses grosses over $100,000/year
- 6.23 – The average number of people employed by an EBV graduate
- EBV graduate businesses currently employ 2,924 people
Michael J. Zacchea
Director, UConn EBV
Director, Communications & Media
Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University
Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, Syracuse University
About the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp of Veterans with Disabilities (EBV)
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that transforms veterans into entrepreneurs. Delivered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the EBV leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-related disabilities. Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, the program has since expanded to nine additional universities across the U.S., including Cornell University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Purdue University, Saint Joseph’s University, Texas A&M University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Connecticut and University of Missouri. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners and donors allows participants to attend the program at no cost. For more information, visit ebv.vets.syr.edu and follow the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.