EBV Program: Celebrating 10 Years, 10 Universities in 2016
A graduate spotlight on …
Ryan Ottosen, a 2012 graduate from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) at Purdue University, spent eight years as a machine gunner in the United States Marine Corps. Following September 11, 2001, he changed his status from inactive to active in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Throughout his military service, Ottosen was deployed to Kuwait and Baghdad for Operation Iraqi Freedom before returning to Arizona to serve as a police officer. Upon his return, Ottosen was able to use money from a house he sold before his deployment to buy a new home. While he was grateful that he was able to find housing after his military service, he realized that this was not an opportunity granted to all veterans. Such a realization sparked a business idea for Ryan Ottosen, who would go on to form Ottosen & Co.
Ottosen & Co is a real estate brokerage, located in Glendora, California, which houses our nation’s veterans through excellence in real estate sales and professional property management. A portion of all real estate sales is also donated to local veteran organizations. After graduating from the Purdue 2012 EBV program, Ottosen explained just how much his business has grown over the years. “I attended EBV at one of the lowest points in my life. EBV was a fresh start and a new beginning; it provided me the opportunity to take a dream and turn it into a reality. EBV celebrates and harnesses all the greatness of what it means to be a veteran. There is something to be said for an organization whose sole desire is to honor and serve the veteran community while at the same time helping to change the face of what it means to be a veteran in major universities across the country. My life and business would not be where they are now without EBV, period.”
Currently, Ottosen & Co is run by Ryan and his wife, Traci Ottosen, who is a graduate from the EBV program at Syracuse University. Together they are working to prevent veteran homelessness in our country each and every day. When asked what Ottosen would say to fellow veterans seeking to become entrepreneurs, he advised, “Understand your life will get harder before it gets easier. Your days will grind longer, not shorter. You will need to tap into all the military training you have in order to lead your civilian counter parts who don’t understand you or your thought process. As for EBV, don’t hesitate; enroll now and enjoy the ride because you are about to be treated in a manner I never thought people treated veterans.”
Most recently, Ottosen was awarded the Arthur H. and Mary E. Wilson Top Venture Impacting Veterans Award and a check for $10,000 at the 2016 EBV National Conference held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ryan and Traci Ottosen have created a business that is impacting the lives of our nation’s veterans day in and day out, while selflessly devoting themselves to a mission that started off as a dream.