Business Plan and Pitch Competition Provide a Boost for Veteran Owned Businesses

The EBV National Training and Alumni Conference held in Dallas, Texas kicked off on Friday, Oct. 25, hosted by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), in coordination with the EBV National Consortium of Universities, the EBV Foundation, and academic sponsor, The Jim Moran Institute. The conference provided a weekend of entrepreneurship training and skills for graduates of previous EBV programs.

Also held in Dallas, was the 2nd annual EBV Business Plan Competition, an opportunity for EBV National Conference attendees to present their business plans for a panel of judges. Thanks to generous contributions from our donors, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Disabled American Veterans, the EBV Foundation and the EBV National Program, participants were eligible to compete for a combined $75,000 in prize money.

50 business plans were submitted for review for the competition, a field that was cut down to just 10 before the preliminary round, taking place in Dallas on Oct. 26. Those who were not selected to move on to the preliminary round were invited to compete in the conference’s Pitch Competition, which required participants to give a 90-second elevator pitch to a panel of judges, competing for a combined $5,000 in prize money.

The preliminary round of the Business Plan Competition required participants to give a 15-minute presentation on their business, followed by 10 minutes of questions from a panel of judges. Three finalists were then selected to give a final, 90-second elevator pitch to the entire conference on Oct. 27.

The IVMF would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Business Plan semi-final, and Pitch Competition judges, Brian Cowart, Dani Lachowicz, Ralph Thronton, Sara Lafe, and William Elmore, for making the tough decisions to narrow down the field of exceptional competitors. Also deserving of thanks are all those who submitted business plans and participated in both of this year’s competitions.

Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s Business Plan and Pitch Competitions.

Best Venture Plan (overall):

1st Prize – Docere eLearning Solution, Sandra Gonzales

2nd Prize– Couper Ellis, Zona Schroeter

3nd Prize – Expanded Inventory Solution, Bobbi Collins


Special Categories:

Best Social Ventures – A.I.C Publications, Makin Hamzah

Hixson Holding LLC, Cory Hixson

Venture Impacting Veterans – OnCommand K9 Training, Ben Simmons


Pitch Plan Competition:

1st prize – HubYub, Blake Hogan

2nd prize – Pocket Parks Publishing, Rosemary O’Brien

3rd prize – My Hero Classifieds, Brandon Bunch

Tie for 4th prize – LLC, Charlotte Moore

4th prize – Trabus Technologies, Art Salindong



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