Texas A&M University Hosts Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

Participants to converge on campus for intensive eight-day residency to learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business ownership

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – On Saturday (July 11), 21 disabled veterans will converge on the Texas A&M University campus to expand on the traits (resilience, focus and leadership) they developed in the military, and learn the basics of business ownership during the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV).Hosted in partnership between the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and Mays Business School at Texas A&M, the EBV helps post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities develop skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses.The results are in for graduates of the national EBV program:

  • 1,130 EBV graduates have become entrepreneurs;
  • $196 million (and growing) in revenue has been generated by EBV graduate businesses;
  • 68% 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
  • 4.72 – The average number of people employed by an EBV graduate
  • EBV graduate businesses currently employ 1,886 people

The EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course. Participants have already begun to shape business plans and learn business language during the online phase. During the second phase, participants will complete an intensive nine-day residency at Texas A&M, learning the “nuts and bolts” of business ownership from established entrepreneurs and educators. Following the residency, EBV graduates will receive access to a year-long support and mentorship program through the EBV Technical Assistance Program.

The eighth annual Texas A&M program takes place July 11-18. The speaker at the July 11 opening ceremony will be April Ames-Chase, a member of the EBV Class of 2014. Mentoring sessions will be held early in the week, then the veterans will present their business plan pitches on July 18. Closing ceremonies will be that evening, with guest speaker retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Todd Nelson.

Richard Lester, director of the Texas A&M EBV, says it offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines disabled as a result of their service supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. “This program fits exceptionally well at Texas A&M, where we have a rich military history and have been recognized for being one of the top military friendly schools,” he said. “It is a great way to give back to our veterans by utilizing our network of experts.”

The program was launched at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2007. Since the original class, the IVMF has expanded EBV to nine additional universities throughout the U.S., including Texas A&M. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, corporate partners and donors allows post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-connected disabilities to attend the program cost-free.

“EBV has produced more than 1,100 graduates since 2007, with 68 percent having launched a new venture after completing the EBV program,” said Tina Kapral, director of residency programs at IVMF. “The IVMF at Syracuse University is excited to work with Texas A&M again to support our nation’s veterans and help them create and maintain their own small businesses.”

Elements of the Texas A&M program will be open to the media upon request, and program leaders and attendees will be available for interviews.

Details specific to the EBV at Texas A&M program can be found at http://mays.tamu.edu/center-for-new-ventures-and-entrepreneurship/about-ebv-at-texas-am/. More information on the nationwide EBV program can be found at http://vets.syr.edu/education/ebv/.



Shanna Spencer Program Manager Texas A&M University
979.845-0619 sspencer@mays.tamu.edu

Wayne Westervelt Director of Communications Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
315.443-5690 wwesterv@syr.edu




Texas A&M University, currently enrolling more than 45,000 students, is the oldest public university in the state. One of its most cherished traditions and legacies is the Corp of Cadets. With the exception of the service academies, A&M’s Corps makes up the nation’s largest uniformed student body, with approximately 1,800 students participating, and annually commissions more officers than any other institution. To date, more than 220 former cadets have achieved the rank of general or admiral. Since 1968, Mays Business School has been training ethical business leaders to impact the global society. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its academic programs and faculty scholarship and currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. Mays is home to seven centers that advance innovative theory and best practices in a broad range of business functional areas including new ventures and entrepreneurship. These centers offer a direct connect for faculty and professionals to collaborate on research, and for students to be exposed to ideas advancing business today.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) The IVMF is the first national center in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community; best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. Learn more about IVMF at http://vets.syr.edu.


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