Five Resources You Must Know about as a Veteran EntrepreneurMarch 23, 2016 by Bennett Tanton | 5 Comments
-By Bennett Tanton
There are many resources out there to help the budding veteran entrepreneur; some resources to help start-ups and some to help new but established businesses. This is not a comprehensive list of resources but these are some that I have either firsthand experience with or know someone directly (business partner/associate) that has firsthand experience. Some of these programs are not just for veterans but also for their spouses to take advantage of. They are in no particular order, so here we go.
- Patriot Bootcamp from Techstars– Patriot Boot Camp (PBC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to equip active duty military members, Veterans, and their spouses with the education, resources, and community needed to be successful technology entrepreneurs. The objective is to provide access to mentors and training to help them innovate and build the next generation of high-growth, scalable and impactful companies. Patriot Boot Camp leverages a nationwide network of business and startup community thought leaders to more effectively guide entrepreneurs in bridging the gap between military service and entrepreneurial life. Check them out at http://www.patriotbootcamp.org
- Vets in Tech– Vets in Tech (ViT) supports our current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem. ViT is committed to bringing together a tech-specific network, resources, and programs for our veterans interested in Education, Entrepreneurship, and Employment. Check them out at http://www.vetsintech.co/
- Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families– the EBV National Program is a novel, one-of-a-kind initiative designed to leverage 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 their families. The aim of the program is to open the door to economic opportunity for our veterans and their families by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. EBV-D has expanded to a consortium of ten schools across the nation Syracuse University, Florida State, Cornell (Hospitality/Food & Beverage Focus), LSU, Purdue, St. Joseph’s, University of Missouri, University of Connecticut, UCLA and Texas A&M. EBV-F is only offered at Syracuse University and Florida State. Check them out at the national program website http://ebv.vets.syr.edu/
- Bunker Labs– Bunker Labs is an innovation accelerator for military veteran-led businesses. Built by veteran entrepreneurs for veteran entrepreneurs, The Bunker provides working space, mentors, access to investors, pro-bono services and a community of support to help military veteran-led startup companies grow in today’s competitive market. It was founded in Chicago in 2014 at co-working space 1871, its current headquarters. There are currently multiple Bunker labs locations across the country including Austin, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Tacoma, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco, Jacksonville Florida, Nashville and Madison WI. Check them out at http://www.bunkerlabs.org
- Kauffman FastTrac for the Veteran Entrepreneur– FastTrac® is a practical, hands-on, entrepreneur-learning program designed to help entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to create, manage, and grow a successful business. FastTrac participants don’t just learn about business, they live it. They work on their own business ideas or existing ventures throughout the program – moving their ventures to reality. FastTrac is a framework for entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. Programs combine facilitator-led sessions, small-group exercises, guest subject-matter experts, and idea sharing with peers with business coaching and mentoring. Check them out at https://fasttrac.org/entrepreneurs.aspx
Hope these resources can help you move forward on your journey into or further in entrepreneurship. So continue on your path and do not give up, work hard, follow your dreams and you’ll succeed. I leave you with a great quote from the book The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems, “It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting.” Go forth and do great things.