Like many soldiers who are leaving the military, U.S. Army Specialist Luke McKean had an idea of what he wanted to do when he transitioned to civilian life but wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. But thanks to…
University Celebrates Entrepreneurial Spirit and Commitment to Veterans at 12th Flagship Business Intensive
Last week, 25 veterans from 17 states advanced their goal of business ownership by attending classes, networking events and presentations to learn the fundamentals of running a business from accomplished entrepreneurs and professors as part of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV), an eight-day, no-cost-to-veterans intensive on starting and building a business.
The courses covered a comprehensive range of topics, from financing and accounting to legal issues, marketing, personal branding, human resources and more. Program speakers included:
- Ted Lachowicz ’72 , entrepreneur and EBV Foundation founder
- Alex McKelvie, professor of entrepreneurship, associate dean for undergraduate and full-time master’s education and chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises in the Whitman School
- Elizabeth Wimer, adjunct instructor in the Whitman School
- Ginger Wagner, professor of accounting practice in the Whitman School
- Chris Dambach, owner of Industry Standard USA and and EBV graduate
- Logan Bonney, co-founder and CEO of Anything But Beer and an EBV graduate
This year’s program earned national news attention with CNBC Business News correspondent and Syracuse alumna Contessa Brewer ’96 in attendance to interview IVMF Chief Operating Officer Maureen Casey and EBV participants as part of the network’s “Closing the Gap” series on women’s advancement in the workplace.
“Now in its 12th year, EBV has grown to include nine colleges and universities, almost 2,000 graduates and successful business ventures in nearly every industry,” says Syracuse University Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation and IVMF Executive Director J. Michael Haynie. “The program has endured as a result of the milestones and accomplishments of our graduates as well as the power entrepreneurship offers to change lives, families and communities.”
While on campus, program participants also took part in local sights and experiences such as:
- a night at Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia, including dinner, remarks from Tim Butler, U.S. Army veteran and Empire director of brewing operations, a sampling of local craft beers and live music;
- dinner with local entrepreneur John Stage at Stage’s nationally known Dinosaur Bar-B-Que; and
- tours of the Syracuse University campus and the Dome
“The military prepares you to be an entrepreneur, but what’s missing is the translation of those skills,” says Thad Hunkins, EBV Syracuse 2019 participant, U.S. Air Force veteran and CEO of both NCC Systems and TC Loox Consultants LLC. “EBV has been the answer to that critical missing piece.”
The EBV was founded by Haynie in 2006, with the Whitman School. The flagship program of the IVMF’s ARSENAL of entrepreneurship programs, EBV is designed to prepare and empower veterans and their families for success in business ownership. Of the nearly 2,000 aspiring entrepreneurs who have completed EBV, 79 percent have gone on to start their own business, and 92 percent of those are still in business.