The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University is hosting nearly 30 veterans this week to learn some valuable tips on how to start-up or expand their businesses. For nine days, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans or EBV introduces participants on all aspects of securing financing to the operations side of running a business smoothly. Director Misty Stutsman says veterans often lack the social circles to launch a start-up.
“They don’t have that solid kind of nucleus friend group and business group. They have issues maintaining or building mentoring relationships and access to capital. So, we address all three in all of the programs that we host. We do link them with mentors.”
She adds that the EBV program also provides capital and other resources to veterans. One of the participants and mentors in this year’s EBV Bootcamp is Matthew Putt of Horseheads, New York is the Owner and Founder of Boss Security and Automation. The company designs, installs and maintains security systems and offers virus systems. After three years in business, Putt says he’s looking to expand.
“Three years ago this would have proven vital and we probably at the end of the day would be larger than what we are now; had I had all this knowledge. This program takes from the vision from the dream, from the thought all the way through the business plan, all the way up to the pitch to find capital and funding. So, it’s really a school on how to build your business and how to launch it and be successful.”
A veteran from the Syracuse area, Austin Leathers is planning to start up an outdoor apparel line. He says not everyone gets to climb Mount Everest, so he wants to create activities as part of the brand.
“If we’re doing an event, say in the local waterways doing a paddle boarding trip through the Erie Canal. I want to invite people to come do that with me and clean up trash as we go and have events maybe in a local town and then maybe support another small business in that little town.
The EBV program has a consortium of ten schools across the country that participate in the program or other versions of it. Over eleven years, more than 1,600 veterans have taken the program. As a result, 72 percent started their own businesses; 92 percent of which still exist today. Click here to go to the IVMF website.