The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), the colleges and universities of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) National Consortium, the EBV Foundation and corporate partners host the second annual EBV National Training and Alumni Conference this weekend in Denver, Colo., at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Oct. 19-21.
The EBV and EBV-Families (EBV-F) were founded in 2007 and 2010 at SU’s Whitman School of Management to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with service-related disabilities (estimated at up to 30 percent of the 2.5 million post-9/11 veteran population) and family members turned caregivers to veterans with disabilities and/or surviving spouses of those who gave their lives in service to the country. The programs open the door to economic opportunity by developing participants’ competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.
The annual conference is designed as an advanced training and networking experience based on what EBV and EBV-F graduates have said they need to further their entrepreneurial goals. This year’s conference is open to graduates who have completed the residency phase of the programs between the years of 2007 and 2012. Conference attendees are a select group, comprised of 100 program graduates from EBV consortium schools SU, UCLA, Florida State, Texas A&M, Purdue, UConn, Louisiana State and Cornell.
“In true EBV fashion, we have worked diligently to bring together the best array of experts possible in order to make this a true one-of-a-kind experience,” says Mike Haynie, executive director and founder of the IVMF and creator of the EBV program. “A variety of training sessions will be available on personal credit repair and growth, financing a venture, in-depth government contracting, marketing and personal selling, leveraging social media and more. These courses are open for attendance at any given time, so our program graduates can choose which topics are best suited to advance their businesses.”
Those attending the Denver conference will also re-connect with former classmates and network with graduates from all schools within the EBV national consortium, to share their personal experiences and contacts as entrepreneurs and small business owners. As part of the conference, the IVMF will also hold the first-ever EBV National Business Plan and Pitch Competition. Thanks to generosity of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, EBV Foundation and EBV national consortium, participants in the competition will present their business plans at the conference, and be eligible for a combined $60,000 in prize money.
Paul Washington, director of the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED), will take part in the EBV National Training and Alumni Conference opening ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19, beginning at 7 p.m. Washington leads the OED, which is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. He will say a few words during the event.
In addition, several Denver area residents are lending their expertise to the conference as panelists and instructors. They include Rick Barnes, chairman emeritus and honorary publisher of The Denver VOICE; Rachel Davis, fellow at Kiva; Michael Fahndrich, managing director of the Denver office of CBIZ MHM, LLC and shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C.; Catherine Henry, executive director of Work Options for Women (WOW); and Mark Hopkins, founder and managing partner of Crescendo Capital Partners.