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October 21, 2014

Veterans with Disabilities and Caregivers of Wounded Warriors to Grow Their Businesses at Bootcamp in Atlanta

Veterans with Disabilities and Caregivers of Wounded Warriors to Grow Their Businesses at Bootcamp in Atlanta

Fourth Annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and Families National Conference, sponsored by First Data, will take veterans’ businesses to next level


Nearly 1,000 Post-9/11 military veterans with disabilities and their family members have graduated from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) since 2007. From October 24-26, 185 wounded warriors and their family members will gather in Atlanta to share with other graduates what has made their businesses successful and learn from entrepreneurs and experts how to continue their companies’ growth. Already, businesses founded by EBV graduates have earned nearly $200 million in revenue and employ on average 4.5 workers per company.

Veterans and their family members from across the country will attend the fourth annual Entrepreneurship for Veterans with Disabilities National Conference to hear from titans of industry like Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, and Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO of First Data Corporation.

Graduates of the intensive EBV program led by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) have learned the basics of starting and managing a small business. Sixty-five percent of graduates have started a business and ninety-three percent of those businesses are still going strong. At the EBV National Conference, graduates will learn additional tips and techniques needed to enhance their growth and increase profits.

In addition to the conference agenda, select graduates will compete for $100,000 in prize money during the third EBV National Business Plan and Pitch Competition. Judges will determine which business plans have the best business ideas worthy of the top prize. The business plan and pitch competition is made possible by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Disabled American Veterans, the EBV Foundation, and the EBV National Program. The winner with the best overall business plan will receive $30,000 in funding for their venture, with second and third place taking $20,000 and $15,000 respectively. Participants with excellent 90-second elevator pitches have a chance to win up to $5,000.

“The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities National Training and Alumni Conference is a reunion of some of the most dedicated, motivated small business owners in America,” said Dr. Mike Haynie, Founder and Executive Director of Institute for Veterans and Military Families. “Veterans and their family members make fantastic entrepreneurs and we are looking forward to our graduates sharing lessons learned with each other to further grow their businesses and the economy.”

The conference is offered at low-cost to attendees thanks to the support of First Data, a veteran-friendly company committed to supporting entrepreneurship across the military community and the nation as a whole.

“At First Data, we have seen among our own employees the hard work and loyalty veterans bring to the workplace,” said Bisignano. “Veterans are natural innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs, both in their own businesses and inside growing companies like ours.  This program’s graduates have sacrificed so much in service to our nation that it is our honor to support them as they continue their journeys as entrepreneurs.”

Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management founded EBV in 2007 and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University houses the national program. In 2010, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families launched to serve caregivers and family members of wounded warriors. A national consortium consisting of a network of eight world-class schools offers EBV and EBV-F nationwide through programs at the College of Business at Florida State University; the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles; the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University; the School of Business at the University of Connecticut; the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University; the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University; and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute 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, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. Learn more about the IVMF at

About First Data

First Data is a global technology leader in the financial services industry. With 24,000 employee-owners and operations in 35 countries, the company provides secure and innovative payment technology and services to more than six million merchants and financial institutions around the world, from small businesses to the world’s largest corporations. Today, businesses in nearly 70 countries trust First Data to secure and process more than 2,000 financial transactions per second, totaling $1.8 trillion a year. First Data’s unparalleled infrastructure, scale and partnerships go “beyond the transaction” with next-generation point-of-sale technology fueled by powerful analytics to detect fraud, gain insights into consumer spending, and strengthen customer loyalty. All day, every day, First Data helps its clients thrive in the evolving world of commerce.

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