Sign-Up for IVMF Updates

Subscribe to our email newsletter, reports, and releases to get the latest IVMF news and research.

  • Home
  • Former Professional Hockey Players Join Veterans to go to Business Bootcamp
October 29, 2014

Former Professional Hockey Players Join Veterans to go to Business Bootcamp

Former Professional Hockey Players Join Veterans to go to Business Bootcamp

The National Hockey League Alumni Association BreakAway Program announces a new partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families to benefit veterans

EBV-Logo-(no-small-text---transparent)Syracuse, NY – Grit. Perseverance. Dedication. Focus. These are just some of the traits found in great entrepreneurs. It’s why military veterans, with their battle-tested mettle, excel in entrepreneurship and why another group of tough, hardworking veterans—of the ice—will soon start training to launch their second careers as small business owners. The NHL Alumni Association BreakAway Program is partnering with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the Whitman School at Syracuse University to educate former hockey players alongside military veterans in a pilot program with the nationally recognized Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). The program will create new networking opportunities for veteran participants, help bridge the military-civilian divide, and promote interaction between two groups that used to be part of elite teams.

“We are very excited to kick off this partnership with IVMF. Not only will our members learn how to utilize the skills they learned on the ice transferable to entrepreneurship, but they will learn from their veteran classmates’ service and sacrifices, which parallel the intangible skills in their own arena,” said Wendy McCreary, Director of the NHL Alumni Association and BreakAway Program.

EBV, founded in 2007 by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, leverages the resources of higher education to deliver hands-on, innovative training in entrepreneurship to post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities—all at no cost to the veteran. It’s fourth annual EBV National Conference of graduates just met in Atlanta, GA where veterans learned advanced techniques to grow their businesses. NHL Alumni who participate in EBV will provide support to the program financially and by their collaboration with veterans in the classroom.

Since the Whitman School at Syracuse founded EBV, the program has expanded to train veterans at seven more schools: Texas A&M, Purdue University, UCLA, the University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University, The Florida State University and Cornell University. Nearly 1,000 veterans or their family members have graduated from EBV programs and their businesses have generated over $188 million in revenue. The NHL Alumni BreakAway Program EBV pilot program will take place at Syracuse University on March 7th – March 15th, 2015.

Jared Lyon, National Program Manager of EBV and EBV-Families, said:  “The NHL has a long history of supporting veterans and so we’re glad that through this mutually beneficial program they will support our veterans, and our veterans can be a part of post-playing opportunities for NHL Alumni, and learn from NHL Alumni what contributes to their success. This is a unique opportunity to bridge a gap between veterans and civilians while also capitalizing on the unmatched skills both groups bring to entrepreneurship.”

nhlalumni_logoNHL Alumni will help IVMF and the Whitman School continue to offer EBV to veterans cost-free by off-setting the full tuition of one veteran for every two former hockey players that attend, expanding the social venture’s support base. Through this partnership, former NHL players will be exposed to cutting edge, entrepreneurship training at Syracuse University from world-class professors and experts in small business management at the Whitman School of Management, alongside the veteran participants. Veterans will gain exposure to elite athletes, their networks, and learn to communicate and collaborate with athlete entrepreneurs. This pilot program will allow IVMF, the Whitman School, and the NHL Alumni Association BreakAway Program to learn what works and how in the program, including how veterans and athletes support each other and their mutual learning objectives, and lay the foundation for future programs that benefit both veterans and athletes in ways that mutually reinforce their respective goals for second careers as business owners.

EBV is a three-phase program including a nine-day residency at one of eight EBV Universities. For more information about EBV or to apply, visit



The IVMF is the first national center 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; best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. Learn more about IVMF at For questions about the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities contact Tina Kapral, IVMF Director of Residency Programs, at


The NHL Alumni Association is a registered charitable organization in Canada and the U.S. that serves as a passionate advocate for greater quality of life benefits for all former NHL players. The Association eagerly pursues greater benefits and the implementation of programmatic services devoted to enhancing the lives of retired NHL players and their families through the NHL Alumni BreakAway Program.  Since its inception in 1999, the NHL Alumni Association s has made significant impact on the retired player community, youth and community charities through many various charitable initiatives. Learn more about NHLA at and NHLA BreakAway Program at

Leave a Reply

Notify of