First Data, IVMF and Syracuse University Team Up to Launch the Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship

First Data and the IVMF announce the creation of a national center for veteran entrepreneurship at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families opening ceremony

“Who better to live the American Dream of business ownership …
than those who have served to protect it.”

— Dr. Mike Haynie
Syracuse University Vice Chancellor; Executive Director, IVMF

COE-4More than three million veterans of the post-9/11 generation have participated in the longest sustained period of military conflict in this country’s history. And in the next five years, one million service members will transition to civilian life, joining the ranks of the nation’s 22 million veteran population. Many of these men and women and their families aspire to live the American dream of business ownership, and lead our nation in the peaceful pursuit of economic leadership in the 21st century.

The Center of Excellence (CoE) for Veteran Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University was publicly unveiled on Saturday, March 12, as part of the opening ceremony of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF’s) Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families program. The CoE will further advance veterans’ and their families’ aforementioned American dream of business ownership by developing innovative programs and educational resources; timely and relevant research and policy analysis; and by cultivating veteran connected ecosystems across the United States.

On the eve of IVMF’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families (EBV-F), military family members, aspiring business owners, and representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Syracuse University, First Data, Lockheed Martin, FleishmanHillard, Mastercard, The Rosie Network, VetAdvisor, Military One Click, American Legion, and Cornell University engaged in a Fireside Chat with Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO, First Data; Barbara Carson, Associate Administrator, Office of Veteran Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); and Dr. Mike Haynie, Vice Chancellor of Veteran and Military Affairs, Syracuse University; Executive Director and Founder, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).

Speakers and attendees discussed the value of a Center of Excellence, SBA’s programs for veteran and spouse owned small businesses, First Data’s commitment to our military, veterans and their families, and Syracuse University’s focus on veterans’ post-service career preparation and entrepreneurship training.

“It’s a big day for Syracuse University with regard to our commitment to veterans and their families,” said IVMF Executive Director Dr. Mike Haynie. “Not only do we get to welcome our newest class of military family members and caregivers to the EBV family, but we proudly launched the nation’s first Center of Excellence around veteran owned business with our partners at First Data Corporation.”

The Center of Excellence (CoE) for Veteran Entrepreneurship will function as the nucleus of veteran business ownership, and work to unite veteran owned businesses, researchers, small business program managers, policymakers, resources, and private and public companies in an organized effort to make transitioning service members, veterans, and their families successful business owners. Located within the offices of the IVMF, the CoE will eventually make its home in the soon to be constructed National Veterans Resource Center at Syracuse University – a first-of-its kind facility in the United States – and a class-leading exemplar of academic, government, and community collaboration, dedicated to advancing academic research, actionable programs, and community-connected innovation in service to the nation’s veterans and military-connected families.

“We’ve been partnering with Syracuse University for a long time,” added Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO, First Data. “Public-private sector partnerships are the future … the University, SBA, and First Data are all coming together to serve the needs of the community of those who served.”

Serving as moderator for the Fireside Chat and keynote speaker at the EBV-F Opening Ceremony was Barbara Carson, Associate Administrator of SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development. She shared her thoughts on the CoE – “I know it will be a success.  It’s going to really help our veteran community sift through the thousands and thousands of resources … and make them better, more successful business owners.”

For more information about the Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship, visit Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship.

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