25 More Veterans Are Welcomed Into the Orange Family as Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans ’23 (EBV) Comes to a Close

EBV 16th graduation class group photo

Veterans attend Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans classes in the NVRC at Syracuse University, EBV 2023.

The D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University recently celebrated the addition of 25 new graduates from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program. The program is unique in that it leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge training in entrepreneurship and small business management at no cost to all post-9/11 veterans.

Entrepreneurship is one of the three major pathways that servicemembers pursue during the transition to their post-service lives. According to the National Survey of Military-Affiliated Entrepreneurs, veterans are not only more likely than their civilian peers to start and run their own businesses but on average, they also out-earn their non-veteran counterparts.

During the Saturday evening graduation ceremony at the National Veterans Resource Center, J. Michael Haynie, IVMF’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, shared his personal opinion on what makes the program a success in preparing veterans for the challenges of entrepreneurship.

“The EBV program really embodies the convergence of two truths that I hold very closely. The first of those is the power of business ownership to change the trajectory of lives and families,” says Haynie, a U.S. Air Force veteran and the University’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation. “The second truth is the resiliency, the grit, and the selflessness of those who have served, and how those attributes translate to the relentless pursuit of the next big challenge, however daunting that challenge may be.”

With more than 2,400 EBV graduates to date, the program also calls upon previous graduates who have seen significant success after attending one of the IVMF’s entrepreneurial training programs. One such graduate is U.S. Marine Corps veteran Chris Dambach, owner of Industry Standard USA. Dambach’s business provides construction and facility support services for government projects and has been featured on the Inc. 5,000 list celebrating the fastest-growing businesses in the United States.

Dambach also had a hand in recruiting one of this year’s graduates, local Syracuse business owner and U.S. Air Force veteran, Brandon Johnson. Johnson is the owner of Crossett Property Management, which manages several properties located primarily in the Strathmore area of the city.

“I met Chris at a veteran-focused conference a few years ago, and we were talking about getting into the government contracting space eventually, and he told me I had to do the EBV program,” Johnson says. “Just feeling the energy in the room and being exposed to the faculty that’s here, it’s just a great refresher to keep our tools sharpened to go out there and be successful in business.

The program does more than teach about small business management, however, it also gets the participants out into the local community to speak with local business owners. This year’s cohort visited Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Talking Cursive to learn firsthand what struggles local owners go through as they grow their businesses.

Learn more about EBV