UTC College Of Business Hosts Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For the third consecutive year, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is offering free training and mentoring in entrepreneurship and small business management to our nation’s disabled and service distinguished veterans. 

Participants in this year’s VEP are attending an eight-day boot camp at UTC through Saturday, July 26. In addition to the entrepreneurship courses taught by College of Business faculty and guest entrepreneurs, the delegates meet with community leaders, top military officials and will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, July 26, featuring former U.S. Representative Zach Wamp. 

The UTC VEP was created by Dr. Mike Morris and is based on a successful model at Oklahoma State University. The program is hosted by the UTC College of Business in partnership with Oklahoma State and the University of Florida. The program is a direct response to the challenges faced by service disabled veterans with physical or psychological disabilities. 

“The VEP builds on the skills that veterans learn from their military careers and helps them focus those skills toward the creation of new ventures through intense entrepreneurial training and mentoring,” said Dr. Robert Dooley, Dean of the UTC College of Business. “Our goal is to help veterans create businesses as a means to their own financial wellbeing, and we are honored to provide the VEP to those that have done so much for this country.” 

Participants in the VEP have already completed a five-week, online self-study to help them develop their business concepts and prepare for the boot camp at UTC. Like a military boot camp, the eight-day residency is intense, rigorous and demanding. It is an opportunity for hands-on learning and interaction with faculty, guest entrepreneurs, business experts and peer delegates. The boot camp exposes VEP participants to the “nuts and bolts” of business ownership through workshops and lessons from faculty as well as guest appearances by top-ranked officers and successful veteran business owners. A full range of business topics are presented, from cash flow management and HR issues to patenting and marketing products and services. 

Following boot camp graduation, delegates receive 10 months of ongoing support from entrepreneurship experts at the UTC College of Business and online peer networking. This allows the participants to get specific feedback regarding their ventures and provides access to professionals who can answer specific questions and offer extended hands-on guidance. 

Since the program began in 2012, the VEP has had a total of 31 graduates and helped launch 14 businesses, including several in the Chattanooga area. Another five businesses are in the development phase. 

Jeremey Chapin, who served in the U.S. Army, is a 2013 VEP graduate. He began making hand-crafted pens as therapy and decided to use his skills to start a business—Woodworks. 

“I closed my first sale during the boot camp last year to a contact I made at one of the VEP networking events,” he said. 

The VEP is free to eligible veterans who are selected for the program. Travel expenses, lodging and meals for the boot camp are provided at no cost to the delegate. The costs of the VEP are underwritten by sponsors, including Walden Security, and private donors, with operations and program development provided by the UTC College of Business.

Learning Blade Announces "Hack Attack" Computer Science Mission

Chattanooga-based Thinking Media’s Learning Blade announced the new “Hack Attack” Computer Science Mission to over 400 attending the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) Annual Conference in Hot Springs this week. Arkansas has led the nation by the passage of Computer Science Education and Jobs Act of 2015, which provides computer coding classes to all Arkansas high ... (click for more)

Baylor Elects 2016-17 Honor Council

Members of Baylor's 101st Honor Council have been elected for the 2016-17 school year.  They are Trey Freeman '18, Annie Dethero '17, Alison Anderson '17, Lauren King '17, David Thompson '17, Ashton Jenne '17, Kristopher Kennedy '19, Connor Duffy '20, Chase Radpour '20, Jonyca Jiao '19, Sarah Talley '18, Matthew Davis '18, Alex Robinson '19 and Mats Pokela '18.  ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor; Stone Says Berke Had Inappropriate Relationship With His Wife; Says Berke And Fletcher Conspired To Arrest Him; Lacie Stone Says Charges Completely False

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  Afterward, Mr. Stone told reporters that the mayor had an inappropriate relationship with his wife, Lacie Stone. He also charged that Mayor Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher conspired to arrest him. Mr. Stone is expected to file ... (click for more)

Christopher Padgett Taken Into Custody

A Chattanooga man who went on the lam after cutting off his ankle monitor and failing to show up for the third day of his felony murder trial is back in custody. Christopher Padgett was arrested by Chattanooga Police in the 3200 block of South Street at 12:55 a.m.  He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking. ... (click for more)

Bobby Stone, Is It Really A Win?

It brought a smile to my face this morning when I saw where the case was thrown out of court against Mr. Stone and the domestic violence charge.  I have supported his cause from the beginning, but I do feel heartbreak because his personal life had to be tossed out there for all of us to see.   I truly hope and pray things turn around for him and his wife, while I feel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)