Nearly 1 in 4 active-duty service members and veterans are interested in launching their own business, according to the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program. Opportunity, freedom, and problem solving attract them to the challenge.
To help them achieve their goal, the state-funded program offers tuition-free instruction as well as mentoring resources through local business leaders at network partner campuses including Florida Gulf Coast University. Veterans do not have to be enrolled at FGCU to apply.
The program’s next session begins in January, and interested veterans must apply online before Dec. 14. Upon application, participants are invited to attend an open house from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 at FGCU’s Emergent Technologies Institute, 16301 Innovation Lane (off Alico Road 2 miles east of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway).
FGCU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship facilitates the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program in Southwest Florida, providing faculty and community mentors who teach veterans how to build a business model and access capital for new business ventures. At the end of the 15-week program, participants have the opportunity to pitch an investment committee for seed funding to make their entrepreneurial dreams reality.
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship provides students with genuine support and a strong foundation of knowledge from which to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations. This is accomplished through the combined efforts of FGCU faculty, student graduates and a variety of community partners in Southwest Florida. The institute strives to create camaraderie between these groups and to emphasize the need for an entrepreneurial spirit between FGCU and its constituents.