Core Program Description and Course Outline

The VetToCEO core entrepreneurship program is a seven-week program. One module is covered each week via a two-hour, live web-based program during evening hours and a short self paced module completed in advance of each live session.  Most live sessions include a guest speaker who is an expert in the subject area.  Each live session is delivered by a certified veteran entrepreneur.

The course structure is modeled after the military planning model with which many of you are familiar.

The live sessions are highly interactive.  You are able to interact with the instructors and the material via chat during each session.  Please come to the live session prepared to interact with the instructors and your fellow veterans - a great deal of value comes from your interaction.

All you need to participate is:

- Access to an computer and the Internet

- A headset or the use of your computer speakers

- Two hours of your time!

Each session is recorded, so if you miss a session you can view the recording.

In between sessions, you will be working on your business plan in a complementary profile in GUST (www.gust.com).  Instructors can review and comment on your business plan if you would like them to.  GUST is a generous supporter of the veteran community and supporter of VetToCEO.  Hundreds of investors also subscribe to GUST, so when your business plan is complete, you can use the GUST platform to seek equity funding if you wish, or you can selectively invite potential supporters to your business plan in GUST as you wish.

Modules 1 & 2: Situation – Marketing 

  • Program orientation
  • Market research techniques
  • Market segmentation and target markets
  • Competition - direct and indirect
  • Pricing strategies 
  • Case studies
  • Tools and resources

Module 3: Mission 

  • Define who, what, when, where, why of the business
  • Create elevator pitch
  • Define the endstate goal
  • Decision point: Start from scratch, buy an existing business, buy a franchise
  • Government contracting and advantages of being a veteran
  • Tools and resources

Module 4: Execution 

  • Organizational structure issues:  hiring, use of contractors, and associated resources
  • Legal forms of business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, etc.)
  • Three phase structure:
    • Phase I - Planning to launch
    • Phase II - Launch to sustained profitability or financing event
    • Phase III - Exit strategy (define the endstate)
  • Tools and Resources

Module 5&6: Logistics – Finance 

  • Preparing and understanding financial statements
  • Financing strategies - debt versus equity & sources
  • Tools and resources

Module 7: Command and Signal (Organization, Networking, Collaboration)

  • Boards of Directors/Advisors
  • Networking techniques; cultural issues of military and networking
  • Focus groups
  • Mentors

Course outcomes:

- Compete Business Canvas 

- Financial Statements/projections

- GUST profile for use at veteran's discretion with investors and finance sources