VetToCEO was founded in 2012 and is led by former SEAL Monty Heath and former Army Officers turned entrepreneurs Mike Horn and John Panaccione.
It originated in work with the Kauffman Foundation when Horn & Panaccione delivered six 10-week Kauffman FastTrac sessions as part of a 2012 grant, and included two separate blended online/classroom setting at Fort Bragg, N.C. Later, Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors courses were provided to veterans at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC and to a private group in partnership with the US Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition.
Since then, ten online VetToCEO 7-week Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors programs have been delivered to veterans and transitioning members of the military across the country (including active military deployed overseas), and today, the VetToCEO core program is a seven-week program.
You'll join a group of fellow qualified veterans (maybe some active duty military) who are either exploring entrepreneurship as a career path choice or aggressively completing their business plan. At the conclusion you'll have an understanding of whether entrepreneurship is for you, whether a start-up, franchise or purchase of an existing business best suits your goals and personality, and you'll have a fundable business concept.
You don't finish with VetToCEO’s program at the conclusion of the 7th session!
We're planning an exciting business plan competition for participants in this innovative session. Participants will compete for real cash to help them launch their business. Our competition will be held as part of an 8th session and will be judged by experienced entrepreneurs.
In addition, VetToCEO has a growing number of partnerships with funding sources focused on funding veteran-owned businesses, including StreetShares, Vet-Biz Network, Task Force X Capital Funding, and others.
Wondering if this is the right program for you? Fair question. There are lots of them out there - and the reality is you're busy. In general our participants are weighing their options. Some have committed to an entrepreneurial venture, but many are wondering whether that lifestyle is right for them; and if so, whether a start-up, franchise or business acquisition is most appropriate. A key step in that decision is to really understand the options and what's involved - and VetToCEO provides that context to help you decide what's best.
All our participants bring the valuable leadership, management, risk management and courage that are common to veterans. Some seek the purpose that they've found missing since they left the military while others, building on the discipline and self-reliance fostered during their service, seek to build a resilient lifestyle for themselves and their families.
Here are example profiles of our typical participants:
Wondering if you're a fit? We're happy to discuss the program with you one-on-one. Just contact us at email@example.com.
The core program provides an important and proven handrail for a valuable learning experience. But during our time in the military we've all had seen first hand the difference between experienced, inspiring, capable leadership....and the alternative.
This VetToCEO session will be led and supported by an incredible lineup of instructors and guest speakers. They include:
Phil Thomas - Philip C. Thomas, founder and CEO of consulting firm Boston Business Group is a Navy Veteran who spent eight years as an intelligence officer. His subsequent business career includes 25+ years of high tech business leadership experience as a public and private company CEO, Phil has experienced many of the challenges inherent in navigating the difficult process of creating, growing, and sustaining a profitable enterprise. His business experience includes serving as the CEO and Founder of several successful high tech firms as well as CEO level leadership at a number of public companies. During his career, he was twice a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.
Ed Brzychcy - Edward Brzychcy is a former Army SSG and Infantry squad leader with multiple War on Terror combat deployments. After medical retirement he earned an Entrepreneurial MBA from the highly respected Babson program, and launched the B2B consulting firm Blue Cord Management.
We'll be adding more detail and links as more speakers are confirmed.
The modules will be delivered from 6:30-9pm each Wednesday night at VFW Post 1093, 110 County Road, Ipswich, MA (about 1 hour north of Boston and South of Portsmouth, NH.)
We'll provide chow beginning at 6 so that you can come directly from work without sacrificing the chance to eat a reasonable meal.
We'll provide self-paced materials, available on-line, for participants to use during the week to prepare for the following weeks session to maximize the value.
We may be able to provide child care at the Ipswich Family YMCA at no charge for participants for whom that makes the difference in participating or not. (VFW Post 1093 is collocated with the Ipswich Family YMCA and collaborates on a number of programs.) If that will be an important consideration for you please contact us ASAP to discuss. firstname.lastname@example.org
The optional 8th session will be the business plan competition at which participants will present their plans to be judged by experienced entrepreneurs, community leaders and executives from key sponsors.
Through sponsorship by EBSCO we will offer $30,000 in funding awards as follows:
1st place - $15K + 2,500 to defray expenses incurred raising funds
2nd place - $7.5K
3rd place - $5K
We'll update this section frequently as sponsorship grows.