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Jefferson County veteran among semifinalists in IVMF business-plan competition

By Eric Reinhardt


PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An entrepreneur from Jefferson County is among 10 semifinalists in a business-plan competition for veterans.

Paul Kilgore’s plan for WAORGANY Brewing, LLC of Evans Mills (northeast of Watertown) will participate in the 2016 D’Aniello Family Foundation Business Plan Competition.

WAORGANY Brewing, LLC is a farm brewery, according to its website. The name WAORGANY includes the abbreviations for Washington, Oregon, Georgia, and New York, places where he’s either lived or served in the military.

The competition is part of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) national training and alumni conference set for Feb. 5 through Feb. 7 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) announced the 10 semifinalists in a news release issued Friday.

Kilgore is the only finalist from New York state, according to the release.

The semifinalists include both established and aspiring veteran entrepreneurs who submitted formal small-business plans for the chance to receive a share of more than $110,000 in available seed funding.

Graduates of the EBV and EBV-Families programs were invited to submit business plans A panel of independent experts with “deep track records in entrepreneurship” judged the business plans, the IVMF said.

The 10 semifinalists will compete in a live competition, set for Feb. 6 at the Le Méridien Charlotte. The top four from the competition will participate in the finals on Feb. 7.

The Washington, D.C.–based D’Aniello Family Foundation and Disabled American Veterans are providing more than $110,000 in available seed funding.

The competition will also present additional awards for Best Social Venture; Most Innovative Venture; and the Arthur H. and Mary E. Wilson Top Venture Impacting Veterans award.

Veterans submitted nearly 50 plans for the competition’s initial rounds of judging, according to the IVMF.

“Being a veteran and an entrepreneur myself, my goal in establishing the D’Aniello Family Foundation Business Plan Competition was to help veteran entrepreneurs to help themselves by creating a growing business,” Daniel D’Aniello, co-founder and chairman of the Carlyle Group, said in the IVMF release.

The Washington, D.C.–based Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative-asset manager with $188 billion of assets under management across 126 funds and 160 fund of funds vehicles, according to its website.

Funded in part by an agreement between the IVMF and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the EBV is a veteran-entrepreneurship training program.

Contact Reinhardt at

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