Program offers small-business management training
SYRACUSE — This year’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program at Syracuse University ended in late July with 25 graduates.
The initiative leverages the skills, resources, and infrastructure of higher education to offer training in entrepreneurship and small-business management at no cost to all post-9/11 veterans, Syracuse said in an Aug. 1 news release about the program.
During the graduation ceremony at the National Veterans Resource Center, J. Michael Haynie, IVMF’s co-founder and executive director, shared his personal opinion on what makes the program a success in preparing veterans for the challenges of entrepreneurship.
The IVMF is a shortened way of referring to Syracuse’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
“The EBV program really embodies the convergence of two truths that I hold very closely. The first of those is the power of business ownership to change the trajectory of lives and families,” Haynie said. “The second truth is the resiliency, the grit, and the selflessness of those who have served, and how those attributes translate to the relentless pursuit of the next big challenge, however daunting that challenge may be.”
Haynie is also a U.S. Air Force veteran and Syracuse University’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation.
John Wildhack, Syracuse director of athletics, served as the guest speaker during the graduation ceremony. Wildhack shared some of his personal insight from his time during the startup of ESPN and provided some of his own advice to guide them on their path upon leaving campus and returning to their entrepreneurial journey.
“As you embark on your next chapter or continue to grow the business you’ve already established, identify what motivates you, what drives you, and what’s most important to you both in your work and as an individual,” Wildhack said in the Syracuse University release. “For me, it’s the three F’s: Family, Faith and Friends.”
Spreading the word
The EBV program also calls upon previous graduates who have seen significant success after attending one of the IVMF’s entrepreneurial-training programs. One such graduate is U.S. Marine Corps veteran Chris Dambach, owner of Industry Standard USA in the town of Clay.
Dambach’s business provides construction and facility-support services for government projects and has been featured on the Inc. 5,000 list celebrating the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S.
Dambach also had a hand in recruiting one of this year’s graduates, Brandon Johnson, a Syracuse business owner and U.S. Air Force veteran. Johnson is the owner of Crossett Property Management, which manages several properties located primarily in the Strathmore area of the city.
“I met [Dambach] at a veteran-focused conference a few years ago, and we were talking about getting into the government contracting space eventually, and he told me I had to do the EBV program,” Johnson said in the Syracuse news release. “Just feeling the energy in the room and being exposed to the faculty that’s here, it’s just a great refresher to keep our tools sharpened to go out there and be successful in business.”