EBV10 part2

By Tina M Kapral | Senior Director of  Education and Training
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University

In July of 2007, Dr. J. Michael Haynie held the first Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) class of seventeen students. These individuals were from across the U.S., from different service branches and ages, but all had the dream of owning their own businesses. The business ideas ranged from construction firms to non-profit organizations helping other veterans. The EBV residency phase was and still is intense — long days of classes, taught from a very practical standpoint, and late nights working on venture pitches to present at the end of the week. This was a purposeful approach.  Servicemembers know what to expect in “bootcamp” and that is exactly what they received, classes delivered on opportunity recognition, marketing, operations, supply chain, government contracts, legal and human resource management to name a few.  It was a great success; all seventeen students graduated at the end of week with pride and a new “mission” in life.

As it is often said, good news travels fast. As other schools heard of EBV and its success, many more schools wanted to have their own EBV programs.  This led Dr. Haynie to create the EBV consortium. First to join, Florida State University, then UCLA, Purdue, UCONN, Texas A&M, to today, where the EBV’s 10-university consortium also includes Cornell, LSU, Saint Joseph’s University, and University of Missouri, with the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University continuing to serve as the national hub. EBV has since helped Dr. Haynie launch other veteran and military family entrepreneurship training programs to include EBV-F, VWISE, Boots to Business, and Boots to Business Reboot


Dr. Haynie never envisioned EBV to grow to ten schools, nor did he anticipate the launch of the IVMF in 2011. Yet, through these programs and services dedicated to advancing the post-service lives of America’s servicemembers, veterans and their families, the Institute and current Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud are bringing Syracuse University’s commitment to veterans and their families full circle.

In 1940, “The University promised programs that would address individual needs of veterans, whether they wished to complete job training, their high school diploma, or an advanced degree.”  Post-World War II, Chancellor William Pearson Tolley recognized the role that higher education can play in advancing our nation’s returning veterans. He announced Syracuse University’s “uniform admissions program,” which ensured all military personnel admission to Syracuse upon return from war.”

History repeats itself, but this time in a positive, impactful way for our aspiring vetrepreneurs.

EVB-Dr. Mike Haynie

By Tina M Kapral | Senior Director of  Education and Training
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), is a program executed by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University in cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration (SBA).  This year, EBV proudly celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary, and is delivered at ten universities nationwide.  It’s more than 1,300 graduates have revenues totaling over $196 million and hire on average four employees (many of whom are fellow veterans). Of these graduates, 68% of the businesses started are still in operation today.

Although EBV didn’t start that way, it began as a social venture of Dr. J. Michael Haynie, an Air Force veteran of 14 years (1992-2006), who in 2006 joined the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University as a professor of entrepreneurship.  Dr. Haynie knew through his research that veterans were starting businesses at a much higher rate than civilians.  For example, after WWII, over 48% started business, and individuals with a disability were twice as likely to start a businesses ( .  He realized the faculty of Whitman were teaching, training and inspiring entrepreneurs every day, so why not bring this opportunity of business ownership to the community that most deserved to live the American dream — veterans and their families.

Dr. Haynie developed the curriculum to include an online portion, followed by a nine-day residency on campus, with follow up resources and support. He wanted the EBV program to be offered at no cost to post 9/11 service connected disabled veterans with a passion for entrepreneurship. He presented his proposal to the Dean of the Whitman School. Dean Melvin T. Stith, a Vietnam veteran himself, immediately gave Dr. Haynie the approval to launch this program at Syracuse University.  Now came the difficult part — raising the funds needed to support the effort, as well as recruiting veterans to participate. Dr. Haynie found supporters among Whitman alumni, who financially supported EBV; the Whitman faculty, who volunteered to teach; and business students, who helped to execute the program.

The recruitment was more difficult; Dr. Haynie found himself traveling to wounded warrior units to present the program and encountered many challenging naysayers who felt that veterans should not become business owners.  Dr. Haynie would later find research proving the opposite.  He noted this in The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran, Beyond the Clique’, March 2015, stating many veterans possess the same characteristics as those who are high performing entrepreneurs. “Individuals who are drawn to military service, who then have military training and socialization have a common strong self-efficacy, a high need for achievement, are comfortable with autonomy and uncertainty, and make effective decisions in the face of dynamic environments. These attributes, as they are linked to entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial mindset among military veterans, have been consistently demonstrated in practice.” (


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded $22.3 billion in contracts to 21 large businesses, small businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). The contracts will be in support of information technology infrastructure improvements, cyber security and operations and network management. This is a boon for veteran business owners.

The awards are part of VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation acquisition program, also known as T4NG.

“This T4NG award is one of the many ways the Department is supporting the MyVA breakthrough initiatives by directly providing the technology that our Veterans need to support the services they receive from VA,” said Secretary Robert McDonald. “The T4NG will help meet and strengthen VA’s long-term technology needs.”

Of the 21 contract awarded, 10 were made to Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs), two awards were made to small businesses, and nine awards were made to large businesses.

T4NG is the largest Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded out of the VA. The T4NG program will replace the original T4 multiple-award contract that expires in June 2016.

The Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses awarded the contracts are:

AbleVets, LLC, B3 Group, Inc., Fairfax, VA,  Business Information Technology Solutions, Inc., Falls Church, VA, Favor TechConsulting, LLC, Richmond, VA, Halfaker & Associates, LLC, Arlington, VA, HMS Technologies, LLC, Martinsburg, WV, Intelligent Waves, LLC, Reston, VA, Liberty IT Solutions, LLC, Herndon, VA, Nester Consulting LLC, dba GovernmentCIO, Columbia, MD and TISTA Science and Technology Corp., Rockville, MD.

T4NG is a Multi-Agency (MAC) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Task Order (MATO) contract with a base ordering period of 5 years and one 5-year option period, with a program ceiling of $22.3 billion.  The contract is being managed by VA’s Technology Acquisition Center in Eatontown, New Jersey.

We hope the government will continue to seek out and support Veteran Business Owners and Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners and award contracts to them.

govt contract

HMS Technologies has been awarded one of only ten Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contracts by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The contract is for the VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation program, or T4NG. The contract will enable HMS to provide the VA and its employees an avenue to offer veterans, worldwide, the means to quickly access the Department for their specific IT needs, expedite service delivery, and improve filing and speed of processing claims.

“The entire HMS Team is honored to receive this award and we are excited about having this contract vehicle so we can continue to provide VA the Information Technology services that will enhance services that support our veterans,” said HMS CEO Bill Kirkpatrick. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the VA to serve our nations heroes.”

HMS ranks 68th on the Federal Government’s list of Top 100 Government-wide Acquisition Contractors and was also named SBA’s Small Business of the Year for 2008 in WV.

With an anticipated ceiling value of approximately $22.3 billion, T4NG is the largest Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded out of the VA. The T4NG program will replace the original T4 multiple-award contract that expires in June 2016.

HMS was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Martinsburg, WV.

VAMBOA NVSBEVeterans who are interested in starting or expanding their small businesses should save the date and register today for the largest and most comprehensive Veteran Small Business Expo of the year.

Each year, for the last four years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and several other government agencies have collaborated to put on the largest event for Veteran entrepreneurs in the country, called the National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE).

The theme of NVSBE 2014 is “ACCESS” which is an acronym for “Advocate, Create, Commit, Expand, Strengthen, Sustain.” The event is designed to connect Veteran-owned Small Businesses and Veteran entrepreneurs with exclusive access to networking opportunities and learning sessions.

With 3,000 attendees expected, as well as more than 400 exhibitors and 25 government agencies, the NVSBE is a must-attend event for Veteran-owned small businesses.

The NVSBE is chalk full of activities designed to aid in the success of Veteran business ventures. Each day of the event has an Agenda that includes networking functions and breakout learning sessions.The learning sessions consist of dozens of topics that attendees can register for, according to their needs. Topics include creating a small business, business expansion, financing, government contracts, Veterans assistance, procurements, sustaining a small business, leadership, service-disabled Veteran-owned business resources and many more. The last day of the event includes an awards ceremony and one-on-one follow-up meetings with procurement decision makers and program professionals.

One of the most advantageous reasons to attend the NVSBE is the direct access to procurement decision makers, program specialists and acquisition staff from government agencies and large corporations.

The three day event will be held on December 9, 10 and 11, 2014, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. To register for the 2014 NVSBE in Atlanta, please visit the Registration Information Page.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Veterans Small Business Expo: By Debbie Gregory