AMGEN
 

Boots to Business ClassesBy Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reached a huge milestone for their entrepreneurship training programs for Veterans. SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, announced on April 21, 2015, that the agency has trained 25,000 transitioning service members through its Boots to Business program.

The Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education program that the SBA facilitates as part of the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). All service members are required to complete TAP classes before they separate from their service branch. Boots to Business is offered as an optional portion of the TAP class to service members who are considering starting their own businesses after they separate.

The Boots to Business curriculum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, providing the fundamental knowledge needed for developing a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Beginning as a pilot program in 2012,  Boots to Business expanded nationally in 2013. In order to provide the education and training to service members and their spouses, the program utilizes SBA resource partners, including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC),Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC), and SCORE.

Over the last two years, the Boots to Business program has been made available to transitioning service members and their spouses, at no charge, on more than 165 military installations around the world. The education and training program provides them the opportunity to explore the possibilities of business ownership and self-employment. It also helps them evaluate the feasibility of their business concepts, and connects the aspiring business owners to SBA’s network of resource partners.

This milestone is proof of the SBA’s commitment to serving the community of military and Veteran entrepreneurs. From the beginning of her tenure, Administrator Contreras-Sweet has made deliberate attempts to support and provide for Veteran entrepreneurs and Veteran-owned small businesses, which she believes are essential to turning around our nation’s struggling economy.

“My first day on the job was just over a year ago, and my first meeting was with Veteran entrepreneurs because I wanted to honor them and emphasize the value they bring to small businesses across the nation. We know Veterans have the courage and the determination to become great entrepreneurs, and the United States is investing in them,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Boots to Business helps our service members and their spouses explore careers in entrepreneurship by showing them how to apply their military skills to start and grow their business. Our Veterans deserve every chance at success, and our economic future requires that we help them acquire the skills necessary to start the next generation of great American businesses.”

For more information about the Boots to Business program visit www.boots2business.org.

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: SBA’s Boots to Business Program Reaches 25,000 Served: By Debbie Gregory

SBA Office of Investment and Innovation

The SBIR Road Tour is coming to a city near you! This is a national outreach effort to convey the non-dilutive technology funding opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Over the course of this year individual program managers from the 11 participating agencies representing $2.5 billion in early stage funding will embark on a 20 state road tour, participating in a series of events alongside technology entrepreneurs and innovation supporters from across the United States.

If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, or small technology firm, don’t miss this opportunity. Every SBIR Road Tour stop provides an in-depth understanding of agency technology funding priorities, and one-on-one meetings with high level decision makers.

Register
Today for Our Latest Tour Stops!

South
Central Tour – April 27 – May 1, 2015

Long
Beach, MS – Monday, April 27, 2015

Ruston,
LA -Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oklahoma
City, OK – Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wichita,
KS – Thursday, April 30, 2015

Columbia,
MO – Friday, May 1, 2015

Road
Tour Stop

Fairmont, WV – Thursday, May 14, 2015

Register
Soon

North
Central Tour – the week of July 13th

Indianapolis,
IN

Chicago,
IL

Iowa
City, IA

Omaha,
NE

Sioux
Falls, SD

Pacific
Northwest – the week of August 17th

Bozeman,
MT

Seattle, WA

Portland,
OR

Boise,
ID

Learn
more by visiting www.sbirroadtour.com 

@SBAGov #SBIRRoadTour #SeedtheFuture

Successful team of business people giving high five in the offic

By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be launching its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition that will award monetary prizes, totaling $4 million, to entrepreneurial ecosystems and accelerators.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced the competition last week at Manufacture New York. For the second year, the SBA will be conducting its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, awarding separate prizes of $50,000 to winning entrepreneurial accelerators. In 2014, the SBA awarded 50 winners a total of $2.5 million in monetary prizes. For the 2015 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, the SBA will award 80 winners with $50,000 each for a total of $4 million.

“We’re launching a second Accelerator Growth Fund competition to spur even greater opportunities for America’s small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet.  “Last year’s event was so successful, we’re looking forward to discovering and empowering the next trailblazers. Accelerators provide valuable resources to potential startups: a physical infrastructure to work in their infancy, mentoring, business-plan assistance, networking, opportunities to obtain venture capital, and introductions to potential customers, partners and suppliers—all critical elements to ensuring that small businesses flourish and succeed.”

Accelerators provide mentorship and guidance to startup small businesses, and are a vital resource for entrepreneurs. The SBA uses the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to support the development of accelerators and the startups that they support, especially in industries and areas of the country where there is limited access to startup capital.

For the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, several panels of judges, both from the public and the private sectors, will select the winners. While “Accelerator” is in the name of the competition, it is also open to incubators, shared-tinker spaces, co-working startup communities and other models that promote multiple startup businesses.

The panel of judges will give special consideration for accelerators in under-resourced geographic locations. They will also look to support accelerators headed by or that support women or other underrepresented groups. The SBA has also ordered that manufacturing accelerator models be given special consideration, because manufacturing is critical to strengthening the U.S. economy.

The application period for the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition will run from April 10 through June 1, 2015. To learn more about the SBA, accelerators and the competition, visit www.sba.gov or go to the 2015 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition application.

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: SBA Announces Contest for Business Accelerators: By Debbie Gregory

CVE

By Debbie Gregory

Each year, government entities such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) set aside contracts specifically for companies owned by Veterans. There are even stipulations for large companies to subcontract out to Veteran-owned businesses in order to be awarded certain contracts. Up until just a few years ago, any business owner could win government contracts and subcontracts through larger corporations by merely checking a box on a form stating that their firm was a Veteran-owned business­. There was no follow-up, and no one checked.

Today, firms wanting to utilize procurement opportunities through the VA must be verified through the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) or a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).  The verification program was established to reduce the number of businesses that were fraudulently claiming a Veteran-owned status. The program also serves to protect the competitive edge that the set-aside contracts provide to Veteran-owned small businesses.

The verification program utilizes a meticulous process to ensure that businesses claiming to be either a VOSB or a SDVOSB are in fact owned and controlled by a Veteran, or multiple Veterans. The CVE has established a Verification Assistance Program (VAP) that helps Veteran business owners through the process.

The key function of VAP is application assistance. To accomplish this function, the CVE has developed a partnership to grow and sustain an inventory of VA certified verification assistance counselors. These individuals, located throughout the country, provide “no-cost” assistance to Veterans throughout the verification application process. Veterans have admitted to paying as much as $20,000 for similar services.

The CVE has also begun hosting Verification Program webinars and virtual town halls to provide comprehensive information to potential new applicants, firms re-verifying, and those who have achieved verification.

The schedule of webinars includes:

  • 1st Tuesday of each month – Preparing for Re-verification Webinar & Town Hall
    • This training is designed for firms whose verification will expire in 5 months or thirty days.
  • 3rd Tuesday of each month – Pre-Application Webinar & Town Hall
    • This training is designed for firms interested in submitted their first CVE Verification application. Also, firms who have been inactive in the program for some time and now desire to submit an application can also benefit from this session.
  • 4th Tuesday of each month – How to stay Verified Webinar & Town Hall
    • This training is designed for firms who have been verified in the last six months.

To learn more about CVE and the verification program, please connect via  http://www.vetbiz.gov

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: Make Sure Your Company is a Verified Veteran-Owned Business: By Debbie Gregory

SBIR Road Tour

By Debbie Gregory.

Veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners need to utilize every resource available to give them and their ventures the greatest chances for success. That is why the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA.org) is on a mission to connect Veteran business owners with resources and programs that can help them to achieve success. One such program currently being presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides training programs in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).

The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort by the SBA to share technology funding opportunities to innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, and small tech firms through SBIR and STTR programs. Together, the programs provide $2.5 billion in funding to small advanced technology firms to help facilitate new technological discoveries and the commercialization of innovations.

Many of the communities who have historically underutilized the opportunities provided through the SBIR and STTR programs have collectively invited representatives of the programs to engage the eligible individuals and firms in their area, so much so that the SBA helped to organize the SBIR Road Show.

Every SBIR Road Tour stop presents Veteran entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet directly with state and federal SBIR/STTR program managers who provide funding to a wide array of innovative ideas. The SBIR Road Tour will be hitting twenty states throughout the U.S., so chances are it will be coming to a city near you!

The tour kicks off in the Southeastern U.S., beginning on March 24thin Louisville, Kentucky. The tour will run until August 21st, with its last date scheduled for Boise, Idaho. For a complete schedule of tour dates and locations, please visit www.sbirroadtour.com/dates.php

For more information about the SBIR Road Tour, its offerings, or to register for an event, please visit www.sbirroadtour.com today.

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: SBIR Road Tour: By Debbie Gregory