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Mizzou: Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Program for Veterans

university of missouri campus.

Veterans have spent a vast majority of their life giving back to this country and dedicating their life to serving others. Only one percent of our country has dedicated their lives to giving back to this country in the way that veterans have.

There are many programs for Veterans that focus on giving back to our heroes in some shape or form. The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Program (EBV) for Veterans happens to be one of them. This program’s mission for disabled Veterans is to open the door to economic opportunity by developing competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.

History of EBV

EBV is a multi-phase program for post-9/11 veterans with service connected disabilities and a passion for launching new businesses. The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Program was founded in 2007 at Syracuse University, and has since expanded to other universities across the country. These universities include:

  • University of Missouri
  • Texas A&M
  • Purdue University
  • UCLA
  • University of Connecticut
  • Louisiana State University
  • Florida State University
  • Cornell University
  • Saint Joseph’s University

University of Missouri EBV

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities announced in 2015 that the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri would now be included as apart of the program. There are 3 different phases of the program.

EBV 3 Phase Approach:

  • Phase 1. 30-day instructor led, online course focused on basic skills of entrepreneurship and the language of business.
  • Phase 2. Nine-day residency at an EBV university where students are exposed to over 30 accomplished entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from across the U.S.
  • Phase 3. 12 months of support and mentorship delivered through the EBV Technical Assistance Program (EBV-TAP), a robust, comprehensive network of mentors, resources and national partnerships

Brant and Jennifer Bukowsky are founding sponsors of the organization at the University of Missouri. In 2015, the program received a $450,000 donation from the Veterans United Foundation that was designated for launching and initial program support.

For 2019, the Foundation, fully funded by Veterans United Home Loans and its employees, has pledged to donate $168,000.

Program Success

There have been a total of 1,236 veterans that have successfully completed the EBV program from all across the nation. Ivory Harlow was of the participants of the program in 2016 that successfully completed the program through the University of Missouri, and has since gone on to do some pretty incredible things. Dickie Bird Farm, LLC is a livestock and forage operation in Appalachian, Ohio.

air force veteran ivory embracing her livestock at the Dickie Bird Farm

Co-owners and husband and wife duo, Ivory and Kipp Harlow represent the 40 percent of our U.S. military members who grow up in rural parts of the country. Ivory was raised in Minnesota where her family raised horses. Kipp grew up in Texas, where his family raised hogs and cattle. The two met at Lackland Air Force Base while serving the Air Force. In 2012, the Harlow’s bought land to start a farm together raising chickens and selling poultry and produce. But in 2016, Dickie Bird Farm hit a pivotal point- it was sink, or swim.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans program came at a critical point for us. We were ready to strategically diversify our revenue and hadn’t received any help doing that until EBV. We needed both practical and tactical help with purchasing land, access to experts that could answer our questions, and a community of Veterans who understood what we were going through.

Ivory Harlow

We asked Ivory what it was like going through this Veteran-only program, led by an Army Veteran himself, Dr. Greg Bier.

I think this program appeals to Veterans because it’s fast-paced and you know that everyone else in the room is up for taking risks. Something that was tough for me transitioning out of the military was being surrounded by people who think for a long time before they act. The military taught me to act quickly but with strategy. I’m outcome driven but I think my willingness to be flexible helped me get to where I’m at now with my business.

Ivory Harlow

Today, the Harlow’s have 57 total acres. They own 40 and rent 17. Their business has transformed into raising and selling show goats, meat goats, cattle and game birds. Their cattle is grass-fed and they sell direct to consumers within a two hour radius of their farm. Additionally, they have had a wait list for their beef since it started! Their game birds are raised right there at Dickie Bird Farms and they sell to private landowners, growing the birds exactly the way they want them.

It’s really empowering when you can take ownership of what you do every day. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy and it takes a disciplined person, but at the end of the day, your success is YOUR success. Kipp and I are Team Harlow, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Dickie Bird Farms.

Ivory Harlow

Check out the 2019 Program Agenda

FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2019

  • Meet veterans at airport
  • Registration
  • Welcome and Dinner

SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019

  • Welcome/Orientation
  • Idea Experimentation – Greg Bier
  • Introduction to the Business Plan/Canvas – Collin Bunch
  • Legal Issues in Small Business – Jim Niemann
  • Legal Issues in Small Business – Jim Niemann
  • Failure Management – Greg Bier

SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2019

  • Transition
  • Depart for campus – meet in hotel lobby
  • Mentoring – Greg Bier
  • HR and Other People Issues – Kat Cunningham
  • Lunch - D. Rowe’s
  • Understanding the Numbers – David Beach
  • Social E-ship – Eric Staley

MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2019

  • Biz Data/Resources – Gwen Gray
  • Understanding the Market/Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Wayne Keene
  • Understanding the Market/Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Wayne Keene

TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2019

  • Human Resources – Courtney Mudd
  • Veterans Legal Issues – Angela Drake and Brent Filbert
  • Pitch Development
  • Entrepreneurial Strategy and Social Media Marketing – Sarah Crawford
  • Biz Marketing Tools and Basics of Search Engine Optimization – Sarah Crawford

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2019

  • Scaling and Financing Your Venture – Bill Turpin
  • Risk Management/Insurance – Fred Travis
  • Benefits/Resource Planning – Russell Sickles with Griffin Hammis
  • Pitch Development
  • Entrepreneurial Grit – Cory Crosby
  • Suggested activity – Pitch Development.
  • Russell Sickles is also available to meet with you regarding veteran benefits.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2019

  • Validating your Idea – Jeremyah Grigery
  • Pitch Skills – Greg Bier
  • Pitch Development
  • Your Ventures Cash Flow – Collin Bunch
  • Veteran Business Resource Center - Darcella Craven
  • EBV TAP – Misty Stutsman

FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2019

  • Pitch Prep
  • Final Pitches
  • Reception/Headshot - Dress in Business Attire

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018

  • Depart for airport – meet in hotel lobby Check in for flights home
  • Check out of hotel for those driving
  • Congratulations and have a safe journey home!

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