Veterans Hone Entrepreneurial Skills in Summer
by Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad
The Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library was honored to partner with Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) on two summer training workshops for veterans.
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) Accelerate is an intensive residency program designed for active-duty members with honorable discharge who come to the Syracuse campus from across the country. It is considered a first-of-its kind initiative to turn veterans into entrepreneurs. The LaunchPad provided an intensive dive into strategic planning with a training workshop on Innovation, Design Thinking and Value Creation.
The Warrior Scholar Project (WSP) is a week-long on-campus “bootcamp” for veterans, giving them a taste of the college student experience. For one week, veterans live in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria, explore various academic offerings and meet with university officials. The fifteen veteran participants were also engaged in a training workshop in the LaunchPad. Working in small groups, they identified, defined and validated a problem that represents an opportunity for innovation. Warrior scholars practiced identifying when a problem represents an opportunity for innovation, defining an unmet need for a user segment and conducting a solutions analysis.
Innovative programs like these that support veteran entrepreneurs is just one of the many reasons Syracuse University is the best place for veterans, and the LaunchPad is the best place for entrepreneurs and innovators.