Veteran Entrepreneurship Training and Resource Network (VETRN) is a program being established by a small core group of veterans and interested businesspeople who are interested in providing a high quality entrepreneurship classroom and online learning opportunity, training and resource center for Massachusetts based prior service veterans, including current National Guard Members & Reservists and their families. The program is being presented in partnership with Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and Center for Entrepreneurship Education.
Empower veterans, active duty and military families to reach their next stage in life.
This VETRN program is open to all Massachusetts veterans and their families. A list of veterans living in Massachusetts as well as a list of recently discharged veterans is being obtained from the Department of Labor, Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration and other veterans’ organizations.
Veterans and veteran family members are encouraged to apply for one of the 25 seats available at the Northeastern University program, which will be held at the University’s Boston campus. Priority will be given to veterans who have already established a small business or have some background in business practices and are looking for a program to assist them in obtaining the skills necessary to successfully establish or grow a small business.
The VETRN program has been formed by Leland Goldberg, a Vietnam veteran, successful finance professional, entrepreneur and Boston-based business consultant. Advisors include Scott Harshbarger, Counsel, Proskauer Rose Law Firm and Stephen Adams, President of American Institute for Economic Research. VETRN initial Directors include Amy Geoghan, SVP of South Shore Bank and Erik DeGiorgi, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Student Veteran Advisory Board.
VETRN has entered into a partnership with Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurship Education aimed at helping veterans start their own businesses, acquire another business, buy a franchise or grow a current family business. The focus of this program is on business and entrepreneurship education and the mentorship necessary to launch successful business ventures.
VETRN will be inviting prominent leaders in the Boston business, finance, legal and education community to join its Board of Directors and / or act as mentors and advisors. At the same time, VETRN is soliciting banking and corporate sponsors, who may also sit on the VETRN Board, or may be interested in serving in a mentorship or advisory capacity. Banking and corporate sponsors will be asked to provide funding for the veteran students who are selected to participate in the Northeastern University Entrepreneurship program as well as provide for administrative and marketing support for this program. The cost for the initial VETRN program is $8,000 per veteran student times 25 students or $200,000.
The Northeastern University program will provide both an online and classroom setting. The program is being coordinated by Dean Hugh Courtney and will be led by Marc Meyer, the Robert Shillman Professor of Entrepreneurship. Professor Meyer is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of innovation and other highly qualified instructors and professors who are recognized national leaders in the subject areas being presented. Subject areas and venture opportunities will include: preparing a business plan, accounting, marketing, finance, cash flow management, face to face instruction in new venture creation and mentoring services provided by Northeastern’s on-campus incubator, IDEA. IDEA is a student run program that has already spawned 170 start-up companies.
Upon successful completion of both the online program and the classroom instruction, veteran students may become eligible for introduction to an industry mentor and /or potential investors, grants and follow on business guidance.
In order to give the veterans every opportunity for success, the Northeastern venture program will also be augmented with a mentorship program provided by TAP and the Small Business Administration as well as highly experienced professionals and members of the business, accounting, finance and legal community, including a pro bono mentorship program sponsored by the Northeast Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). TMA is an organization of finance, legal, accounting, consulting and business professionals located throughout the New England area.
To the extent the veteran applicant may not qualify for the Northeastern University Entrepreneurship program, VETRN will provide other services, including training in basic skills such as math, literacy and computer skills and introduction to other veteran resources, including preparing resumes, job opportunities, mentorship and other resources provided by the Small Business Administration.
The Application page to sign up / apply for the VETRN program in Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, tuition free, is now available on line.