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Veterans Launching Ventures

The Veterans Launching Ventures program put on by the Rothman Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a ten-week entrepreneurship course for veterans to prepare “vetrepreneurs” in the art of business planning, and is fully funded by the Walmart Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, and Bank of America.

The course teaches key business planning skills and helps veterans with financial forecasting, marketing, and how to raise capital for a startup. Part of the Silberman College of Business since 1989, the mission of the Rothman Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is to teach and support entrepreneurship and innovation in the academic, business, and nonprofit communities. An outstanding entrepreneurship curriculum taught by an excellent faculty has helped make the academic program among the top 20 in the nation (as ranked by the Princeton Review).

An example of one of the graduates who completed the course, a Marine Veteran, Tom Wicklow, shows how successful the educational experience was. Tom is a graduate of the Spring 2016, 10-week Veterans Launching Ventures (VLV) program offered by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

Tom was planning on buying a franchise called “Let Mommy Sleep”, which provides overnight newborn care and other support to new parents. The franchisor is a Bristow, VA based company that currently has one other franchisee in Philadelphia. Tom, a resident of New Jersey, plans to address the northern New Jersey market, but needed more guidance about the entrepreneurial process of starting a franchise.

As Tom expressed ,he has benefited in many way by taking the course,

“Taking the program made a huge difference in my understanding of what needs to be done to successfully launch my business. I realized that I was not as prepared as I thought I was, prior to taking the program. It forced me to do the due diligence and work required before launching the business. In particular, the program helped me develop a business plan, including a marketing strategy and a financial plan. It also helped me with my presentation skills.”

The FDU’s mentor program also benefited Tom by finding the right mentor,

“Charlie Faure, SCORE Mentor, was instrumental in helping me evaluate the franchise agreement. His 30+ years of franchise experience left no doubt that his recommendations held water. And during the evaluation process, his guidance helped me further understand the potential of the business. I have every intention of keeping Charlie on my team for as long as he is willing, as I’m sure I will rely on his advice in the future. By utilizing a wealth of educational information you get from working with SCORE, I would say the value of this course was incredible.”

Thanks to the support of Walmart Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, and Bank of America, Veterans can take this course for free and benefit from the resource partnerships that have been established to support the participants of “Veterans Launching Ventures” program.

The next course begins on October 6th. For more information, please visit www.fdu.edu/vlv or call 973-443-8842.

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