The Gary W. Rollins College of Business Veterans Entrepreneurship Program class of 2018 arrived in Chattanooga on Saturday, July 21 to begin what is known as

Participants in the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program listen Monday, July 23, 2018 in class in Fletcher Hall.

VEP Boot Camp. Now in its seventh year, the VEP boot camp instructors provided participants with a rigorous schedule. Participating veterans received instruction in Leverage, Risk & Guerrilla Action; Business Model Canvas Workshop; Innovation & Creativity; Personal Selling; Financing Your Venture; and many more. In an effort to showcase all that Chattanooga has to offer while still providing learning opportunities, the delegates visited many Chattanooga eateries and businesses including Big Frog Brewing Company (owned by Carter Wexler, 2013 VEP Graduate) and NORSPRING Center for Rejuvenation (hosted by Alternative Medicine Consultant Bret Moldenhauer, 2011 VEP Graduate).

In order to be accepted into the Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Program, applicants were required to show substantial amounts of effort being put forth towards a business idea with the intent to eventually own their own small business, if they are not currently doing so. Throughout the week, each delegate prepared tirelessly for the Elevator Pitch Competition, which occurred at the end of the boot camp. During the competition, each delegate was allotted 3-4 minutes to pitch their business idea as they would to an investor.

The winners of this year’s VEP Elevator Pitch Competition in the Business Concept and Established Business categories were Steven Hubbard and Joe Smarro!

Winners of additional awards given during boot camp are:

2018 “Dreamer & Doer” Award: Mark Kleinhenz

2018 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Lindsey Drury

To view additional photos from this year’s VEP Boot Camp, visit our Flickr albums.

To stay up to date on the UTC Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Program, or to apply, visit utc.edu/vep.

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