Lee Herald Favicon 16Honorably discharged veterans…transitional veterans…Reserve or National Guard…you’re all good to go.

If you are a veteran, regardless of age and a Florida resident, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Veteran’s Entrepreneur Program may be that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take your dedication…your ambition…your grit and fashion it into a business of your own.

The 15-week program is free of charge and provides full support from the initial choice of business direction through financial forecasting and calculating expenses to full establishment of your business.

Under the guidance of Dr. Sandra Kauanui, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, participants will thrive from the mentor-ship of 29 current business leaders, contacts in the Southwest Florida business community and potential seed-money and grant assistance.

The program is comprised of eight-hour days, on alternate Saturdays, at the Emergent Technologies Institute (ETI) located at 16301 Innovation Lane off of Alico Road.

The ETI lab contains everything that a veteran could need including 3D printing and a variety of software.

While some vets draw on experiences and training received during their time in the military, others are drawn to new and unrelated opportunities.  One participant, for example, worked with nitrogen oxide (nitric oxide) while in the service and launched an ice cream business utilizing the binary compound as a refrigerant.

The program is thoroughly interactive and constantly evolving as it asks the veterans for input and suggestions.  The board members and mentors bring their community connections and business experience to assist each individual with his/her specific needs.

Florida Gulf Coast University is taking the lead in both student and veteran entrepreneurship and their FGCU-generated curriculum is being used throughout the state.


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