By participating in the VET program, veterans acquire skills, fellowship and a professional experience that will lead them down the path of success. From their classroom work, lectures from business leaders, and practical applications of their interactions with entrepreneurs and business leaders, they will become equipped to face the challenges of entrepreneurship and succeed.
This education and training prepare veterans to hone key entrepreneurial skill sets that will allow them to develop, validate and grow their businesses. Additionally, the VET program also establishes a business eco-system where partnerships and strategic alliances are established in efforts secure greater profitability and sustainability for veteran-owned businesses.
THE RECON (CONCEPT) PHASE
This initiative connects veteran participants with distinguished veteran entrepreneurs and high-level executives in the corporate and non-profit industries to develop the veterans' talents. Participants will learn varying methodologies of entrepreneurship; develop a network of peers, share ideas with mentors, as well as, others who will assist them to make an impact on the economy and their communities. Parallel with military service, an aspect of this program is the opportunity to establish camaraderie with other motivated veterans who are also seeking to create change through action. The HCC VET’s have an opportunity to meet and build relationships with guest speakers comprised of entrepreneurs, pro athletes, and executive leaders. The alumni remain actively involved, ensuring the program continues to meet the needs of future veteran leaders. The Recon Phase requires a commitment to the veteran’s business and the program. During that time, the class meets 2 nights a week, both at the HCC Veteran Business Center and SMU.
THE PRE-DEPLOYMENT (FORMATION) PHASE
HCC will assist the veterans, through by need grants, to pay for initial lawyer fees and web development fees. This will ensure the veteran has recourses necessary to begin selling their products and get their message out. This phase is 6 weeks and will have set deliverables for the veteran to ensure HCC’s recourses are being utilized effectively and that the business has a sound foundation on which to launch. Once the deliverables are met, it is time to start selling.
THE DEPLOYMENT (VALIDATION) PHASE
Length of time in this phase depends on a couple factors. 1) How marketable is the product or service. Is it something there is a need for and that the consumers are desiring. 2) Does the entrepreneur need to pivot or adjust the product or the marketing side. 3) How motivated is the entrepreneur to make the business work. From time to time, individuals can be stuck on their vision of the business, even when the market is telling them to pivot in a different direction. These factors are key indicators to length of time in this phase. The classes in this phase focus on advertising, accounting, branding, social media marketing, sales training, developing and evaluating pre-established metrics, inventory management, customer relations development, etc.
THE OCCUPATION (GROWTH) PHASE
Classes will be focused on how to effectively scale a business, developing human resource procedures, and develop strategic partnerships to enhance the business growth to name a few. This is also the phase the business will begin the search for outside capital. Additional connections, classes and resources will be given to develop executive summaries, create a more robust business plan and creating a pitch deck and message.