Veteran’s Business Bootcamp

You're a Veteran with a startup or business idea...

Figure out how to turn it into a successful business. The Veteran's Business Bootcamp is an 8-week virtual bootcamp that provides the structure and support to build your business plan and a chance to win funding!
No affiliation with Penn State is required for participation. Program is by application only. Applications are welcomed from any Pennsylvania-based entrepreneur. See details below.
  • Build your business plan over 8 weeks
  • 1:1 coaching support
  • Chance to win up to $3500 in funding
  • Continued support after program
Key Dates:
  • Apply by August 25, 2021
  • Program runs September 13 - November 17, 2021

Business Bootcamp Program Details

Program Dates:

  • Bootcamp Kickoff virtual program (required):  Monday, September 13th from 6-8 pm via ZOOM
  • Weekly 1:1 coaching sessions (required):  schedule weekly 60-min. sessions between 9/14-11/10/21 with assigned business coach
  • Perfecting your Plan + Presentation Prep:  Wednesday, October 27th from 6-7:30 pm via ZOOM
  • Business plans due: Wednesday, November 10th at 11:59 pm
  • Participant Presentations & Awards (required): Wednesday, November 17th from 6-8 pm (live event at Harrisburg area location)

Participants must attend all required dates and complete business plan to compete for funding

Application Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must be a Veteran or currently enlisted or commissioned in the US military
  • You can apply with a business idea or as a startup, but you must have less than $500k in revenue
  • You and/or your business must be based in Pennsylvania.
  • You must apply by August 25, 2021. 

You do NOT have to be affiliated with Penn State or currently working with the SBDC or Harrisburg LaunchBox

Program Sponsors:

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Rotary Veterans Initiative.  The program is also sponsored by Harrisburg LaunchBox and Penn State Small Business Development Center.

FAQ

What are the requirements to apply?

  • You must be a Veteran or currently enlisted or commissioned in the US military
  • You can apply with a business idea or as a startup, but you must have less than $500k in sales.
  • You and/or your business must be based in Pennsylvania.
  • You must apply by August 25, 2021 using the link above. 

You do NOT have to be affiliated with Penn State or currently working with the SBDC or Harrisburg LaunchBox

Do I have to have a team to apply?

Nope.  You can absolutely apply as a team but we also welcome individual applicants.

If I have others working with me, does everyone have to participate?

Not required, but recommended.

How many participants will be selected for the program?

  • We expect the program size to be 7-9 participants

What is included in the Business Bootcamp program?

  • September 13th Program Kickoff Session (virtual, required):  Get acquainted with the Bootcamp and learn how to develop your best plan
  • Weekly 1:1 Coaching sessions (virtual, required):  Work 1:1 with your assigned coach over 8 weeks to help you build a powerful business plan
  • October 27th Perfecting your Plan + Presentation Prep (virtual, recommended):  Learn how to give your business plan an edge, plus how to prepare your presentation for 11/18 final event, in this group meeting.
  • November 17th Participant Presentations & Awards Event (required):  Live public event in which participants present “pitches” of their business plans and judges award the winning business plans with funding (Harrisburg-area location)
  • Post-Program Support:  Ongoing 1:1 coaching sessions to support activation of your business plan

Do I have to attend all required sessions?

Yes. At least 1 person must attend all required sessions and complete 1:1 coaching to be able to compete for funding. When you accept the invitation to join the cohort, you are committing to attending all required sessions and completing all required coaching.

What is the time commitment?

It is our expectation that all participants are serious about and dedicated to investing the time to build their best business plan.  We estimate that participants will spend about 5 hours/week working on their business plans over 8 weeks, which includes one 60-min. 1:1 coaching session.  Participants have the flexibility to schedule their coaching sessions and work on their plan when it works for them.  The kickoff and final programs are 2 hours each.

Who are the coaches of the program?

Program coaches are the experienced consultants of the Penn State SBDC.  Participants will be assigned a coach for the duration of the program.  Also coaching is head ringmaster and program designer Annie Hughes, Director of Harrisburg LaunchBox powered by Penn State Harrisburg and Management Consultant with Penn State SBDC.

Who is judging the business plans and awarding funding?

Our judges are experienced entrepreneurs and business and economic development experts who have a passion for supporting entrepreneurship across PA.  They will be reviewing your business plans and awarding funding to the top performers.

How much funding is available to win?

The program offers $7500 in total funding to distribute to winners, with $3500 as the top prize.

What kind of support do you provide after the program?

Participants are urged to continue working with their coaches upon completion of the program.  Participants will also be contacted by program administrators 6 months, 12 months and 24 months post-program for status checks of their business building.

Do you take equity in my company?

No. We take zero equity and charge no fees.

Will Penn State own any intellectual property I bring to the Bootcamp?

No, you own your own intellectual property (IP), unless you are a faculty member or current graduate student of Penn State who is commercializing your university research. Your IP safely stays with you! What’s more, Penn State can even help you protect your IP. The Penn State Law Intellectual Property Clinic provides free legal services related to intellectual property to Pennsylvania entrepreneurs. No affiliation with Penn State is required to work with the Clinic.