Veterans Launching Ventures

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If you ever wanted to start your own business (or are already a small business owner), FDU's nationally ranked Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship announces the next class of Veterans Launching Ventures. This free ten-week program will allow you to assess your business ideas and develop them into an action plan to move forward at the conclusion of the program. The next program begins in April 2015.

Program Description

The Veterans Launching Ventures program provides skills and support for Veterans to seize entrepreneurial opportunities and launch small businesses and nonprofits that will help them achieve personal success.

This unique program combines in-person instruction with online education to teach students the fundamentals of starting a new venture and ensure the development of competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining a new business or nonprofit organization. A team of experienced faculty and successful entrepreneurs will work with you, providing a fun, interactive, and informative experience. Over a 10-week period, they will introduce entrepreneurship ideas and concepts, and show how to apply them to your current or potential business. Participants will spend five to eight hours each week studying and submitting completed assignments to an FDU instructor.

This certificate course will be taught at an undergraduate level. Following a half-day introductory workshop with Veteran entrepreneur speakers and a dinner reception, this intensive program will be presented online and facilitated by FDU instructors. At the midpoint, students meet virtually, where FDU instructors and guest speakers will cover new topics and ensure each student is progressing and understanding the course material.

Following this workshop, the online instruction will continue for 5 more weeks. On the final day of the program, students will attend a workshop where faculty and experienced entrepreneurs help them refine their feasibility/business plan. At this workshop, students submit their final plan and then ultimately present it to their fellow students as well as a panel of experts, entrepreneurs and business leaders and possible funders.

Later that day there will be a concluding reception that will include the instructors, guest speakers, business leaders and mentors. At this point, students will meet with their mentors who will provide additional guidance and advice for ten months after the course ends. The group and their respective mentors and instructors will also meet up later in the year for a follow up workshop and reception. Included in the program is complimentary admission to a full year of the Institute's popular entrepreneurship and innovation events (a $900 value).

The Veterans Launching Ventures program will also be offered again, online nationally in the spring of 2015.

Apply Here!

If you are interested in participating in a future course, either in-person or online, please complete this application.

Please make sure your e-mail address is entered correctly on your application, and allow 7-10 business days for a response to your application.

The program is open to all U.S. Veterans, as well as to spouses and children of U.S. Veterans. The $2,000 tuition* is being waived due to generous support from The Walmart Foundation, TD Bank, American Legion Post 43 and the Silberman College of Business. In addition, we are partnering with IAVA, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association. If you have additional questions after completing the application, please e-mail: John Howlett (serial entrepreneur, Rothman Institute Mentor-in-Residence, Vietnam veteran) at *A minimal $150 deposit to cover the textbook and course materials will be returned once the program is completed.


“It was beneficial for me to see other ideas presented and to be able to listen to those presenters to understand how they view their plan and their approach. The mentor / instructor feedback was also very valuable for me as it helps to reinforce areas that I recognize as weak in my own plan and to leverage the experiences of others that have tread before me. To me, there is no greater value than gathering the hands-on experience of others.” - Allen Z.

Just wanted to re-state that I really got a lot out of the program and thank you for all your efforts in making the program a success for all of us. Not having any idea what it takes to start a business, this has been a great workshop for some one like me to put all my questions and fears to rest with action plans for success. This course has been invaluable to me. - Ron R.

“All of the instructors genuinely cared about each person's presentation and gave candid comments that will help us all out in the long run. I was very impressed and I am very thankful to have the time of successful business entrepreneurs. Without people like the instructors that want to give back something to Veterans, I don't know that I would have ever taken this opportunity to learn about something that I have always dreamed of doing but wasn't exactly sure how to make a reality.” - Garth D.

“The program was very valuable. The feedback I received on my presentation will really help me in re-addressing some of the weak points of my plan and will also allow me to focus on where I want to head in the future.”  - Matt F.

“It was an outstanding class. What you did was give me new inspiration and confidence in what I am doing. My goal was to finish my business plan: what I got was priceless. Inspiration is not something you can buy or trade.” - Sam W.


John P. Howlett has joined the Institute as Mentor-in-Residence. After resigning his Captain’s commission in 1970, John entered the world of corporate America at AT&T Long Lines. As a member of AT&T’s fast track program, he had the “opportunity” to move six times in 12 years. During that time he completed his MBA in Operations Research in 1975 from Fairleigh Dickinson right here at our Madison campus. John’s roles at AT&T included stints in Operations, Sales, and Marketing. In 1983 John’s entrepreneurial spirit won out over corporate America and he and his wife Rosemary founded their own company, an Entre Computer Center franchise. After 3 mergers and 3 acquisitions with a few name changes thrown in, the company became public and eventually reached over $100 million in sales revenue as Emtec, Inc. After retiring from Emtec in 2008, John founded HomeShore America to provide IT staffing and outsourced business services. HomeShore America is a Veteran Owned Small Business with a focus on recruiting staff who are veterans or individuals with disabilities.

Photos from a recent Veterans Launching Ventures session

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Click to learn more about FDU's innovative educational programs for Veterans.

Click for more information about the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship.