Now Accepting Applications!
Individuals selected to take part in STRIVE – Startup Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship, will receive personalized assistance in the development of early-stage businesses or ideas. ETSU is the second institution in the country selected to host a STRIVE program through a partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). The IVMF program has trained over 70,000 veteran entrepreneurs by leveraging the skills, resources, and infrastructure of higher education institutions.
The STRIVE program is a FREE entrepreneurship training program for Veterans, Reserve and National Guard members.
Over the course of the program, participants will learn the skills needed to launch a successful business as well as gain post-program support from both the local and national IVMF network.
If accepted, there is absolutely no charge to participants. Graduates of the program may qualify to apply for funding through various agencies.
The 8-week course consists of evening meetings with online coursework in between classes.
WJHL interview with Mark Walters and Heath Guinn (October 2021)
STRIVE program information from Dr. Bill Heise
Participant Testimonial - The Weakleys
What will I learn from STRIVE?
This program is designed to help Veterans through all stages of their business plan. Whether they have an idea, a business in the early stages, or an established business looking to grow, everyone will benefit from this training course.
Throughout the course, participants will develop their entrepreneurial knowledge and interact with subject matter experts to identify, overcome, and mitigate trouble spots, leading to increased confidence and potential for success.
The program’s purpose is to take an early stage business or business plan through a structured and practical process, utilizing 3 learning practices:
- Online: Pre-class assignments prior to in-class discussions
- Face-to-face: Interactive in-class discussions one night per week for 8 weeks
- Mentorship: Matching participants with mentors that have the resources and experience to support the launch and growth of the business concept.
The STRIVE program is designed to set early businesses up for success. However, it is not designed to teach participants in-depth theories like those taught in an undergraduate or graduate level entrepreneurship program.
At the conclusion of the STRIVE program, each participant will have completed two major deliverables: a business plan and a business pitch.
Who can participate?
All Veterans, current or former members of the National Guard or Reserves, and their spouses.
If you are a Veteran and have a business partner that did not serve, you are still eligible to enroll in the program. However, at least half the business must be owned by a Veteran, active military service member, Reserve/Guard, or military spouse.
This program also welcomes graduates of other IVMF programs to apply.
What is the schedule for in-person classes?
The STRIVE program is a mixture of online and in-class course work. Participants will engage in online learning, attend weekly evening meetings in person, and will be matched with mentors equipped with specific knowledge and backgrounds applicable to the growth of each business concept.
There will be materials that need to be completed prior to the first class. All participants will receive a link to the course materials approximately 4 weeks before the initial class.
Closer to the starting date of the initial class, all participants will receive confirmation of course location and the ability to deliver the classes in-person. All university COVID-19 protocols will be followed regarding large group events. If delivery of the program must be conducted virtually, all participants will be notified as soon as this decision has been made.
Each week the course will cover a different topic and have round table discussions led by local entrepreneurs. The topics covered in each course and the class schedule are listed below:
Week One: Introduction to STRIVE
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Two: Business Plans
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Three: Value Proposition, Target Markets, and Customers
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Four: Market Strategy and Competitive Analysis
Tuesday, March 29, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Five: Customer Acquisition
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Six: Funding and Financials
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Seven: Business Pitch and Plan Review
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Week Eight: Graduation and Next Steps
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
How to apply?
Applicants are encouraged to apply by December 31, 2021. Applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. We expect the number of participants accepted into the program will be restricted due to capacity limitations of the classroom being used. Therefore it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.
All applicants must fill out an online application. In addition, each applicant must have a business idea or have an existing business to participate in the program. The class content and assignments will utilize this information throughout the program.
Click HERE to begin the application process.
Once you have submitted your application, someone from ETSU’s College of Business and Technology will contact you within 10 business days to set up a quick 3 or 4 question phone interview.
After the interview, you will be notified of your acceptance into the program before January 31, 2022.
If you have any additional questions, please contact an ETSU representative at email@example.com.
Meet the STRIVE Team
Click here for more information about the STRIVE team
For more information, contact:
Dr. Bill Heise
STRIVE Program Coordinator