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The application is now closed. Please check back for future opportunities.

 

New Free Program for Veterans Exploring Entrepreneurship as a Career!

Are you a veteran considering careers in high-tech entrepreneurship? Do you think this is what you’d like to do, but you don’t have a specific idea for a business in mind? DC I-Corps and George Washington University in partnership with the Small Business Administration Office of Veterans Business Development are offering a new program designed to teach prospective veteran entrepreneurs how to create technology startups based upon technologies developed in Federal Labs. The program is free to selected participants.

The Program: DC I-Corps Fed Tech program organizes teams of prospective entrepreneurs and pairs them with cutting-edge technologies developed in the federal lab system. Teams learn to use Lean Startup Methodologies to determine customer demand, value propositions and potential business models to commercialize the technologies. Teams can pursue commercialization of the technologies, including introductions to Technology Transfer Offices of participating Federal Labs. Selected teams will have to the opportunity to participate in an extended graduate-level program offered through University of Maryland and GWU for free to continue to develop business ideas, or to join new teams working on different technologies. Support and mentoring will be provided through the DC I-Corps network, Bunker Labs and the Virginia Small Business Development Center Network.

The Schedule:

  • Session 0: prior to the cohort kickoff, you’ll be introduced to a list of cutting-edge technologies from Federal Labs. You’ll get a chance to pick your preferred technologies, possibly reflecting your studies or experience in the service. Teams will be created based upon technology preferences
  • Session 1 (January 31): you’ll be introduced to the Lean Startup Methodology for developing technology businesses and you’ll learn about your technology and the Federal Lab system.
  • Session 2 (February 7): you’ll learn techniques to help understand customer demand and how a business model is built. You’ll start talking to potential customers and experts in your field
  • Session 3 (February 14): mentors from BunkerLabs, DC I-Corps, FedTech and the Virginia SBDC network will work with you to understand and interpret customer feedback, uncover insights and begin to build your business model
  • Session 4 (February 21): you’ll present your findings and receive additional guidance including help if you wish to continue pursuing your new business idea.
  • FedTech Class Spring 2017 selected participants will be invited to participate in a graduate level FedTech course offered jointly by the University of Maryland and George Washington University, to either pursue their initial technology or to team with new student teams.

Expected Commitment? Participants should expect to put in 10-15 hours per week on the project. The program is immersive and experiential. The teaching team creates an atmosphere that reflects the chaos, uncertainty, and demands of a real startup. It’s hard but rewarding. You know what that’s like.

What’s DC I-Corps? DC I-Corps is a regional program designed to foster, grow and nurture an innovation ecosystem in the nation’s capital, the nearby states of Maryland and Virginia, and the mid-Atlantic region. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and jointly run by the University of Maryland College Park, George Washington University, Virginia Tech, and Johns Hopkins University. The program provides real world, hands-on training on how to successfully incorporate innovations into successful products.

Who’s Eligible? The program is open to all veterans and their immediate families, whether you are about to transition from active service or have been in civilian life for years. Participants should be motivated to learn about the tech startup process, without having a current business idea in mind, and be willing to be part of a team working under tight deadlines in a challenging environment. Participation in Boots2Business or prior college-level business programs is encouraged, but not required.

How do I Get Started? The application is now closed. Please check back for future opportunities. Applications will be evaluated and teams will be selected based on the quality of the team and potential commercial success of the business idea. For more information you can write to bob.bobsmith@gmail.com

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