Veteran Startups Can Get an Edge at This Conference Designed for Them

John L. Ebron is an Atlanta-based coach, trainer and public speaker with the John Maxwell Team. (John Maxwell/Twitter)

Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families is looking to give 10 veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs $10,000 each to start businesses at the 2020 Veteran EDGE Conference.

But you have to be selected to attend the conference -- and the deadline to apply is fast approaching.

Veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Maybe it's something about the confidence military service brings. It could be the detail-oriented, tireless nature of military life. It could also be something else entirely. Either way, America has 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses.

Just being a veteran or a military spouse isn't going to ensure a business takes off.

The trouble for military members, veterans or spouses with a great business idea is that they often don't know where to begin. Maybe they don't have the money to get started. They aren't alone. Many Americans have the same issue, but veterans and their spouses have access to a trove of resources others don't.

One of those is the Veteran EDGE Conference, an event designed just for veterans and military spouses that focuses on the unique ecosystems in which they build businesses.

This conference is put on by Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, one of the most knowledgeable names in veteran education. It's an intense four-day workshop that brings together veteran and spouse entrepreneurs to network and learn the best practices and resources available to them.

Veteran EDGE also includes breakout sessions, opportunities to interact with business experts and keynote speakers. Some 250 entrepreneurs and 200 resource partners will be in attendance in 2020; there is even an opportunity for visiting entrepreneurs to set up a booth and showcase their business to other attendees and business leaders.

Ten attendees will even be nominated to participate in a special series of training events intended to help them overcome their barriers to entry into their respective marketplaces. This full-day intensive session will be led by Larry Broughton, former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier and founder and CEO of Broughton Hotels.

After this session, those 10 entrepreneurs will be eligible for a $10,000 startup grant to get their business off the ground.

Time and space to attend the Veteran EDGE conference are limited. The event will be held from March 5-8 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas. Those who want to attend must apply by 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 9.

Anyone selected to attend the conference will be notified by email to register on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.

The cost of attendance is $150, which covers registration and lodging for attendees, but not travel costs. For more information, visit the Veteran EDGE Conference website.

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