The University of Louisville School of Business is launching a program this week to help veterans start businesses.
U of L recently received a $50,000 grant from the Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund. That money will go to area veterans, who will begin the Kauffman Foundation’s Fast-Track entrepreneur program which is sponsored by U of L’s economic arm Nucleus.
Nucleus President Vicki Yates Brown said for ten weeks veterans will work side-by-side with U of L staff and for one year each student will have a business mentor.
“We have a probably a who’s who, the movers and shakers of our community that volunteer their time to come down there to come to Nucleus to work with these start ups once a week, they serve as mentors they serve as lectures, we’ve got great business coaches so you’ve got business coaches that focus on your business,” Brown said.
Now, the opportunity is being extended to veterans, five of whom will begin the 10-week spring semester program Tuesday. Veteran David Shu said he wants to develop technology for cardio-equipment that gives incentives for people to work out while saving energy. He served 20 years in the military but balancing the books wasn’t part of his training, he said.
“This program would kick start it because it gives me the legal foundation, the technical foundation, it would give me the contacts to help me develop the idea,” Shu said.
Twenty-seven veterans applied, but the program could only accept ten.
Aside from the ten-week course U of L staff will act as mentors for the students for one year. Veterans who complete the program will also receive up to $2,500 toward their venture.