Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Need Your Help

I need help and I’m reaching out to my blog for it. At Syracuse University, we run an outstanding program called the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities. The program assists our post-9/11 veterans who have been disabled as a result of their military service and helps them to start their own businesses. The program was founded at Syracuse University, and now is offered nationally in partnership with four other great universities; Purdue, Texas A and M, UCLA and Florida State. Right now around 125 veterans go through this program each year.

The number of American soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, as of March of 2009, has exceeded 45,000. Improvements in body armor and other technological advances have resulted in an unprecedented number of soldiers surviving major injuries, but returning home with a chronic disability. Further, the number of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and other psychological challenges resulting from their service suggests that the number of Americans who endure a disability as a result of military operations since 9/11 has exceeded 300,000. Notably, many of these veterans are young adults, in their early to mid-20s. For the veteran returning from war, it is often the case that the traditional means through which to ‘climb the economic ladder’ are closed as a result of a physical disability. Simply put, at Syracuse University we represent entrepreneurship as a means through which veterans with disabilities can engage the economic engine of their community, and ultimately our nation.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program consists of three phases: an online course focused on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and small-business management, followed by a 10-day, entrepreneurship bootcamp at one of the five universities where some of the best entrepreneurship instructors and entrepreneurs from around the country will focus on helping these men and women turn their entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. The third phase of the program will consists of on-going mentoring support to our EBV students. Importantly, the program is offered entirely free to our veterans. They have already earned the price of admission.

I need help because we would like to provide the veterans who go through this program with even more assistance than we already do. In particular, we’d like to provide them with a laptop computer, and a printer to help them launch their entrepreneurial effort. We’ve put together an impressive sponsorship package for participating companies, but I need contacts in upper management or in the sponsorship department at companies like HP, Dell or Apple to donate the laptops and printers. This is a fantastic program, but I need your help. If you happen to have a contact that you’d like to share, send me an email at or call me at 315-877-2306. Thanks for your help.

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