VEP eligibility includes:
Veterans separated from active duty service (or are currently in the administrative process of separating).
Veterans who demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship and small business ownership/management.
Preference is given to applicants identified as disabled by the Veterans Administration based on a “service-connected” disability or are “service distinguished” based on exemplary military conduct.
Cost and logistics
This program is entirely free to veterans. As a result of the generous support of OSU and the private giving of individuals and corporations, we are able to cover all cost for delegates accepted to the VEP.
The VEP program represents a unique opportunity for men and women who have sacrificed for America’s freedom to take an important step toward realizing their own freedom – economic freedom – through entrepreneurship. VEP is a selective, rigorous, and intense educational initiative created to make a difference. Accordingly, the application process itself is rigorous and selective.
Successful candidates for admission will demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship, high motivation for owning and managing a business, and a high likelihood of successful completion of this intense training program.
December 4th, 2020. Due to a high demand for program spots, apply early
May 1 – December 5, 2021 – Applications Open
- Applications are accepted for the VEP through 11:59 PM (CST) on December 5, 2021.
December 13, 2021: Final Acceptance Notification
- Applicants are notified of final admission or rejection on a rolling basis. Final notification is made to all applicants by December 13, 2021. As there are limited number of spots, the selection committee must receive a signed commitment letter within one week of acceptance.
January 17 – February 20, 2022: Concept Development & Self-Study
- Phase One: Delegates participate in a five-week self-study curriculum facilitated by an online discussion and assessment module moderated by Riata Center staff.
February 26 – March 5, 2022: VEP Boot Camp
- Phase Two: Like a military Boot Camp, this eight-day residency in Stillwater, Okla. is intense, rigorous, and demanding. Delegates are exposed to the “nuts and bolts” of business ownership through experiential workshops and lesion from world-class faculty and seasoned entrepreneurs representing nationally ranked programs around the country.
April 1 - August 31, 2022: Advising and Venture Development
- Phase Three: Delegates are provided with five months of advising from entrepreneurs and subject matter experts across the nation, and online peer-to-peer networking.
Do I need to have a college degree, or have taken some college courses, to attend?
No. The VEP is designed to take any qualified veterans, regardless of prior educational experiences, through the steps and stages of starting a new business.
Are there spaces still available for this year’s program?
For more information on program availability, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are members of the National Guard and Reserves eligible for the program?
Yes. The only qualifications to be eligible for the program are as follows. 1) Have separated from active duty service (or are in the process of separating) with an honorable discharge, 2) demonstrate an intense motivation to start or grow your own business, and 3) identified as disabled by the Veterans Administration based on a "service-connected" disability.
Why are two letters of recommendation required? Who should these letters come from?
Starting a business is hard. The VEP program was developed and designed as an intense, rigorous program positioned to help those individuals with a drive, determination, and passion for business ownership take the first steps toward that goal. As such, we are seeking applicants who have demonstrated such drive and determination in their approach to life and work. Letters of recommendation from current or former co-workers, commanders, supervisors, counselors, etc., help us make such an assessment.
Your program information states that all costs will be assumed by the VEP host school.
Does this include travel and lodging while attending the program?
Yes. The VEP is free to veterans who are selected for the program. Instructional materials, travel expenses, lodging, and meals for the Phase II Boot Camp will be provided at no cost to each delegate. The costs of the VEP are underwritten by sponsors and private donors. (upfront cost such as baggage and ubers will be reimbursed to the delegate at the conclusion of the Phase II Boot Camp)
How will I get to and from the airport?
Transportation will be provided throughout the VEP residency for our delegates.
I have special dietary requirements. Can these be accommodated?
Yes, we will make every effort to accommodate these requests.