Are You an Idaho Veteran With a Business Idea?

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By Brian Von Herbulis, Director 43INC

Many of us have ideas we think could be turned into great businesses. The challenge is always in the execution of our great ideas. We are often limited by lack of confidence, funding, resources, and knowledge of where to even begin. As post-9/11 veterans re-enter civilian life, many find entrepreneurship to be an appealing option. In fact, there are over 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there is about one veteran-owned firm for every ten veterans, and veteran-owned firms employ 5.8 million individuals.

Starting a business takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, self-confidence, commitment, determination, perseverance, and perhaps scariest of all, risk. We at Mission43 believe that these are the exact attributes possessed by today’s veterans, and we strive to provide them with an advantage as they pursue entrepreneurship. That is why we launched an initiative to help veterans and their spouses explore entrepreneurship as a viable way for them to transition from the military and enter the civilian workforce here in Idaho.

In 2018, in partnership with Boise State University Venture College, Mission43 launched two pilot entrepreneurship programs for its members, the Entrepreneur Sprint and the Entrepreneur Garage. The Sprint is designed to be an introduction to Lean Startup Methodology and provides enrolled members with tools that will assist in developing their value proposition and understanding their potential customer segments. This exploration is done in four sessions, two hours each.  

The Garage is a follow-on 8-week, evening program intended to be a more in-depth study of the business model tools presented in the Sprint and a closer look at the individual business ideas.  During the Garage, the Venture College staff looks “under the hood” of the business ideas and assists with identifying what it would take to move from an idea to a successful business launch. This program also supports newly created businesses with ideas on how to improve their value proposition, grow their customer segments, and increase potential revenue streams.

Entrepreneurship may be a practical way for Mission43 members to re-enter the civilian workforce after departing the military. There is no better time than now to learn more and see if it is right for you. If you are a member of Mission43 and want to explore your business idea further, we encourage you to sign up for our next Entrepreneur Sprint. Let us help you explore creating a successful and sustainable business here in Idaho.

Click here to get the details on our course offerings! The Mission43 Entrepreneur page.

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Brian Von Herbulis (brian.vonh@mission43.org) is the director of 43INC, the connection pillar of Mission43. Brian retired from the USMC in 2014 after a career culminating as Recon Battalion Commander. After discovering Idaho through a military TDY, he and his family now call it home.