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vep logoVeterans Entrepreneurship Program

Apply Now for Admission to the 2015 Class

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) at the UTC College of Business provides an opportunity for entrepreneurial military veterans to become business ready and successfully launch a new enterprise or grow an existing business. The program, which offers a balance of instruction from academics and business practitioners, gives participants training in entrepreneurship and small business management. The program is intense, rigorous, and challenging.

The Program

The UTC Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is a year-long program

  • Phase I: Participants complete a self study curriculum developed by UTC College of Business faculty and successful Chattanooga area entrepreneurs. During the self study phase, VEP participants will work on developing business concepts and prepare for the boot camp experience which takes place on the UTC campus July 25 - Aug. 1, 2015.
  • Phase II: VEP delegates participate in an eight-day residency program on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The residency program provides hands-on learning opportunities, interaction with UTC College of Business faculty, guest entrepreneurs, business experts from the Chattanooga region and peer delegates.
  • Phase III: After successful completion of Phases I and II, VEP graduates are given 10 months of ongoing mentoring from entrepreneurship experts. This phase allows VEP graduates to ask questions and receive specific feedback relating to their businesses and provides access to professionals in the southeast region who can answer technical questions, connect graduates with resources and provide other expertise.

Cost and Eligibility

The VEP is free to eligible veterans who are selected for the program. Travel expenses, lodging and meals for the Phase II Bootcamp are provided at no cost to each delegate. VEP costs are underwritten by sponsors and private donors, with operations and program development provided by the UTC College of Business.

VEP accepts applications from candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must have separated from active duty service (or are currently in the administrative process of separating) and are (2a) identified as disabled by the Veteran’s Administration or Department of Defense authority based on a “service-connected” disability or are (2b) “service distinguished” for exemplary military conduct
  • Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship and commitment to small business ownership

Apply Now



“I came in thinking I knew a lot, but working with the faculty in the VEP taught me how to start and run a business with emphasis on marketing, sales, how to pitch a project, the market. The outlined everything you need for a successful business.  I believe I’ve gained the leadership and ability to move my business forward.”

-Glen Shackley, 2014 VEP Graduate