Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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 veteran, regardless of prior educational experience, through the steps and stages of starting a new business.
How many spaces are available for this year’s program?
We have 20 seats available in the VEP. Participants must submit an application packet before the deadline for consideration by the VEP Admissions Committee.
Are members of the National Guard and Reserves eligible for the program?
Yes. To be eligible, candidates must have served on active duty and received a DD214, have a service-connected disability OR distinguished military service, have a passion for small business ownership, and can commit to the eight-day residency that takes place on the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga campus.
What does "Distinguished Military Service" mean?
It means you have received a personal decoration, service award, or a campaign or service medal. For example, Distinguished Service Medal, Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, etc.
Why do you require two letters of recommendation and whom should the letters come
Starting a business is hard. The VEP 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. Letters of recommendation from family members cannot be accepted.
Your program information states that UTC will assume all costs. Does this include
travel and lodging while attending the program?
Yes. We have assumed the responsibility to raise the necessary funds to cover all costs associated with the program. Travel expenses, lodging, meals, and the cost of the program itself will be funded by the VEP.
Can I bring my spouse with me to Phase II?
Due to the rigorous demand of the "boot camp," family members are not allowed to accompany you. Successful completion of VEP requires your full attention and commitment. This experience is meant to facilitate camaraderie with your fellow veterans, building relationships that will last long after the program has concluded.
I have special dietary requirements. Can these be accommodated?
Yes, we will make every effort to accommodate any reasonable request.