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UTSA and Soldiers’ Academy partner on entrepreneur academy for veterans

Photo courtesy of Navy Media Content ServicesSoldiers’ Angels and The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) have partnered to form the Soldiers’ Angels Entrepreneur Academy, a six-month business training program for veterans in San Antonio which lauches a new area of focus for Soldiers’ Angels called Project-360°.

Operated out of the Soldiers’ Angels Support Center in San Antonio, Project-360° will be a full-circle, drop-in support center for service members of all branches. The project will include a Resource Center for veteran issues and transition support, a Health & Wellness Center addressing both physical and mental fitness, and will highlight the Entrepreneur Academy to teach and prepare veterans to become successful entrepreneurs. With a mission to empower veterans with the skills necessary to succeed in life, Project-360° is a comprehensive model expected to be replicated throughout the country. Soldiers’ Angels chief development officer Joseph N. Casas, JD, MBA, will oversee Project-360° and the Entrepreneur Academy.

In conjunction with the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) at UTSA, the Soldiers’ Angels Project-360° Entrepreneur Academy is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for veterans interested in starting a business venture as a means to financial independence. Under the coordination of CITE assistant director Anita Leffel, CITE will provide curriculum, instruction, program materials, mentorship and advising for the Academy.

Soldiers’ Angels believes that successful entrepreneurs are vital to strengthening our local and national economy by placing innovative products and services in the stream of commerce and creating hundreds of jobs. With that in mind, the Soldiers’ Angels’ Entrepreneur Academy will take 20 veterans at a time on a six-month learning experience to move the entrepreneur from concept to business development, business plan and investor pitch. Participating veterans will benefit from a rigorous, structured curriculum with hands-on learning, seminars, networking opportunities, and personalized interaction and mentoring by successful veteran entrepreneurs. In addition, veterans in each class will compete for venture capital to establish their new business when they exit the Academy.

The Entrepreneur Academy will be a three-phase learning experience with the ultimate goal of preparing veterans for a business start-up and an appointed advisory board. Offered both onsite at the Soldiers’ Angels Support Center in San Antonio and offsite via the Internet, the Academy’s curriculum will equip students to be truly successful in America’s competitive business environment. The Entrepreneur Academy will also include full amenities such as high- speed wireless, conference rooms, meeting rooms, private offices, and a resource room with copiers, scanners, and other resources.

The first Entrepreneur Academy class of 20 onsite students in San Antonio is scheduled to start July 2013. For more information about Project-360°, including application or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.soldiersangels.org/project360 or email project360 [at] soldiersangels [dot] org.

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