This year, the Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium, hosted by the National Veteran Small Business Coalition and its partner, AetherQuest Solutions, will be in Norfolk, Virginia from June 9-11 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel. In its fifth year, VETS has moved from its traditional venue in Reno to its new home in Norfolk to reach a new, growing crop of vetrepreneurs.
The heart of Costal Virginia provides VETS with a vibrant military and defense-related community, exemplified by a rich history and long association with the Armed Forces. The region has more than 75 federal facilities and defense installations, including the world’s biggest naval base, the NASA Langley Research Center, and the only North American Headquarters for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on American soil. With the largest concentration of military personnel outside of the Pentagon, nearly 110,000 active-duty military members, including over 550,000 military veterans, live in the area.
This year’s symposium is shaping up to be very special event. Attendees will gain the knowledge and relationships necessary to take advantage of the federally-mandated contract opportunities set aside specifically for veteran-owned small businesses. The symposium will focus on educational business development sessions for new and mid-level firms, one-one business matchmaking with government representatives and prime contractors, and a larger exhibit hall with extended hours for increase networking opportunities. More than 500 attendees are expected to attend.
Some of the informative training sessions will include: an overview of the Center for Veterans Affairs verification process, financing options for vetrepreneurs, managing federal contracts and profitability, effective presentation and elevator speeches, and financial audits and compliant accounting systems, to name a few.
Retired Generals Michael Hayden and Thomas Kolditz will deliver the keynote addresses. Hayden is a retired
four-star general who served as director of the CIA and the first principal deputy director of national intelligence at a time when the course of world events was changing at an accelerating rate. Kolditz is a retired brigadier general and professor in the Practice of Leadership and Management and Director of the Leadership Development Program at the Yale School of Management. His experience as a leader development expert spans four decades in the public, private, and social sectors.
There will also be a Champion of Veterans Enterprise Awards ceremony. This award recognizes federal agencies and large prime contractors for achieving the 3 percent goal for awards or subcontract awards to service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses and/or achieved 8 percent contracting with veteran-owned small businesses. The “Champions” awards are an important part of VETS15 to reward government entities that identify opportunities to award to veteran and service disabled veteran owned small businesses.
For additional information on the Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium 2015, go to www.veterantrainingsymposium.com, email InfoVETS@aetherquest.com, or call (571) 297-4039.