A&M trains veterans to be CEOs

Published: Jul. 16, 2016 at 10:30 PM CDT
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This week disabled veterans will attend a unique boot camp at Texas A&M. The training will help them build their own businesses.

For one week, 16 military vets from across the country are in College Station for a special boot camp: The Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities.

James Cole flew in from Oklahoma, and is ready for the challenge ahead.

"Coming from the Marines, coming from my background, we love a challenge,” said Cole.

Blake Petty, the director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M, said the program is very tough, he compares it to getting your MBA in just one week.

"Veteran entrepreneurs are obviously one of the strongest demographics," said Petty.

The skill set, work ethic, and determination the veterans will bring into the classroom brings the best out of everyone. Local business owners get to work one and one with the veterans to help them steer their new business in the right direction.

"There is no lack in passion; there is no shortage of fuel. We just want to put them in the right direction and get them and keep them going in the right direction,” said Petty.

The program is held at 10 different campuses, for the ninth year in a row, A&M is one of them.

Petty said it is something they look forward to.

"Favorite part is the mentor sessions the one on one interaction and some of these have created some lifelong friendships, business partners,” said Petty.

As the vets spend the next week training to be the CEO of their own business, it gives the servicemen and woman a mission to plan out, and complete.

"Having your own business and meeting the challenges and being able to take that challenge from a dream to a reality is a challenging experience,” said Cole.

Several graduates of the program have launched successful businesses. Each year, one is asked back to share their story and encourage the vets.