The yearlong program brings a group of qualified veterans to OSU for a so-called entrepreneurship “boot camp” that includes speakers and training on how to launch a business. The program is free of charge, and covers transportation, lodging, books, meals and instruction.
The participants begin the program weeks before the boot camp, going through online training to prepare them. Participants then come to campus for the eight-day program, where they work with OSU faculty members and experienced entrepreneurs to develop their business plans.
After the boot camp ends, each participant is teamed with a business owner from the Rotary Club of Tulsa, who acts as a personal mentor for the next 10 months.
Instructors told them early in the program that they would be expected to take what they'd learned and go on to start their own business, Drew Gomer said. The program also provided all the knowledge they'd need to turn their ideas into viable companies, he said.
The two took that message to heart — a month after attending the boot camp, Heather Gomer quit her job at Wiley Post to focus on her aviation company. Although Drew Gomer still works at Chesapeake, he said he's excited about his new company, as well.
Heather Gomer said she's looking forward to seeing her husband's business plan in action. Although his company is in its early stages, she said she expects her husband will be a serial entrepreneur, going on to start several more companies.
“I can tell already,” she said.
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Oklahoma State University's Riata School for Entrepreneurship is accepting applications for the 2013-14 Veterans Entrepreneurship Program. The deadline is Oct. 1. To apply, go to http://