STILLWATER — In the fourth year after its inception, Oklahoma State University officials are looking to expand a program designed to help disabled veterans launch their own businesses.
As this week's Veterans Entrepreneurship Program wraps up at OSU, officials at the university's Riata Center of Entrepreneurship and the Spears School of Business are looking for ways to bring more veterans into the program.
The program brings a group of disabled veterans to OSU for a so-called entrepreneurship “boot camp” that includes speakers and training on how to launch a business.
The participants begin the program weeks before the boot camp, going through online training to prepare them for the program, said Misty Stutsman, manager of outreach and events for the Riata Center. 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, Stutsman said.
The program originally began at Syracuse University and came to OSU in January 2010. In its first year at OSU, 32 veterans participated. This year, that number has grown to 41. But that number doesn't reflect the “overwhelming” number of applications the program receives each year, said business school spokesman Terry Tush.