VEP serves veterans who meet the following three requirements:

  • Have separated from active duty service (or are in the process of separating) with an honorable discharge
  • Are identified as disabled by the Veteran’s Administration or DOD based on a service-connected disability (or) are service distinguished based on exemplary military conduct
  • Demonstrate an intense motivation to start or grow a business


VEP is free to eligible veterans who are selected. Travel expenses, lodging, and meals for the Phase II boot camp are provided at no cost. VEP costs are underwritten by sponsors and private donors with operations and program development provided by the UND Center for Innovation Foundation.


The program will be held in the James Ray Idea Lab at the UND Center for Innovation on the campus of the University of North Dakota.


Lodging has been pre-arranged with the Hilton Garden Inn on the campus of UND. Selected veterans do not need to worry about making hotel reservations.


Selected participants traveling by air, bus or train can be picked up and taken to the hotel. Parking will be available at the hotel for those driving to Grand Forks. A car will not be necessary during the program as all transportation to/from the venues will be provided.

Do I need to have a college degree or have taken some college courses to attend?

No. The VEP accepts any qualified veterans, regardless of prior educational experiences.

Are there spaces still available for this year’s program?

Yes. Participants are limited to 25 so early application is encouraged.

Are members of the National Guard and Reserves eligible for the program?

Yes. Any service member who meets the eligibility requirements and has a passion for starting their own business may apply.

Why are two letters of recommendation required?

Starting a business is hard. The VEP program was developed and designed as an intense, rigorous program positioned to help those individuals with a drive, determination, and passion for business ownership take the first steps toward that goal. Letters of recommendation from current or former co-workers, commanders, supervisors, counselors, etc., help make such an assessment. Letters of recommendation from family members will not be accepted.

I have special dietary requirements. Can these be accommodated?

Yes, every effort will be made to accommodate these requests.



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OhFer Creative does not support the views of this organization or other political organizations.

Presented by

UND Center for Innovation Foundation

In partnership with the University of Florida,

Oklahoma State University and

the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga