Friday, April 17, 2009

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  1. Hello Friends of EBV,

    It has been a year since we prepared to host our first EBV class at FSU. In that time we have made much progress. We were able to host 15 veterans at FSU last year, and in the process, we created provide a real social entrepreneurship experience for 10 undergraduate business students. We are looking I even greater success this year. Once again, I have a great team assembled and their devotion to this cause is invigorating. In addition to working with the student volunteers, I will also be teaching a formal Social Entrepreneurship course concurrent with EBV. In this course we will explore the business side of starting and running a successful non-profit organization all the way from opportunity recognition to sustainment.

    While fundraising is a never ending endeavor, we are now shifting efforts towards selecting our class of veterans. All I can say is that when I talk with them on the phone, they are very eager to get started and very grateful for the opportunity.

    As I had mentioned in a previous email, I visited a group of severely disabled veterans in Orlando this past December at the annual Road to Recovery Conference hosted by the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. Here is what one of those veterans, who has applied to our program for this summer, had to say after learning about EBV:

    “Thanks for everything! Your presentation has given me something that I lost four years ago when I sustained severe injuries in Baghdad; HOPE! Thanks again and I looked forward to speaking with you soon and continually.”

    For those of you that have already pledged again this year, or who made a multi-year pledge last year, we thank you for your continued generosity. For those considering a gift this year or for multiple years, we thank you in advance and we have set up a donation link on this blog.

    We are looking forward to hosting another great class this year. Please mark Saturday, the 13th of June on your calendars for our sponsor appreciation and social networking event. This will be held at the Tallahassee Auto Museum and will be a great chance to everyone to come out and meet the veterans personally.

    Thanks for your support,


  2. Check out our video from last year's program!

  3. We have finished our selection of veterans. It was a very competitive process with over 40 applications to consider. We will be hosting 22 disabled veterans here at FSU in June.

  4. Friends of EBV,
    We completed our second year of EBV at Florida State University and had the privilege of hosting 19 veterans this year. Since the program’s completion, we’ve received updates from many of our 2009 EBV graduates, and it is exciting to hear about the progress they have made. This group came into the program with a high level of interest and motivation, and many of them have already reported positive results regarding their ventures, several of which are already up and running. I am compiling this information and will be sending out an email to our stakeholders regarding our vets’ progress in the next week or so.

    Since its inception, our program has reached out to disabled veterans from every branch of service. One of our goals this year is to reach out even more to ensure that disabled veterans know that this opportunity is available to them. We have updated our materials which should be in soon and plan to mail out the information to organizations and programs in the Southeast. Our website is also being updated and we are hoping to have this completed by sometime in September. The site will be even easier to navigate and we are adding some special features for you to get to know our veterans better.

    As I reflect on the results of our program this year, I am inspired by the support that we have received for our program. The FSU EBV program could not have been possible without the financial support of our donors and sponsors. My hope is that our program will continue to grow its support base so we can sustain this vital program for years to come. For all of you who have contributed to this program – thank you! For those who are planning to contribute, we would like to thank you in advance – we have set up a donation link on this blog.

    Our volunteer team is getting together next week to talk about how EBV went this year, and we will begin planning for 2010. There are so many mechanisms at work to put together the EBV that early planning is critical. Volunteers make this program happen - they dedicate countless hours to make the program a success.

    Best regards,


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  7. (Originally written Feb 17, 2010)

    The EBV 2010 Program is starting off with a bang! This year’s team of volunteers has been compiled and is off to a great start! As always, the entire team consists of student volunteers from Florida State University. There are some old faces and a few new ones, but overall everyone is excited to contribute to this year’s program.

    We are currently in our planning phase, working on everything from fundraising to transportation logistics and handling applications. A lot of the Bootcamp portion content has already been established and a few guest speakers have been named. The schedules are jam-packed with all the necessary elements for being a successful entrepreneur.

    In other news, we are all looking forward to our upcoming event “Bootcamp on the Bigscreen.” Come out and meet the team for the premiere of the EBV documentary, “The Meaning of Service: Florida State University’s EBV Program.” The documentary will be shown at the Challenger Learning Center IMAX on Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:30 PM. The showing will be followed by a reception where attendees can mingle and check out the EBV table full of unique and touching artifacts from past EBVs.

    You can watch the trailer for the documentary on this site: and can look here: for directions and parking. To park in Kleman Plaza is $2. To RSVP, you can shoot an e-mail to or you can call (850) 644.3372.

    We look forward to seeing and meeting everyone and to sharing a snapshot of this wonderful program. Check back frequently to get the program’s latest developments and updates!

  8. It’s nearly showtime here at EBV and we’re starting to put some names with faces for the upcoming 2010 FSU EBV class. We’re so excited to announce that we have made our final selections for the 21 best and brightest veterans that will be attending our bootcamp; we’ve even got two local veterans participating this year!

    This year’s bootcamp is already getting started as veteran’s began the online portion of the bootcamp early this month on May 3rd. They are busy reading two required texts, as well as completing journal entries and assignments. This portion continues right up until our veterans arrive on June 8th. Then the physical aspect of the bootcamp kicks up with nearly 12 hour days every day until June 16th. Fortunately, we’ve got some really exciting things lined to help break up some of those long days. Although we’re keeping everyone in suspense as to specifics, I promise it will be worth your wait to find out these exciting details! We’ll be starting off the week with a private concert for our veterans, ending with a distinguished and highly known speaker, and having a lot of entertaining adventures in between!

    As you can tell, our team has already been racking up the hours in trying to make this year’s EBV as wonderful as it can be! Thus far, we have finalized our roster of veterans who all reside in the southeast, have finalized our hotel partnership, and are in the process of finalizing all veteran travel plans as well as finalizing specific event details and extras.

    Finally, our most exciting news is in regards to our two newest sponsors and supporters—The Florida Veteran’s Association and Pepsi along with Waste Management. The Florida Veteran’s Association has made a generous donation towards paying for all six of the Florida veterans participating in the program. This takes a huge burden off of our current financial state and makes us all the more proud to have such a large group of homegrown veterans!

    Our other newbie, Pepsi and Waste Management, has created their new Dream Machine recycling program to benefit EBV. Now, you’re probably wondering, how on Earth does recycling help veterans? Visit the website to find out! By recycling bottles in Dream Machines, you can choose who the proceeds go to. By selecting EBV, you generate interest in the program and also directly affect that amount of proceeds that go towards our blossoming organization. “Like it” on Facebook now and invite all your friends! This is one of the easiest and most important ways you can support EBV. We are so glad to have such a huge sponsor support of us and what we’re trying to accomplish here.

    It’s quite the exciting time to be involved with EBV right now! Our team of dedicated volunteers is constantly working to make this year an awesome experience for everyone involved. Everyone is looking forward to that moment we first meet the veterans at the airport; it’s almost as if June 8th can’t get here soon enough!

    As always, we couldn’t do this without the continued support of generous donations from the people who really believe in our program.