Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program for Post-9/11 Veterans

Applications for on-campus "Stanford Ignite" program accepted until April 13.

March 25, 2014

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This summer, Stanford GSB will offer its four-week, on-campus Stanford Ignite program exclusively for post-9/11 veterans. | Photo courtesy of Saul Bromberger

Recent U.S. veterans now have an opportunity to participate in a Stanford program that will bolster their know-how about innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as support their transition to civilian life. This summer, Stanford Graduate School of Business will offer its four-week, on-campus “Stanford Ignite” program exclusively for post-9/11 veterans. The full-time program runs from June 22 through July 17, 2014, and prospective participants can access a downloadable application for submission by April 13.

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Members of the U.S. armed forces are constantly facing challenges that engage their leadership and problem-solving skills, and that's just the kind of mindset that entrepreneurs need to be successful.
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Yossi Feinberg, professor of economics

According to Stanford Ignite faculty director Yossi Feinberg, the program is designed for individuals who wish to bring innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to their day-to-day jobs, and for those who are planning to start a new venture. A member of the Navy SEALs initially approached Stanford GSB about the program, explains Feinberg, and the school realized it would be an excellent fit for an even broader base of former U.S. military service members.

“Members of the U.S. armed forces are constantly facing challenges that engage their leadership and problem-solving skills, and that’s just the kind of mindset that entrepreneurs need to be successful — whether they’re starting a new company or working within a larger organization,” he observes.

The Stanford Ignite curriculum teaches participants how to formulate, develop, and commercialize ideas, while providing instruction in core business skills and experience working in teams to evaluate and transform ideas into actionable business plans. Since the program was introduced in 2007, Stanford Ignite participants have started over 100 successful companies.

Stanford Ignite draws on the same Stanford GSB faculty who teach in the school’s MBA program. “Program participants will have the opportunity to interact closely with — and actually practice the concepts taught by — my colleagues, who are leading experts in their respective fields, such as entrepreneurship, finance, negotiation, marketing, and others,” says Feinberg.

The program for post-9/11 veterans will also feature additional components such as career advising, visits at local Bay Area companies, and sessions with hiring managers. GSB alumni veterans will be actively engaged as mentors, guest speakers, and panelists evaluating student presentations.

Up to 30 offers of admission will be made on a rolling basis until applications close on Sunday, April 13, 2014. The required application components include a resume, a series of short essays, and two letters of recommendation.

Stanford GSB is offering the Stanford Ignite program in partnership with the COMMIT Foundation, which focuses on veteran career transition, and the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Care Coalition, which advocates for Special Operations Forces (SOF) veterans and their families.

-by Katie Pandes

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