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NEWS
Veterans Day Innovators and Entrepreneurs Celebration Scheduled
November 10, 2016

To celebrate the service of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) student veterans and to support the goals of many VCU student veterans to launch their own companies, VCU’s da Vinci Center will host a Veterans Day Innovators and Entrepreneurs Celebration on Friday, November 11, 2016.

“Innovation is often born out of unique experiences and deep skillsets, both of which are found in members of our veteran community,” said Garret Westlake, Ph.D., executive director of the da Vinci Center, a collaboration of VCU’s Schools of the Arts, Business and Engineering, and the College of Humanities and Sciences, that aims to advances innovation and entrepreneurship at VCU through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

“Investing in student veterans is one example of the da Vinci Center’s commitment to supporting all VCU students in entrepreneurial and innovative thinking as part of developing a 21st-century workforce,” Dr. Westlake said.

In the morning, the event will feature a breakfast and panel discussion highlighting veteran innovators and Virginia entrepreneurs, as well as VCU services offered to support entrepreneurship and innovation.

In the afternoon, it will feature a Veterans Day pitch competition in which VCU student veterans with a new or existing business venture can deliver a two-minute pitch about their idea for a chance to win prize money.

“Our focus is innovation and entrepreneurship, so we hope to be able to tie that connection to the mission of da Vinci — which is to be able to say, when someone comes to us, regardless of their background, that we can support them, and veterans are part of that as well,” said event organizer Somiah Lattimore, director of VCU Innovate, a living-learning program of the da Vinci Center. “We have veterans in our master’s program, we have alumni who are veterans who have come back and asked for help with their startups. This gives us the ability to say, ‘This is something special just for you guys, in addition to all the other resources in our ecosystem.’”

The Veterans Day Innovators and Entrepreneurs Celebration will be free and open to the public. To register, visit: davinciveteransday2016.eventbrite.com.


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