An open letter to all United States Armed Forces veterans,

The Houston Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Rice University, and the Rice Veterans In Business Association (VIBA), are proud to announce the first ever National Veterans Business Competition. In this event, veteran entrepreneurs and aspiring veteran entrepreneurs from across the country are called to submit their ideas for a start-up company. If selected as a finalist, they will have the opportunity to pitch their idea in front of dozens of investors that are specifically looking to invest in veteran owned businesses.

Details of the competition:

  • Event website is
  • All applications must be submitted online by January 31, 2014
  • Contest will be held February 28th, 2015 at Rice University, Houston, TX
  • Prior business experience, education, or knowledge is a plus, but not a requirement .

During the event, 12 finalists selected from the pool of applicants will go head to head in competing for prize money to seed their business.

In addition to the prize money, contestants will have access to any investor in attendance that has an interest in their business. These interactions could lead to:

  • Capital or resource investments in exchange for equity (think along the lines of “Shark Tank”)
  • Valuable insight into weak or unaddressed points in a contestant’s idea and pitch
  • Continued mentorship as the veteran entrepreneur launches the business.

Unlike other competitions of this nature, VIBA and EO have designed this event to leverage strengths that veteran entrepreneurs bring to starting a business, such as:

  • Leadership
  • Hard-lined determination and courage
  • Unique areas of expertise and technical knowledge
  • A dedication to excellence

The event also addresses the unique challenges that veterans might face when entering the world of business. Judges and investors are aware of these challenges, and have the desire and experience to coach our contestants accordingly.