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ETSU announces partnership to bring Veteran entrepreneur program to Kingsport’s Academic Village

Entrepreneurial veterans will learn skills needed to launch a successful business as well as gain post-program support.

Woman in camouflage clothing sits in a lecture hall surrounded by other students.

KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE - East Tennessee State Universitys College of Business and Technology and the ETSU Research Corporation are partnering with Kingsport’s Academic Village to bring the Start-up Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship (STRIVE) program to Kingsport in spring 2022. The program is offered to all veterans who are ready to start or grow their business.

“We are excited to announce STRIVE is now accepting applications for our 2022 program,” states William H. Heise, Ph.D. and

program director for STRIVE. “This will be the third year that the program has been offered to local veterans and our first year to bring the program to Kingsport.”  

This program is an eight-week course, starting in March 2022, and is designed to assist veterans through all stages of their business plan. Whether they have an idea, a business in the early stages or an established business looking to grow, everyone will benefit from this training course. 

“Kingsport is seeing remarkable growth across the city and especially in our entrepreneurial and innovation sector,” says Chris McCartt, Kingsport city manager. “ETSU has long been a tremendous partner for the City of Kingsport, and we are excited for their leadership in helping enhance our veteran-owned business community through STRIVE.” 

ETSU is the second institution in the country selected to host a STRIVE program through a partnership with Syracuse Universitys Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). IVMF has trained over 70,000 veteran entrepreneurs by leveraging the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education institutions.  

STRIVE is supported by Sync Space Entrepreneur Center, BoxDrop and the ETSU Research Corporation. 

Applications for STRIVE are open now for the spring 2022 cohort. The program will be held in-person at the Kingsport Higher Education Center, and a virtual attendance option will also be available. All veterans, current or former members of the National Guard or Reserves, and their spouses are welcome to apply by Dec. 31. Please visit for more information and to apply.   

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