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Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association

INVEST Offers $5,000 Grant for Veteran Entrepreneurs

The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto announce the launch of INVEST, our annual business competition for veteran entrepreneurs. The competition, held in partnership with the Tennessee Veterans Business Association, began in 2012 in order to encourage entrepreneurship among local military veterans and to equip them for success in business.

“We do a lot of work with veterans and we’re grateful for their service to our nation,” says attorney Andrew Roberto. “When we saw how high the unemployment rate is among recent military veterans, we knew we had to do something more to help. That’s how INVEST got its start.”

The competition is open to any East Tennessee veteran-owned business that is three years old or less. New startups are also encouraged to apply.  Entrants will be required to submit a two-page executive summary outlining their business idea. Three finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their idea at the TVBA’s annual Business Expo on January 27, 2015 at the Knoxville Convention Center. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant from The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto.

The INVEST competition will also feature a Business Bootcamp in partnership with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. Three sessions in January will equip the entrepreneurs, not only for the competition, but also for success in business. The Business Bootcamp is available to all entrants free of charge, but is not required to participate in the competition.

Last year’s winner, Frank Podlaha, founder of StreetJelly.com, a video streaming website for musicians, encourages all veteran entrepreneurs to participate. “I got to see firsthand how the folks at Brown & Roberto truly support our veterans,” says Podlaha. “Their investment helped me upgrade my systems and take me to the next level.”

Registration for INVEST is now open. Visit the event page for more details. The Business Bootcamp will be held the evenings of January 6, 13 and 20, and Executive Summaries are due by January 16. The three finalists will be announced on January 19 and will be featured on BrownandRoberto.com all that week. Friends and fans will be able to visit our Facebook page to vote for their favorite ideas. The finalists will make their pitch on January 27.

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