Veterans invited to develop entrepreneurial ideas into business plans during Catapult Weekend in November

Veterans looking to begin their own businesses will have an opportunity to develop their ideas into actionable business plans during Catapult Weekend, a free 3-day rapid business startup workshop in November sponsored by Goodwill Industries of San Antonio and in partnership with Geekdom.

The Catapult Weekend program consists of two cohorts:  5 p. m. Nov. 4-6 and Nov. 11-13 at the Geekdom Event Center on the 1st Floor/Street level of the Rand Building, 110 East Houston St. Each interactive weekend kicks off with a Digital Literacy Workshop at 6 p.m. Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 respectively. The Digital Literacy Workshop teaches design thinking, app and website wireframe development and lean startup. Veterans are encouraged to apply before the Sept. 30 deadline at www.catapultweekend.com. Both cohorts are limited to 50 people. Those who are accepted will be notified by mid-October.

“Catapult Weekend is an exciting and valuable program we have created in partnership with Geekdom to help our city’s veterans bring their business ideas to fruition,” said Steve Hussain, vice president of Workforce Development, Goodwill San Antonio.

Catapult Weekend will engage participants in a team-based environment where they will learn ideation, market validation, business model development, problem-solving, pitch development, presentation skills and actually pitch presentations to entrepreneurs and investors. While participants are encouraged to come prepared with business ideas, the workshops are also open to veterans who are still formulating ideas.

"I think veterans are uniquely qualified to start and run small businesses and tech businesses. Their proven leadership and perseverance is exactly what entrepreneurship is all about," said Nick Longo, co-founder of Geekdom. “Catapult places them on a path to small business ownership.”

Prior to the event, Goodwill and Geekdom will hold an open house for accepted applicants to learn about what to expect and how to prepare for the program in order to gain the maximum benefit. Candidates are required to bring a laptop or iPad/tablet, phone and materials to take notes.