First Cohort of Veteran-Owned Small Business Accelerator Completes Program with Final Business Presentations

Posted on March 13, 2024
Share via

The Venture Center and Arkansas Small Business Administration’s Small Business Accelerator provides significant support to veteran entrepreneurs as they strive for business success and growth.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 11, 2024)Nine military veterans turned entrepreneurs recently presented their business ventures in downtown Little Rock as part of an inaugural accelerator program designed specifically for them. The event, a collaboration between The Venture Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration with support from the Little Rock Regional Chamber, attracted more than 70 investors, veterans, and community stakeholders, aiming to propel the growth of veteran-led businesses. 

Upon completion of the program which offered a comprehensive curriculum, mentorship, and resources, cohort members attend a showcase event and present their businesses to a network of potential investors and partners. Presentations from veteran business owners included: 

  • Lupita Rasheed, PhD, founder of Effective Organization Management Consultant, detailed how her firm enhances nonprofit operations and fundraising efforts through a collaborative model that streamlines tasks and cuts costs.
  • Veronica Tice, President of TiceCon, shared her company’s success in securing 14 contracts and generating over $100,000 in revenue since its 2023 launch. TiceCon provides vital contracting, construction, and consultation services to government agencies.
  • Richard Ims from Food Recycling Solutions presented his mission to transform food waste into a valuable commodity. His company aims to divert 40% of Northwest Arkansas’ food waste from landfills within five years, addressing an annual 40,000 tons of waste.
  • Tyler Flagg introduced Flying Company, likening it to “Upwork” for contract pilots. The startup has hit several milestones since its inception, including a beta website launch that connects customers with aviation professionals.
  • Corichia Martin Brisco, CEO of ReeLyfe Solutions, emphasized the importance of creating equitable work environments. Her firm collaborates with HR departments to ensure compliance with EEO standards, reducing potential costs associated with non-compliance.
  • Keith Jetton, founder of RazorCity IT, highlighted his company’s over 30 years of IT solutions experience. Focusing on cybersecurity and supporting the Arkansas Department of Defense, Jetton’s firm offers a Complete Cloud platform for secure information storage.
  • Brant Collins of Collins Media discussed his integrated marketing agency’s role in leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and small businesses through strategic communication services.
  • Jeremy Mincke, the mind behind CDL Hunter, has built a significant online presence, reaching 40 million people monthly through social media, highlighting the company’s impact in the transportation sector without traditional ad spending.
  • Wayne Jaques, leading Arkansas Shades, Blinds & Shutters Inc., shared his company’s growth to a team of 11, serving over 450 customers annually and achieving $3 million in sales. His leadership has steered the company to success in high-profile projects like the Clinton Library and the U.S. Marshals Museum.

Daniel Schutte, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at The Venture Center shared, “Our mission with this accelerator is to empower those who’ve served our nation by providing the tools and networks necessary to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. We’re extremely proud of our first veteran cohort; they embody the epitome of entrepreneurship through their hard work, creativity, forward-thinking, and resilience.”

Also present were officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Circumference Group, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and the Little Rock Regional Chamber, highlighting the concerted effort to support entrepreneurship among veterans. 

Jerry Talbert, Deputy District Director of the SBA Arkansas District, emphasized the office’s dedication to uplifting the entrepreneurial spirit among our nation’s veterans. “Our accelerator stands as a clear indication of our commitment to not only assist veterans in launching their businesses but also to ensure their long-term success and growth,” he stated. “This initiative underscores our dedication to equipping veterans with the opportunities and resources necessary for their business ventures to flourish.”

Initiated in 2023, this program leverages The Venture Center’s resources and network to fast-track the development of businesses established by military veterans, emphasizing the state’s commitment to fostering an environment where veteran entrepreneurs can thrive. To learn more about the VOSB program, visit 

About The Venture Center

The Venture Center is a globally recognized Arkansas-based Entrepreneurial Support Organization (ESO) that helps entrepreneurs turn their start-ups into viable, high-growth businesses. By leveraging the expertise of a world-class team of mentors, intensive programming, and introductions to the investor community, The Venture Center serves as an engine for economic growth in Arkansas and beyond. Learn more at Follow The Venture Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@VentureCenter), and Instagram.