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Veteran-Owned businesses to Present at Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach Demo Day

The Venture Hive Veterans Accelerator and Fort Walton Beach to host ‘The SWARM!’ on Tuesday, May 24 at 2 P.M.

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – The Venture Hive Veterans Accelerator – the first endeavor of its kind for veteran owned businesses in Florida – is hosting ‘The SWARM!’ as a culmination of its business-training program. For the past 12 weeks, companies have been developing their businesses on-site through Venture Hive’s intensive program for veteran entrepreneurs and online as part of the National Venture Hive Veteran Online Accelerator.  On Tuesday, May 24 at 2 p.m., the Fort Walton Beach community, strategic partners and investors will have the chance to hear pitches from participating businesses like Airtime Aircraft and High Caliber Lady.

The Venture Hive Accelerator program is focused on recruiting and cultivating veteran and military family owned businesses in sectors closely aligned with Fort Walton Beach’s economic future. In May 2015, the City of Fort Walton Beach took a chance on veterans and partnered with Venture Hive to fund the program. Together, Venture Hive and Fort Walton Beach have created a new home for the veteran entrepreneurship movement that is unique not just in the region but as part of a national constellation of veteran business training programs. Because of the success of this venture, the City of Fort Walton Beach was named a Top Ten City for Veteran Startups by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We at the City are very excited about the 2016 SWARM! The growth that we are able to see in our veteran entrepreneurs, in just 12 short weeks, is unparalleled,” said Mike Anderson, City of Fort Walton Beach Mayor.  “It’s a true testament to their tenacity, their willingness to learn, and to the program and community that supports their visions.”

‘The SWARM!’ is an important venue for these veteran owned companies to gain traction with investors and to grow and expand. The presenting business owners represent different branches of military service and some have already been recognized for their achievements. Unlike the previous Venture Hive Veteran Accelerator graduates, this current class is made up of veteran-owned companies from within the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area. These companies represent a growing movement within the Emerald Coast to bring an economic change to the region.

“In the decades I’ve been involved with startups, Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach is the first true accelerator that I’ve seen generate jobs for a community,” said Robert Foster, Director, Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach. “I’m excited by the passion, the drive and practicality of the veteran entrepreneurs and I am already seeing the interest from local investors – the first Fort Walton Beach based angel investors.”

‘The SWARM!’ will take place in the Fort Walton Beach Civic Auditorium located at 107 Miracle Strip Parkway SW, Fort Walton Beach, 32548.  Doors open at 2  p.m. This event is open to the media. To register for the event, please visit https://fwb2016swarm.eventbrite.com. For more information about the Venture Hive Veterans Program, visit www.fwb.venturehive.com.

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