From young and eager innovators with big ideas to career professionals looking to revamp their industries, entrepreneurs come in many forms. The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego is committed to fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship by making it accessible to all through a number of programs, accelerators and community partnerships. A recent event targeted a very specific audience and highlighted the new Veteran Ventures Accelerator housed in the Rady School of Management.
Throughout the years, a growing number of veteran students at the Rady School are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, launching sustainable startup companies out of programs offered by the School, such as Lab to Market and the StartR Accelerator.
Sean Haggerty, founder and president of Protector Brewery, took advantage of the Lab to Market program to help his brewery get off the ground. Since completing the Lab to Market sequence and graduating from the Rady School, his brewery has grown significantly, launching a number of beers and securing a brick and mortar location in San Diego.
Haggerty recently spoke at an event highlighting veteran entrepreneurship at UC San Diego.
“The Rady School of Management was integral in the success of Protector Brewery,” Haggerty said. “There are a number of accelerators and incubators at the UC San Diego that serve veteran students and support their unique needs and abilities.”
Globier, a veteran-founded company launched at the Rady School, is also making waves in the food and beverage industry. Noticing a lack of beer in the nightclub industry, Joshua Schaffer (MBA ’17) worked with a fellow student to launch the world’s first glow-in-the-dark brew.
Another Rady veteran pursued a startup in the healthcare industry. Ryan Ruehl (MBA ’18), a Marine veteran, worked with fellow Rady alum Jon Wilensky (MBA ’17) to develop Braykion – a wearable sensor paired with technology that encourages healthcare workers to wash their hands, preventing spreadable infections.
The Rady School launched Veteran Ventures, an accelerator dedicated to helping veterans turn business ideas into functioning companies in 2017. The 10-week program supports veterans interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial process, introducing them to mentors and helping them scale their ideas into successful enterprises. The program is free and open to the community.
Recognizing the former military students bring specialized skills and experience to the School, the Rady School Admissions team worked to provide active duty and veteran students fee waivers for the application to the School as a thank you for their services.
“Veterans bring a unique set of experiences and leadership to the MBA classroom. The insight they bring adds a great deal of depth and exposure to students who pursued a very different civilian career,” said Jay Bryant, Director of Admissions at the Rady School. “Rady Admissions offers application fee waivers and specialized one on one admissions advising sessions for applicants. Once a current student, veterans have access to a tight-knit network and resources from UC San Diego’s Veteran Resource Center.”
As more veterans join the Rady School of Management community network, the School is eager to continue to cater to the population to support and grow their entrepreneurial skillset.