Program encourages veterans to start businesses - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Program encourages veterans to start businesses

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Greg Hilton's is helping veterans start businesses Greg Hilton's is helping veterans start businesses

Greg Hilton's business is helping you start yours.  He works at CETi in Columbia.

"The Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation," Hilton explained. "We like to say we're the university's startup center."

Soon CETi will partner with Midlands Technical College to offer veterans a 10-week startup program that's all their own. 

"We think veterans will have those traits that will really make them successful entrepreneurs," he said. "What we want to do with this program is teach them all the other things, the things that make successful businesses happen. We hope that the combination of elements will make some great veteran-owned startups in the Midlands."

"They put in long hours and are used to working hard," said John Busch. "And entrepreneurship requires the same kind of dedication."

Busch spent decades flying F16's in the Air National Guard and now owns Selah Genomics. They do DNA sequencing work. He graduated from a similar program.

"It really helps to have almost like a cookbook," said Busch. "That's what it provided. It's basically, here's what you need to do, and here's how you do it."

Fellow veteran Sammie Taylor agrees. He used what he learned to start The Greenway Group, which helps businesses go green with things like LED lighting.

He'll be helping teach the new veterans-focused program when it starts March 19th.

"We can help each other to do better and to make our quality of life better, and give something back to the community even more than we have before," said Taylor. "I think that's huge. If we can help each other in that vein, we've done a great thing for each other."

The course costs about $320 and registration is open now.  Click here for more information.

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