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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

Veterans Business Outreach Center

Have you utilized any SBA-administered services or programs? Has our office helped you transition your business from service to start-up through advising, Boots 2 Business, referrals, access to resources etc?

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UTAVBOC Spark for Veterans hosted its frst cohort in the Summer and Fall of 2023 where 12 military-connected business owners came together with a committment to start, expand or recover a profitable business. 

The UTAVBOC Spark for Veterans Program provides six-months of free coworking space (in Arlington, Texas) with in-person, interactive, facilitated, incubator technical assistance, followed by six-months of one-on-one business counseling, practical seminars, relevant workshops, pitch competition preparation, and expert referrals to a nationwide network of mentors and capital partners.  

Each cohort member must achieve one of the following incubator goals- achieve additional revenue, add new employees and/or add new services or products.


Their commitment and dedication resulted in achieving the following 6-month incubator goals:

  • More than $600,000 additional revenue achieved.
  • Three new employees added.
  • Over $500,000 in new capital secured through grants, loan, or lines of credit.
  • Three new services/products added to cohort businesses.
  • Four participants were accepted in the upcoming Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) cohort with an opportunity for up to $75,000 in grant funding.
  • Five participants won $1000 in grant funding at the 5th Annual Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference Military Entrepreneur Challenge powered by Second Service Foundation.
  • One participant won $27,000 ($2,000 grant, $5,000 publicity, $20,000 legal services) at the 5th Annual Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference Military Entrepreneur Challenge powered by Second Service Foundation.


The 5th Annual Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference (BBBC23) continued its success as a premier business development experience for military connected entrepreneurs hosted in the American Dream City by The Veterans Business Outreach Center University of Texas Arlington (UTAVBOC).  This year’s event included the Military Entrepreneur Challenge (MEC) powered by Second Service Foundation which includes a speed coaching session, private pitch session to a judging panel, and finally an opportunity to pitch business ideas to a live audience for a chance to win a small business grant.

Bryant “Griff” Griffith is a Marine Corps veteran, founder and CEO of JAWS – Junk And Waste Solutions.  He is one of twelve cohort members in the UTAVBOC Spark for Veterans Incubator where the curriculum included pitch preparation.  Griff and five other cohort members were among the nine business owners selected to pitch in MEC at BBBC23.  Five cohort members were awarded $1,000 grants.   Griff was the overall winner, receiving a $2,00 grant, a $5,000 promotional package, and $20,000 in in-kind legal services from Holland & Knight LLP.  “Waste removal is about more than picking up trash.  I will use the MEC award to launch the JAWS franchise model and “pick up the lives” of veterans in Florida and Ohio,“ said Griff.  Patrick E Alcorn, Senior Director, UTA Business Outreach Center commented, “Griff’s business success and his desire to empower other veterans is an example of the military connected entrepreneur ecosystem at its best, i.e., veterans empowering veterans.”


Retired Military Officer, Erik Estrada was looking to start his own strength and conditioning gym, when he discovered and attended a Boots to Business (B2B) workshop at Fort Hood, facilitated by UTA VBOC. Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by SBA as part of the Department of Defense's Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and provides participants with an overview of business ownership.

“B2B helped me understand the networking aspect of the business, which is super important, and just talking to people,” Estrada expressed. “People just love to hear what you’ve been through in the military..." 

Chupacabra Strength and Conditioning officially opened in September 2022. Read more of Estrada's story.


Spectrum Reach partnered with UTAVBOC to empower military-connected entrepreneurs. Jennifer Limvorratre, military spouse and owner of Soul Led Movement was one of four UTAVBOC clients who received a $15,000 Pay It Forward grant from Spectrum Reach.

The additional UTAVBOC recipients include Navy Veteran Sharonda Perry, owner of ComForCare Home Care Arlington, Army Veteran Kissena Sheets, owner of Back Office Credit Solutions LLC, and Army Veteran Kevin Tillet, owner of Creative Minds Media Group.

Each $15K Pay It Forward grant recipient received a three-month television advertising schedule, a free 30-second Waymark-produced commercial, support from local marketing experts through the three-month period, access to on-demand educational content and expert industry insights, and invitations to exclusive marketing events and expert insights.