Investing in Veteran Small Business Success


The Details

Citi Salutes is excited to launch its second Realizing Your Dream Business Competition. In collaboration with two of the IVMF’s portfolio of veteran and military family entrepreneurship training programs, V-WISE and Boots to Business, which are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Citi Salutes is setting out on a national search for the next generation of veteran entrepreneurs! Finalists from each program will present their business plans to an expert panel of judges at the grand final event to be held in 2015. A dozen winners will take home a total of $130,000 in prizes funded by the Citi Foundation, including special honors for Best Social Venture, Best Technology Venture and an Impacting Veterans Prize.

2014 Business Plan Competition Winners


First Place: $25,000

Kristina Guerrero – TurboPup

Second Place: $15,000

Shevonica Howell – Academy of Scholars

Third Place: $10,000

Jill Hinton – Outdoor Book Club

Best Social Venture 1: $5,000

Sonia Deal – Diabetes Education Augmenting Lifestyles Centers & Clinic, LLC

Best Tech Venture 2: $5,000

Lisa Belcastro – TF SASA, LLC

Venture Impacting Vets: $5,000

Terri Spahr Nelson – Sugati Publications



First Place: $25,000

Sandra Gonzales – DOCERE E-learning Solutions

Second Place: $15,000

Dr. Tony Turin – Mt. Hood Eye Care

Third Place: $10,000

Andre Smith – Celestial Lighting Services

Best Social Venture: $5,000

Becky Watson – Music for Wellness, LLC

Best Tech Venture: $5,000

Andre Smith – Celestial Lighting Services

Venture Impacting Vets: $5,000

Rudy Lopez – Lopez Psychological Services

2014 Business Plan Competition Judges

John Tien

Managing Director, Citi, and Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Larry Broughton

Founder & CEO of Broughton Hotels and a former Green Beret

Jessica Eaves Mathews

Founder and CEO of Grace & Game

Bill Elmore

Former Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration

Ryan Delaney

Senior Vice President and Head of Asset Management, Oaktree Capital Management

Gina Harman

CEO of the Accion U.S. Network