MilitaryToBusiness Business Plan Mentorship Program

Many military personnel are well suited to become entrepreneurs, but often don't know where to begin or doubt their own abilities because they are working in isolation. MilitaryToBusiness would like to support aspiring military entrepreneurs, and has formed the MtB Business Plan Mentorship Program to do so.

Every individual or team that submits their business plan executive summary will receive expert start-up advice to assess the feasibility of the plan, recommendations for next steps, and if appropriate, introductions to the venture capital community.

The best business plans will also receive formal recognition, which might help in your fundraising or at the very least, with business school applications if you still plan on applying. In summary, this free mentorship program provides you the following:

  • Feedback and advice on your business idea
  • If appropriate, introductions to the venture capital or appropriate industry community in order to help take your idea to the next level
  • Awards and recognition for the best plans, which will help differentiate you in business school applications should you still decide to apply to b-school.

To enter the Mentorship Program, please submit a 10-slide Powerpoint Executive Summary of your business plan. The presentation should ideally contain aspects of the following:

  • The opportunity:What gap or demand in the market is the business trying to fill?
  • The solution: What does your business offer that addresses the opportunity?
  • The size: What is the potential market size for this business?
  • The customers: Who are they? Why would they need your business?
  • Examples of similar business concepts and any lessons to learn from their success or failures.
  • Finances: How will your business actually make money, and what growth would you project and why?
  • Resources: What does your business need to grow and succeed?
  • Management: What is the background of your team? It's ok if only one person.
  • Progress to date: Have you done anything to support this business concept? Surveys, research, investment, market testing, product development, etc?

If you only have partial information and feel ready to receive feedback, go ahead and turn in what you have. All serious submissions will receive free initial mentorship feedback.

Slides should not have a lot of text. Focus on communicating concepts through images and big picture concepts. The Executive Summary is simply telling the story, it is not the actual business plan.

Please submit all plans and questions to

Program FAQ:

What if I've already started the business?

That's fine... it just needs to still be considered an early stage business or a start-up.

What if this is only an idea right now?

That's fine too... all big things start with an idea. In fact, this is the best time to really evaluate the viability of the idea and to gain support for it.

What if I'm not sure if I really want to start the business?

That's fine too... perhaps our feedback will help in your decision.

I'm still planning/thinking of applying to business school. Can I still submit a plan?

Yes, of course. In fact, receiving formal recognition for having the top business plan will be a great way to help differentiate yourself on your application, as it shows prior business acumen... and you will have all of b-school to launch your idea should you still choose to.

What happens to my plan after I submit it?

Your plan will be submitted to a panel of MtB judges and start-up experts. All those submitting a plan will receive free feedback, either through a series of emails or through free phone consultation. If you are interested in refining your plan and later re-submitting for more feedback, we will support that as well.

How is my plan protected?

Your plan will remain confidential and only seen by MtB's panel of judges. You retain all ownership rights to your plan.

What criteria do you use to evaulate the plans?

The plan will be evaluated by two criteria:

1) The viability of your business model

2) The viability of the entrepreneur(s) to succeed given the model

But I don't have any formal business experience or education... why should I bother?

History has shown that the best entrepreneurs often have little to no formal business experience. Many don't even have a college degree (like the founders and leaders of Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook). There are many books and studies out there on what makes entrepreneurs successful; universal traits are vision, drive, and ability to execute. While a business degree or experience is helpful to many people, it is far from required.

Do I have to include everything you listed in the Executive Summary?

No, those are mainly guidelines on what most start-up experts believe are the critical ingredients of a business plan. If you choose to submit different information, that is you prerogative, but you should have a good reason to do so. If you are in the process of putting the presentation together however, and have a question about something, you should also feel free to write in with your question.

How strict is the 10 slide limit?

For all plans, only the first 10 slides will be considered. This is only the Executive Summary. If selected for mentorship, we will help you develop and refine the more robust business plan.

Who is eligible to submit a plan?

All active duty military personnel, NG/reserve personnel on active duty orders, and former active duty personnel who separated within the last six months (be prepared to provide a DD214).