Vetrepreneur Summit helps transitioning military be their own boss

Event aims to help vets launch businesses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The transition from military life to civilian life can be difficult, especially when it's time to find a new job.

Jacksonville's military affairs department partnered with local businesses to help veterans become their own boss at the Vetrepreneur Summit at FSCJ.

"People are making business connections in here," said Jeff Shuford, president of Tech from Vets. "Translating those skills to the civilian marketplace is extremely difficult."

After serving in the army, including a deployment to Iraq, Shuford said finding a new job was not easy so he catered to his own strengths and started Tech From Vets, a global internet marketing firm.

He shared his experiences with other vets who want to start their own business. The Vetrepreneur Summit put veterans, local resources and contractors all in one place.

"Planning is the most important part of any project or business, knowing who the resources are, where they are and also finding out what it is you don't know so you can gain that expertise," said Kathryn Murphy, CEO of Comfort Keepers.

Murphy, a 24-year Navy vet, created a home health agency called Comfort Keepers. She said it is something for which her time in the military prepared her.

"In the military, we are really instilled with the can-do attitude that sometimes we are faced with rejection, but yet, we have to know what the mission is at hand," Murphy said.

There was a large turnout at the summit. Along with contracting opportunities, information on financing and business panel, veterans were able to network face-to-face and learn about the resources available to help build a small business.