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Veterans Roundup: How Apple Might Be the Next Big DC News Story After Amazon and Why Veteran Entrepreneurs Struggle with Financing

Posted by Fred Wellman

Here’s why veteran entrepreneurs have a harder time getting financing than nonvets
Natalie Gross (@NatalieGross), Military Times
A new report reveals that veteran entrepreneurs struggle to qualify for funding to start new business ventures, compared to their nonveteran peers. The latest findings from the Federal Reserve Banks’ Small Business Credit Survey noted that veterans were required to submit more paperwork when seeking loans and if they were approved, it was typically for less than they originally sought. While only 34 percent of nonveteran applicants needed to reapply for financing, 47 percent of veteran applicants applied three or more times during the fourth quarter of 2016 and 2017. Researchers at the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families did not find the results shocking – they have found similar results and believe that accessing all available resources could improve veterans’ ability to navigate entrepreneurship. “Veterans often — or any entrepreneur — might think, ‘OK, I go to a bank because that’s traditional funding.’ And in reality there are a lot of other options,” said Misty Stutsman, the director of entrepreneurship and small business at IMVF. –KG
Bottom Line: There is a lot to unpack in this report about funding challenges for veteran-owned businesses and this report has come up a couple of times at events for veteran entrepreneurs recently. It really isn’t as simple as veterans don’t have “long” credit histories. If you’re a retiree you have a long credit history like anyone else. One of the key factors many people are seeing is the small loan amount veterans often ask for to start small businesses. Banks have to pay the same to process a $100,000 loan as a $1,000,000 one. But they make more profit on the larger one so many veterans are actually asking for too little money because we are taught from the day we join the military that “debt is bad.” While true for your personal finances, it’s less true for a business to grow and succeed. In business, cash is life and lack of cash is death. In the military a paycheck will come twice a month like clockwork. In businesses without people and inventory that isn’t the case. Many times, veteran businesses are hampered by going small instead of big. There are a ton of resources for veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs to leverage. Take advantage of them but in the end “go big or don’t go” might be one of the lessons we need to remember too. –FPW

Apple in Talks to Give Veterans Access to Electronic Medical Records
Ben Kesling (@bkesling) and Tripp Mickle (@trippmickle), The Wall Street Journal
This past January Apple announced its plan to explore the electronic records field with a feature that allows patients to import and store their medical information on their personal devices. Now, they are exploring a potential partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide portable electronic health records to military veterans. This would theoretically enable the VA’s nine million veterans receiving care to transfer their health records to iPhones for access when seeing outside providers and for their own personal use. According to one healthcare expert, “The VA partnership has the potential to accelerate Apple’s efforts to overcome past challenges by allowing it to tap into one of the nation’s largest, concentrated patient populations. Apple and the VA are continuing to develop the technology. –SM
Bottom Line: For the VA and Department of Defense, efforts to improve and modify the electronic health records they operate have presented a consistent string of expensive challenges and setbacks, ranging from multiple attempts to create interoperability to the VA’s current expensive sole-sourced effort to replace its legacy in-house system, VistA, with a top-end private sector solution. They are not unique–many private sector providers large and small have struggled to adapt and evolve their EHRs, but the stakes are particularly high and the solutions complicated for the government health care providers. This potential partnership with Apple does not solve those big problems, but it presents a possible opportunity to ease the burden on VA patients by making it easier for them to hold onto and move their information around to ensure that even without true system interoperability, they are able to provide their various providers with essential data. With that said, Apple operates in its own proprietary ecosystem, so for an Android user like me, this potential partnership may not have much value, and could the VA in an interesting solution of promoting a specific operating system (an operating system rarely used in the VA, I might add). In a tweet thread about the article, co-author Kesling elaborated on the pros and cons of a possible Apple partnership. Innovative public-private partnerships, especially around technology, are important, but they can create new problems if the solution pursued is not developed in a manner that benefits the patient without forcing them to change their technology and software preferences and purchases. It also is only a band-aid on the broader issue of interoperability, which will still need to be resolved. –BW

This group speaks for the forgotten vets that ‘nobody hears’
Natalie Gross (@ByNatalieGross), Military Times Reboot Camp
Minority Veterans of America, a new national nonprofit, has a specific focus of giving LGBTQ veterans, veterans of color, religious minorities and women veterans a voice in their community. Lindsay Church, co-founder of Minority Veterans of America and a gender-nonconforming lesbian, says the organization is “a flag for people to come together under” as it seeks to create an inclusive environment for all former service members. –SM

Meet the first legal recreational marijuana customers in Massachusetts: a pair of veterans
Dan Adams (@Dan_Adams86), The Boston Globe 
Iraq veteran Stephen Mandile and Air Force veteran David Narkewicz have become the first people to purchase legal recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. This marks an important step for veterans who rely on marijuana to help treat physical and mental health conditions. “I’m pumped to break the stigma and the weird, scary aura people want to put around cannabis,” Mandile said. –MW

VA unexpectedly cancels overtime work to address GI Bill claim backlog
Phil McCausland (@PhilMcCausland), NBC News
Just days after a mandatory overtime order to address delayed GI Bill payments was issued, a system update caused those additional work hours to be cancelled at three processing centers last weekend. In response, Curt Cashour, spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, said that this delay would “have little effect on VA’s overall education claims processing, as the department’s education claims inventory is trending downward.” Cashour denied the rumors that veterans have gone months without payments and stated that there are roughly 51,000 pending claims. –MW

2018 Veteran Gift Guide: For Veterans, By Veterans
James Barber, Military.com 
ScoutComms client GORUCK, a veteran-owned fitness and apparel company, is broadening its gear and apparel selection to include footwear. Along with their tried and true American-made rucksacks, like the GR1, GORUCK has now ventured into footwear with the launch of the MACV-1, the premier rucking boot that’s steeped in Special Forces ancestry. Check out their full line of gear and apparel at goruck.com. –KG

Congressional Hearings

Senate:

Armed Services: Findings and Recommendations of the Commission on the National Defense Strategy
Who: 
Ambassador Eric S. Edelman, Co-Chair, Commission on the National Defense Strategy; Admiral Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.), Co-Chair, Commission on the National Defense Strategy
When: 9:30 AM, Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Where: G50 Dirksen

Armed Services: Navy Shipbuilding Programs
Who: 
Honorable James F. Geurts, Assistant Secretary Of The Navy For Research, Development And Acquisition; Vice Admiral William R. Merz, USN, Deputy Chief Of Naval Operations For Warfare System (OPNAV N9); Lieutenant General David H. Berger, USMC, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command And Deputy Commandant For Combat Development And Integration
When: 2:30 PM, Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Where: 220 Russell

Community Opportunities

Warrior Wellness Alliance: Warriors Connect Research Study
What: 
A groundbreaking research project led by the Bush Institute’s Warrior Wellness Alliance and Qntfy using donated public-facing social media and fitness tracker information to better understand mental health and wellbeing, and to design more precise and effective interventions. Watch this short video to learn more.
Who: Veterans are the primary audience, but anyone is encouraged to participate, regardless of military service.
When: Study participation open now. Visit this link to donate your information today.

Fred Wellman

Fred Wellman, President ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of veteran news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. Follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms

This entry was posted on Monday, November 26, 2018 3:52 pm

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