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Although there have been multiple studies on individual characteristics and operations on owner managers, there are knowledge gaps related to the challenges these entrepreneurs encounter when entering and building their ventures. To fill in that gap, the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations(NAVSO) has commissioned Purdue University to study what is driving entrepreneurial success so that these veterans can be better served with improved resource allocation. The Veterans and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is proud to assist in securing participants for the study.

The insights from this survey will help deliver best practices for providing realistic solutions for the issues and challenges these veterans face.

“We are so grateful to the VAMBOA community for joining us on this important research for veteran entrepreneurs.” said NAVSO CEO, Chris Ford. “We expect the research results to help future veteran business owners gain access to capital, change how incubators and accelerators support founders, and in the end, help more veteran businesses succeed. Founders and Co-Founders who participate in this research are really paying it forward to the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

“There are some qualities that servicemembers and veterans have attained through their military service that make them excel as entrepreneurs,” said VAMBOA founder and CEO Debbie Gregory. “Traits such as leadership, discipline, the ability to solve problems and a “can-do” attitude contribute to their success. We are happy to help get the word out to our members and other potential participants of the survey to ensure the best possible result.”

NAVSO is offering incentives valued at more than $2000 to be awarded to more than sixty participants who complete the survey. At the end of the study, the research team will conduct a random drawing and determine the winners: one $500 winner, one $250 winner, two $100 winners, ten $50 winners and fifty $20 gift cards. All personal identifiable information will be masked and confidentiality will be strictly enforced.

Those wishing to participate in the survey can do so at https://purdue.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6WnSXOMSn3fw5lH?utm_source=VAMBOA&utm_medium=Email%20%26%20Social.

By Debbie Gregory.

We previously wrote about the deal for two new Air Force One airplanes that President Trump was trying to negotiate with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. After talks stalled, the president stepped in to push through a fixed-price deal that would require Boeing to buy the planes at an agreed price. Boeing would then be responsible to absorb any cost overruns.

The list price for one of Boeing’s 747-8s is $351.4 million, but the stock jumbo jets require significant and timely modifications before they will be ready to transport a president.

The president asked for the new planes to be done by 2021, the beginning of what would be a second term, which is three years sooner than the original plan of 2024. The two 747s are in California now, and although Boeing will be done upgrading the planes by then, but the Air Force testing requirements could take an additional three years.

And upon closer investigation, it now looks like that “informal” $3.9 billion deal for the two planes may not be such a deal.

It appears that a “fixed-price contract” is not the same thing as a “firm, fixed-price” contract. And that could be a problem.

Boeing officials have always been and remain adamantly opposed to a firm, fixed-price deal. Given that Boeing has had to absorb more than $2 billion in cost overruns while developing the Air Force’s new refueling tanker, it is no wonder that the company is trying to avoid the same situation with refitting the two commercial 747s for presidential use.

The current Air Force One planes began service in 1990 under former President George H.W. Bush and they are reaching near the end of their planned life.

By Debbie Gregory.

In 2016, the U.S. Army awarded Heckler & Koch a $44.5 million contract to build a variant of the G28 7.63mm as their new Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS). Now the service branch may actually be able to pay for it via a fiscal 2019 budget request.

The contract will buy up to 3,643 rifles.

Army leaders are also looking to upgrade infantry squads with a new 7.62mm Squad Designated Marksman rifle this year.

Last year, Gen. Mark Milley testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the service’s current M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round will not defeat enemy body armor plates used by countries such as Russia and China.

For several years the Army has had to choose to prioritize funding to meet its force readiness requirements over funding the development of capabilities needed to build a future force. The situation will only get worse from here, said Lt. Gen. John Murray at a February 7th  Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee hearing on Army modernization.

“The Army has reached an inflection point,” Murray, Army G-8, told senators at the hearing. “It is the same thing I told you last year, we can no longer afford to choose between near-term readiness and modernization. Specific to modernization, we can no longer afford to choose between incremental upgrades of existing equipment and developing new capabilities, we have definitely reached a point where we’ve got to be able to do both.”

Gen. Murray also said that the Army has accelerated efforts to start fielding the new 7.62mm SDM to squads this year.

By Debbie Gregory.

The first time a U.S. president flew in an airplane, it was a Boeing airplane. That was in January, 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt flew to Casablanca aboard a Boeing model 314 Clipper.

Boeing airplanes have transported U.S. presidents, from Roosevelt to Trump, around the world. The U.S. Air Force wants to continue the Boeing tradition with the 747-8, which will replace the two 747-200s that serve as the presidential Air Force One fleet. That is, if they can negotiate a deal with Boeing.

President Trump and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg are working together to try to re-kick-start the stalled multibillion-dollar deal for two new Air Force One airplanes which will fly future presidents for decades to come.

The two planes were initially built for a Russian airline that has since gone bankrupt. Air Force leaders and Boeing have been negotiating the terms of the modifications since last summer, but keep getting stuck at the type of contract that will be signed.

The Air Force wants to sign a fixed-price deal that would require Boeing to buy the planes at an agreed price. Boeing would then be responsible to absorb any cost overruns.

The project made headlines when before taking office, then president-elect Trump attacked Boeing for the $4 billion price tag, calling the costs “out of control” and demanded the order be canceled.  But Trump changed his tune last year after visiting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner factory in South Carolina. His parting words were: “God bless Boeing.”

As one of the largest defense contractors in the world, Boeing does a lot of business with the U.S. government.

The newer airplanes are larger than the current 747-200 airliners that were put into presidential service in the early 1990s.

The new planes will need to be modified with conference rooms, a presidential office, and secure military communications

By Debbie Gregory.

The Army has awarded a $10 million contract for the development of a device that can quickly diagnose a brain injury and determine how severe it is.

Neural Analytics will partner with the DoD to develop its Lucid System within the next 18 months to measure and monitor physiological parameters relevant to moderate-severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  The portable device will be used on the battlefield to assess combat-related traumatic brain injury at the point of injury.

“We are honored to continue our partnership with the U.S. Army to further advance point of care injury management of brain health,” said Leo Petrossian, chief executive officer of Neural Analytics.

The system is expected to operate as a single, portable unit with minimal required training and maintenance, so that any troop member could use the device with about a half hour of training.

The goal is to have the software do an assessment of a person’s brain condition and tell the user how severe it is so they can secure the appropriate treatment. Brain injury can be hard to diagnose immediately, and it’s best to get treatment sooner rather than later.

Since 2000, more than 370,000 service members have had a first-time diagnosis of TBI, according to data from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

According to a report by  advocacy group  Veterans Against Alzheimer’s, those who serve have a greater risk than civilians of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and TBI may be one of the factors that significantly increases the risk.

The estimated completion date for the work is March 2019.

“We believe our technology will be the first of its kind targeted for a military environment,” said Petrossian. “This work will also significantly impact civilian versions of the technology allowing for further advancement of our Lucid System in the pre-hospital or EMS setting.”

Following completion of the point of injury brain health assessment device, Neural Analytics plans to continue to supply the system to the DoD and commercialize the technology into its civilian brain health platforms.

The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

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