Six and Twenty Distillery founder David Raad recently received the Disabled American Veterans’ Arthur H. and Mary E. Wilson Top Venture Impacting Veterans Award as well as a $10,000 prize.
Raad was named the recipient following the nationwide Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program in March in Dallas, Texas.
“This award recognizes a disabled veteran who has taken on the challenge of starting his or her own business,” said DAV national commander Stephen “Butch” Whitehead. “We know employment is one of the most important factors in a veteran’s successful transition out of the military, and we are excited to help provide a resource for Mr. Raad, who is an inspiration for others pursuing their own entrepreneurial goals.”
Raad’s journey to the bootcamp started when the United States Small Business Administration directed him to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which helps veterans as business owners.
“These folks have really tailor-fit and very detailed programs you can participate in,” Raad said. “I participated in the Accelerate program at the University of Florida last October through November. It’s a weeklong course where they help you go through your business model and help you refine your going concerns. They help you look around corners and over the horizon. They [also] brought in professors if you had a specific question about banking, finance or social media. It was an amazing toolbox they exposed us to.”
At the end of the week, IMVF invited several participants, including Raad, to take part in the three-day Edge conference in Dallas. He also participated in the Accelerate challenge, where he sat with business coaches for two days and presented his business model.
“You have to talk about how to get through no-man’s land to get into expansion zone,” Raad said. “I was very fortunate to be selected to participate in it. I had completed it and won an award for that challenge.”
While Raad was participating in Accelerate, the national employment director for the DAV sat through the experience, and he earned the Arthur H. and Mary E. Wilson Top Venture Impacting Veterans Award.
For more information, visit dav.org.