Mission:  To Inspire, Educate, and Support Veteran Small Business Owners


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Creating Opportunities

Veteran small businesses make up approximately 9 percent of all American firms and employ 5.8 million Americans according to the SBA. It's our mission to create opportunities for these veteran small business owners through inspirational success stories, educational content, or awards that provide a boost of financial support to grow their business. 



Inspire a new generation of veteran business owners with compelling success stories. Sometimes, all it takes is a little encouragement.



Educate veteran business owners through free programs, tools and resources, videos, ebooks, articles and blog posts. Education is key.



Support exceptional veteran business owners with awards and promotion. We're giving small businesses access to monthly cash awards.

Veteran Small Business Award


Our commitment to creating more opportunities for Veteran-owned small businesses is central to providing an awards program for those extraordinary business owners. By partnering with JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Foundation is able to boost veteran small businesses in a big way. 

Veteran Small Business Award


Three awards will be given to winning applicants each month:

1st Place: $5,000

2nd Place: $3,000

3rd Place: $2,000


Veteran Small Business Award Eligibility


  • Applicant must be a veteran, reserve or active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces, OR a spouse of a military member or veteran
  • Applicant must be a U.S. person and at least 21 years old
  • Applicant's business must be a legal entity (sole proprietorship or legally incorporated LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp or formal partnership) under the laws of any U.S. jurisdiction or a legal 501(c)(3) nonprofit
  • Applicant must own at least 50 percent of the business


Veteran Small Business Award Selection Process


Applicants qualify and apply.

After applicants have been submitted for the month, the Foundation will choose 5-10 finalists. Based on five criteria below:

  1. Business idea
  2. Use of award funds and potential impact
  3. Product-market fit
  4. Team and company history
  5. Influence of the business on the military and veterans community

Finalist profiles are then posted on the Foundation website for public vote to determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards.  

Please see full award rules, terms, and conditions. 

Veteran Small Business Award Deadlines


Our award program runs monthly. Deadline is the last day of each month. The Foundation will select the 5-10 finalists. The finalists will be presented  on the Foundation website for a public vote mid-month. The winners will be announced a couple of days later.

April 2017 Award

We're now accepting submissions for the April 2017 Award. Deadline is March 31.


Learn More



How To Enter



Qualify for the award by downloading or viewing short, free educational materials of your choice. These materials are designed to improve your business and include educational ebooks, videos, and blog posts on topics relevant to you.

Click Here to Qualify >



Once you've qualified, an award application form will appear. Apply by writing a 300-word summary of your business and submitting a short video  about your product, company or telling us why you should win. 

Click Here to Apply >



Finalists will be chosen by the Foundation. Once we announce the finalists, your business will be presented to the public to vote. The business owners with most votes win.

Tell us your story for a chance to be awarded for up to $5,000

Enter for a Chance to Win up to $5,000!

What's the next step? Qualify by downloading our featured eBook and visiting our blog. 

Then tell us your story by writing a summary of your business and submitting a video.

Apply Now

The Foundation Board of Directors

Mark Rockefeller, CEO/Co-founder of StreetShares

Mark L. Rockefeller

Air Force Veteran. Founder/CEO of StreetShares, Inc. Former attorney, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Contributor at Forbes. "40 Under 40" Entrepreneur. "Best Investment" Award at Harvard Business School New Venture Competition. Council on Foreign Relations. Columbia Law.

Brandon Shelton

Brandon Shelton

Army Veteran. Founder & Managing Partner at Task Force X Capital (TFX),  an advisory and venture capital firm focused on developed Veteran-owned startups.  Formerly Corporate Strategy professional;  Wirtz, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan.  University of Richmond and Duke MBA.

Louis Tucker

Louis Tucker

Navy SEAL. Founder/CEO of Mission Sync LLC, a national security consulting firm specializing in the intelligence and special operations sectors. Executive Director, Foundation for Innovation and Discovery (FINND). Former Operations Officer (Intelligence Community). Dartmouth.

Rules, Terms, Conditions, and Frequently Asked Questions

[fa icon="plus-square"] Do I have to be a veteran? What are the business requirements?

You don't necessarily have to be a veteran. If you fall under any of the below, you are eligible to apply. 

  • Veteran of any of the United States Armed Forces
  • Reserve of any of the United States Armed Forces
  • Active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces
  • Spouse of a military member or veteran
What requirements must my business meet?
  • The owner must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old
  • Your business must be a legal entity as a sole proprietorship or legally incorporated LLC,
    S-Corp, or C-Corp (or formal partnership) under the laws of any U.S. jurisdiction
  • Your business must be at least 50 percent owned by the military applicant
[fa icon="plus-square"] When is the deadline to apply?

Our award program runs monthly. Deadline is the last day of each month. The Foundation will select the 5-10 finalists. The finalists will be presented on the Foundation website for a public vote mid-month. The winners will be announced a couple of days later.


[fa icon="plus-square"] How much is the award? When will it be given?

Three winners will earn an award each month. First place will receive $5,000. Second place will receive $3,000. Third place will receive $2,000.

Awards will take place on a repeating schedule, approximatley monthly. 

[fa icon="plus-square"] Who determines the winners and how are they selected?

Once all businesses have been submitted for the month, the Foundation will choose the finalists, which could be betweeen 5 to 10 businesses (depending on the number of applicants). Voting will be based on a weighted scale of five criteria:

  1. Your business idea
  2. What customer need are you filling (product-market fit)
  3. Your team and history
  4. How you plan to use the award and the potential impact
  5. The influence of your business on the military and veterans community 

The Foundation will announce the finalists on the Foundation Website and allow the public to vote for their favorite business. This gives each finalist the opportunity to share and to get as many votes as they can!

[fa icon="plus-square"] Contact Info, Award Rules, Terms, and Conditions

Contact us if you have any questions at

Award Rules, Terms, and Conditions


Binding Agreement: In order to enter the StreetShares Foundation (“Us”, “We”, “Foundation”) Veterans Small Business Award contest, Entrants (“You”, “Entrant”) must agree to the foregoing rules. Please read these rules carefully prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree to the terms that are set forth. You agree that by submitting an entry into the Veterans Small Business Awards contest you are agreeing to these rules. You also agree that you understand that you may not submit an entry to the contest and are not eligible to receive the prizes listed in these rules unless you agree to these rules. These rules form a binding legal agreement regarding the Veterans Small Business Awards between you and the Foundation.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The Veterans Small Business Awards are offered by the StreetShares Foundation, located at 1985 Isaac Newton Sq West, Suite 103, Reston, VA 20190. All terms are subject to change at our sole discretion.

Prize: The Foundation’s Veterans Small Business Awards are a periodic grant awarded to individual persons who have been chosen as winners of the contest and are comprised of a total pool of $10,000. Each periodic prize pool is broken down into First, Second, and Third place awards, as follows:

  • First Place: $5,000
  • Second Place: $3,000
  • Third Place: $2,000

Awards are offered on a monthly basis.

Eligibility and Entry Instructions: The Veterans Small Business Awards are open to US Persons who are at least 21 years of age. Contest entrants must be a veteran, reserve or active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces, a spouse of a military member, or the surviving spouse or child of a Military Member who died on active duty (i.e., a "Gold Star" family member). Military Member means a veteran, reserve or active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces. Military Member means a veteran, reserve or active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces. Entrants must also own at least 50% of the business entity under which Entrants apply. Business entities, as defined in these rules, are considered sole proprietorships, legally incorporated LLCs, S-Corps, or C-Corps (or formal partnerships) created under the laws of any U.S. jurisdiction. Entrants must engage with our small business educational content to be eligible. Content consists of downloading the materials such as the “Ultimate Guide For Veteran-Owned Small Businesses” and viewing one or more of a series of videos produced by us. An Entrant’s download and video view activity will be tracked to verify participation in accordance to these rules. Only one entry per entrant will be allowed on a monthly basis. Winners of any previous Foundation award are not allowed to re-enter the contest utilizing a business entity that was part of a prior StreetShares Foundation award.

Entrants will create a short video of 2 minutes or less in duration that introduces their business and/or product and pitches the Foundation as to why they should be selected for the award by discussing their business vision and goals, the impact and/or anticipated use of the prize if chosen as a winner and their connection to the military and veteran community. If the video is longer than 2 minutes, judges will only view and evaluate the applicant based on the first 2 minutes of the video. To be eligible, the entrant’s video must be submitted through the Foundation website. The Foundation will not accept submissions for the Veteran Small Business Awards sent to us via any means other than the StreetShares Foundation website. Submissions may be made monthly and the deadlines will be announced on the Foundation website at

Privacy Policy: The Foundation collects information that you provide to us as part of your engagement with our educational content and application for an Award. We collect information about your computer and your visits to our web site, such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit, page views, and other information. We use cookies on our web site as well as website analytics. This enables us to identify and track the web browser and load the pages according to a user's preferences for that particular site, including the personalization of content. Cookies and website analytics are also used to gather statistical data, such as which pages are visited, what is downloaded, domain name and country of origin, and the addresses of sites visited before and after coming to our site, as well as "click stream" activity (meaning, the paths taken by visitors to our site as they navigate from page to page) and transactional attributes in accordance with information voluntarily submit in the course of using our site. More importantly, using cookies also helps us protect the security of accounts. We collect personal information and the information users give us in order to apply for an award (such as name, email, company, company description, pitch, video, etc.). This data is also used individually to determine award finalists and winners, as well as used for analysis to ensure proper functioning of our site and to evaluate the effectiveness of our marketing efforts. In addition, we gather the names and email addresses or other contact information of anyone who contacts us with questions about our company or operations in order to serve the respective needs of these individuals and assist these individuals as appropriate.  We may use or share any or all of this information with our partners or with StreetShares, Inc. for permissible marketing, research, or educational purposes. You may opt out of having your information shared by contacting us in writing to request opt out. Please send your opt out request to StreetShares Foundation, 1985 Isaac Newton Square West, Suite 103, Reston, VA 20190. 

Judging Criteria: The pitch will be evaluated by a Foundation judge or judges across a number of criteria in order to identify each Award period’s Finalists. Criteria to be a Finalist will include: business idea/potential, potential impact/use of award funds, product-market fit, team, and impact of the business on the military and veteran community. Winners of the Veterans Small Business Awards are chosen from the Finalists from each Award period and are determined by public vote on the StreetShares Foundation website. The public will be able to view the Finalists’ submissions and choose who they want to win the Awards.

Voting: Only one vote is permitted per individual. Individuals must submit a valid email address in order to vote. The Foundation will monitor voting activity for suspicious behavior, use of bots, inelgible mass voting, submitting more than one vote per person, or similar behaviors. The Foundation reserves the right to exclude votes that it suspects violate the one-person-one-vote valid-e-mail rule. Votes will be counted at the sole discretion of Foundation staff. 

Tie-Breakers: In the event of a tie, the Foundation will review the submissions weighting the video most heavily on the impact and/or connection that the business will/may/have/has the potential to have on the military and veteran community.

Submissions: By submitting your “pitch” you warrant and represent that it: (a) is your original work, (b) does not infringe upon the copyrights patent, trademarks rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; (c) that you have obtained permission of from a person whose name, likeness or voice is used in the entry and (d) and that publication of the ideas contained in the entry via various media including web posting, will not infringe on the rights of any third party rights. entrant(s) will indemnify and hold harmless StreetShares Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, or any of our sponsors from any claims to the contrary.

Submission Content: By submitting your video application you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant to StreetShares, an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part), and distribute such user content for any purpose on or in connection with the website or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such user content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

StreetShares Foundation Website Content: all content on the website, including but not limited to designs, text, graphics, pictures, video, information, software, music, sound and other files, and their selection and arrangement, are the proprietary property of StreetShares Foundation with all rights reserved. No website content may be modified, copied, distributed, framed, reproduced, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted, transmitted, or sold in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission.

Publicity: By entering the contest, entrants agree to participate in any media or promotional activity as reasonably requested by the Foundation and agree and consent to use of their name and/or likeness by the Foundation. StreetShares Foundation will contact entrants in advance of any Foundation-sponsored media request for interviews.

Right to Cancel or Modify: StreetShares Foundation reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend this contest at any time in their sole discretion.

Limitation of Liability: Entrant agrees to hold harmless and releases StreetShares Foundation and its partners from any liability for any technical errors or other like issues that may interrupt or affect the ability of the Foundation to carry out the awards contest as planned.

Right to Substitute: StreetShares Foundation reserves the right to substitute any award under the StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Awards for another award of equal or greater value if, for any reason, the stated prizes are unavailable.

Governing Law: This contest and its official rules are governed by the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Entrants also waive all rights to jury trials and the parties agree that any dispute will be resolved through binding arbitration. The party initiating arbitration shall do so with the American Arbitration Association and the parties agree that the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia applies, without regard to conflict of law provisions.

General Release and Indemnification: All entrants to the Veterans Small Business Awards agree to release and hold harmless StreetShares Foundation and its partners from and against any and all claims associated with the contest. Entrants indemnify the Foundation at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the entrant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein. As an entrant to this contest, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Foundation from and against any and all claims, actions, suits or proceedings, as well as any and all losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or accruing from: (i) any material uploaded or otherwise provided by the entrant that infringes any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent or other intellectual property right of any person or defames any person or violates their rights of publicity or privacy; (ii) any misrepresentation made by entrant in connection with the contest; (iii) any non-compliance by entrant with these Rules; (iv) claims brought by persons or entities other than the parties to these rules arising from or related to the entrant's involvement with the contest; (v) acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in any contest-related activity or participation in the contest; (vi) any malfunction or other problem with the contest website in relation to the entry and participation in the contest by entrant; (vii) any error in the collection, processing, or retention of entry or voting information in relation to the entry and participation in the contest by entrant and in the voting process by consumers; or (viii) any typographical or other error in the printing, offering or announcement of any prize or winners in relation to the entry and participation in the contest by entrant.

Taxes: By accepting the award, winners agree that are solely responsible for any and all tax liability for which may be incurred under federal, state or local law and the StreetShares Foundation and/or any partners bear no responsibility to the winner regarding taxes.

General Provisions: All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. The Foundation reserves the right to disqualify any entrant from the contest if, in the Foundation’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the entrant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the contest by cheating (e.g. utilizing bots to vote for a winner), deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrants, the Foundation, the Foundation’s partners, or the Judges.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act: If you believe that any material on the Site infringes upon any copyright that you own or control, you may send a written notification of such infringement to our Designated Agent as set forth below:

Attention: Legal Department
StreetShares Foundation.
1985 Isaac Newton Square, West, Suite 103, Reston, VA 20190

Telephone: 1.800.560.1435 or 571.325.2966


To meet the notice requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), the notification must be a written communication that includes the following:

  • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed,
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site,
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material,
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted,
  • A statement that the complaining party has a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law, and
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.


[fa icon="plus-square"] How do I create a video to submit?

You must create an original video. You can create a video through your computer or phone. Please keep it under two minutes. You will be judged on your:

  1. Business idea
  2. Use of award funds and potential impact
  3. Product-market fit
  4. Team and company history
  5. Influence of the business on the military and veterans community

Upload your video to YouTube or another online video sharing service and share the url on the application form.