ROSWELL, Ga. — The first-ever Veteran Business Expo of Georgia is coming to Roswell.
On April 30, veterans who own businesses, entrepreneurs and corporate purchasing professionals will gather for a reverse trade show and matchmaking event.
The expo is the brainchild of the National Veteran Supplier Diversity Coalition, a nonprofit that supports veteran-owned businesses, in partnership with Roswell Inc, the city’s economic development arm.
“We are veteran entrepreneurs ourselves, and we have traveled all over the country to attend trade shows for veterans,” said NVSDC Director of Outreach Brent Moeller. “We were always curious why we were traveling to the other side of the country to attend these events, since Georgia is such a veteran-friendly and business-friendly state. Instead of complaining about it, we decided to step-up and fix the problem and put on a trade show ourselves.”
The expo will feature networking events for veteran business professionals as well as local, regional and national companies looking to work with veteran-owned businesses. There will be an exhibit hall for small-to-medium veteran-owned businesses to share their products and services with large corporations. Veterans can also learn about franchise opportunities.
“The best way we can help veteran entrepreneurs is to give them access to as many opportunities as possible,” Moeller said. “As veteran entrepreneurs ourselves, we saw first-hand the problems with traditional trade shows and decided to create a new model based directly around the needs of veteran entrepreneurs — something affordable and exclusively veteran-focused that would provide access to an expansive network of private companies and government purchasing managers who are passionate about using veteran suppliers.”
The expo will also feature one-on-one matchmaking, where veteran business owners can sit down with corporate buyers and government procurement officers to pitch their products and services. Appointments will be 15 minutes each in a round-robin style that will be set up before the expo.
“The one-on-one matchmaking is the most important part of this event,” Moeller said. “It is the vet’s opportunity to do their elevator-pitch about their company and hopefully walk away with a new client to grow their business.”
NVSDC chose Roswell to host the first expo because it has been based in the city for the past three years.
“We have had the opportunity to see first-hand what a great place Roswell is to do business, and now we want to share that with the veteran community across the state and the region,” Moeller said. “We are thrilled to be partners with Roswell Inc in hosting this event.”
Roswell Inc Executive Director Steve Stroud echoed the sentiment.
“We are thrilled to be bringing this new, innovative, and much-needed event to our community in order to serve and support veterans and veteran-owned businesses here in Roswell and within the region,” Stroud said. “We’ve been honored to work hand-in-hand with the NVSDC team and look forward to seeing the positive impact this event will have on fostering a vibrant business environment for our veterans.”
The Veteran Expo of Georgia’s title sponsor is Lockheed Martin with SAS Software as the partner sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.
Veteran registrations are accepted up until April 15.
For more information, sponsorships, to become an exhibitor or register as a veteran-owned business, visit nvsdc.org/trade-show.