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The PenFed Foundation Veteran
Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP)

Executive Summary

Background.

The mission of the PenFed Foundation is to provide Service Members, Veterans, their families, and their support networks with the skills and resources required to build a strong financial future. In fact, since its inception, the PenFed Foundation has been giving back to our community of heroes - providing more than $30 million of financial support to Veterans, active duty Service Members, their families, and their caregivers.

In the spirit of this mission, and as part of a new strategic focus, the PenFed Foundation, in cooperation with PenFed Credit Union, will leverage our collective capital and influential networks to help specially selected and qualified Veteran entrepreneurs succeed in business. These important new ventures will create meaningful jobs while strengthening our local economies and communities.

Concept.

Veterans, through their military training, tested leadership, varied professional skill-sets, and life experience, create a significant and sustainable competitive advantage in business. They are generally equipped as strong leaders who are mission-driven, and who strive to move forward with limited resources.

At the same time, Entrepreneurs are determined innovators who solve problems and close critical gaps through their product and service offerings. Successful entrepreneurs possess the courage and intestinal fortitude to disrupt a key industry; the intelligence to scale their businesses accordingly; and a strong work ethic to push forward in difficult circumstances while significantly contributing to the economy in a myriad of important ways.

Fundamentally, achieving success in an entrepreneurial setting requires access to capital, as well as influential networks to propel growth.

The PenFed Foundation believes that investing both of these resources in Veteran Entrepreneurs will help enable Veterans to strengthen and support our local and national economies by creating jobs, and by building thriving enterprises that will ultimately hire additional Veterans down the road.

Goals.

In order to help Veteran Entrepreneurs achieve success, the primary objective of this nascent and evolving program is to invest critically required resources into their early stage businesses. VEIP achieves this through two separate and distinct means:

  1. Financial. Addressing the new business's financial needs through a direct capital investment.
    • In 2018, the PenFed Foundation intends to match up to $1,000,000 of contributions made to the Foundation in order to support the Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program.
    • More specifically, this year VEIP seeks to directly invest up to $500,000 in 3 to 5 selected businesses (up to $1M cumulatively; up to $2M including matching funds), as required, pursuant to an ownership stake in the company; and with the expressed goal of driving company growth and efficiency.
    • Depending on the new company's financial needs, there may be other, yet to be identified, financial investment vehicles that the PenFed Foundation will consider as a viable financial venture.
  2. Leveraging the PenFed Network. VEIP will connect fledgling Veteran business owners with financial and/or other important resources required for their companies to succeed. To accomplish this, the program will work with Veteran Entrepreneur selectees to provide professional help through leveraging the power of PenFed's collective partnering network of over 1,700 partners. Examples include:
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs, and other Federal, and local government agencies
    • Venture funds, private equity firms, or other financial vehicles as appropriate
    • o Professional consulting or other partners essential for strategic/business planning, HR expertise, marketing challenges, sales know-how, engineering proficiency, etc…
    • State and Federally funded non-profit Veteran assistance organizations
    • Other, yet to be identified partners as necessary

Framework.

Program design. VEIP is designed to be as simple and effective as possible. Optimal Veteran-owned and led investment target companies will be identified systematically and opportunistically through our partners and through our professional relationships. Leveraging our direct and indirect partners will allow the program to operate in a cost effective, lean manner.

Flexible iteration. The program is intended to evolve in a deliberate mode as investment opportunities are identified, as simple partnerships become advanced collaborations, and as an appropriately sophisticated support structure is constructed. Over time, this concept of flexible iteration will allow the program to maximize its contribution to, and investment in, Veteran businesses.

Customizable Investment Solutions. Since every Veteran Entrepreneur led company is different, and since the specific needs of each company will vary greatly, VEIP has been created as a uniquely positioned and prepared program offering customizable investment solutions. These distinct and tailored solutions will fill gaps and stem the financial and functional needs of the VEIP-Partner companies.

Perpetual Re-investment. PenFed Foundation investments in Veteran-owned Partner companies will be carefully crafted, allowing for any future profits accrued to be ultimately re-invested in additional Veteran-owned companies - once again through the PenFed Foundation. While this outcome may not always be the case, re-investment in additional Veterans down the road, or "perpetual re-investment," is a tangible and fundamental long-term goal of the program.

Soft Launch. VEIP will be soft-launched the week of 16 April 2018. As a soft-launch initiative, the program will evolve on an iterative basis. While the program is now in its infancy, we are taking decisive action to purposefully drive the program forward. In fact, we have identified the first investment business recipient, and a handful of our esteemed partners have generously committed several hundred thousand dollars to the program. Ultimately, the PenFed Foundation will match the amount raised.

Please contact Matt Collier for more information, matthew.collier@penfed.org.

Listen to PenFed Credit Union CEO James Schenck describe the VEIP program on Bloomberg News.

Read the press release.