Pitch for Peace Creation


On Tuesday, Oct. 25th from 6-8pm, VetImpact will host the inaugural “Pitch for Peace Creation” business at the Capitol Post, 625 N. Washington St, Suite 425, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Veteran Business Owners Pitch Ideas to Create Peace Through Entrepreneurship

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, veteran entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas for conducting business in post-conflict and emerging markets to a panel of judges hailing from the investing and policymaking arenas. The “Pitch for Peace Creation” business competition will be the inaugural event for VetImpact’s new Veterans Trade Initiative program.

VetImpact is a nonprofit consulting and advocacy firm that uniquely helps veteran entrepreneurs transform their ventures into profitable and sustainable international businesses.

The goal?
To create long-term economic growth in post-conflict and emerging economies.


“We see incredible opportunities to empower our veterans to create and grow profitable businesses within the societies, both home and abroad, in which they honorably served. Establishing and growing these businesses creates jobs for disenfranchised populations in areas of post-conflict and instability, planting seeds of hope and promise, and ultimately engendering sustainable peace and security,” said Nick Kesler, a Navy veteran who is VetImpact’s founder and president.

VetImpact’s Pitch for Peace Creation competition is a unique opportunity to explore how business and entrepreneurship can promote economic development and trade in post-conflict and emerging markets. The pitch night is open to veteran business owners seeking to source from or market to countries outside of the U.S., especially those businesses with ties to post-conflict countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and areas of instability within emerging economies to promote economic development and trade.

About the pitch night

Current and aspiring veteran entrepreneurs will be assisted in identifying uncertainties and risks associated with business development activities in their markets, while also providing a platform to share with investors and policymakers some of the novel business ideas veterans are pursuing in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Participants have an exclusive opportunity to gain both business and policy advice related to mitigating distinct risks associated with unstable economic, social, and political environments.

VetImpact will continue to work with all of the pitch participants related to questions posed by panel members and the audience. Ultimately we seek to broaden the conversation around entrepreneurial ecosystem growth in post-conflict and emerging markets by highlighting and supporting veteran entrepreneurs.

Pitch for Peace Creation competitors will include:

  1. itabo 

  2. Strategic Resilience Group 

  3. ASSETT, Inc.

Panel members will include:

  1. Steven Koltai - In his new book “Peace Through Entrepreneurship,” Steven outlines that joblessness is a root cause of unrest in many countries, and a major contributing factor to tensions that erupted into violence during the Arab Spring. Entrepreneurship, Steven argues, is an effective way to tackle joblessness, increase economic opportunity for disenfranchised and displaced populations, and ultimately provides long-term prospects for security and peace in the Middle East and other fragile regions around the world.

  2. David Hamon - David is an innovative and respected strategist and futurist with over 20 years of experience concentrating in international peace and security. He currently serves as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis and is a Senior Advisor to VetImpact.  

Veteran entrepreneurs are uniquely qualified to create and offer business solutions in post-conflict and unstable markets. They witnessed first-hand the effects of economic stagnation and joblessness and have a personal stake in ensuring their efforts to create stability succeed. Cultivated through an understanding of the environment and relationships built over multiple deployments to countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans have innovative ideas and business solutions that can provide the grassroots economic engine desperately needed to foster long-term economic development across the Middle East. They know how to improvise, adapt, and overcome, which are all key attributes necessary to become a successful entrepreneur.

VetImpact already works with and empowers veteran-owned companies like Combat Flip Flops, Rumi Spice, and Flying Scarfs that have successfully identified and harnessed ripe markets for development in post-conflict countries, disrupting conventional models of economic development and assistance. 

Ultimately, VetImpact seeks to magnify the impact of international business development in post-conflict and emerging economies. By helping veteran entrepreneurs target markets ripe for cultivation, they will increase the capability and capacity of local economies, drive down the risk of capital, encourage additional foreign direct investment, and ultimately foster economic growth where it is most desperately needed.


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