Military American Dream Blog

Holland & Knight LLP Gives Legal Advice and Confidence to Small Business Owner

Second Service Foundation appreciates our partners, donors, and sponsors in providing education, resources, and capital in inspiring, educating, and supporting our military-connected entrepreneurs. 

On March 9, Hannah Simms won the Second Service Foundation’s Military Entrepreneur Challenge, receiving the grand prize of $2,000 in start-up capital and $25,000 of in-kind legal services from Holland & Knight LLP. Hannah won for her small business, Rise Alone Therapy, a mental health practice for military members and their families that would require the legal brilliance of a healthcare firm. Unbeknownst to her, on March 1, Holland & Knight LLP had merged with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, becoming the largest healthcare law practice in America.

“Dan Sylvester and I set up a meeting after I won, and he said, ‘We’re just here for you. We’ll support you whatever you need to do,’” recalls Hannah. “We had this nice meeting. I introduced myself, I told them about Rise Alone Therapy, how we were doing state to state work, [explaining] just sort of where we were. It does feel uncomfortable sometimes because this isn’t traditional business stuff: this is healthcare. They were like, ‘Don’t you worry. You go and you grow. We’ve got your back. Whatever you need, you go do it, and we’ll tell you if it’s overkill. We’ll screen your website, we’ll screen your phone system, we’ll make sure you’re covered.’ So they did.”

With the support and knowledge from Holland & Knight, specifically its attorneys in its healthcare practice, Hannah is no longer unsure of the future of Rise Alone Therapy — she now has concrete plans for expansion. “We have a brand new tax ID number for each state now and a parent company that owns that, and then there’s subsidiaries in each state,” she explains. “And they make it seem so easy, right? They’re talking about this stuff like, ‘oh, it’s just paperwork. It’s no big deal. Don’t worry about the cost. Let us do it. We looked at your business, and we think this is overkill. We looked at the regulatory agencies. We know you’re not going to need this.’” 

Not only has business boomed in the six months since Hannah won the pitch competition, but her confidence has soared.  “[The] stuff that I worried about in March when I met you guys, I don’t even think about anymore,” Hannah laughs. Carefully and intentionally laying the foundation of Rise Alone Therapy before adding additional therapists to round out her team, she is more dedicated than ever to providing quality mental health care to service members and their families. 

“I would say the biggest thing I won from the Second Service Foundation was that support from [Holland & Knight LLP],” says Hannah.  

Thank you to our sponsors, donors, and partners for encouraging our vision to help military entrepreneurs from start up to the stars! We appreciate all of the support, contributions —financial or otherwise— and commitment to joining forces so veterans, military spouses, and Gold Star Families can be prepared and ready for their second service. 

Interested in becoming a sponsor? We would love to hear from you! Gifting services or providing financial funding set aside for a specific purpose, our sponsors are critical to our ability to support and professionally develop our military small business owners. We are grateful to our sponsors for their generosity and passion for empowering entrepreneurs in the military community. 

Interested in becoming a donor? We would love to hear from you! We deeply appreciate the financial support and trust that our donors have vested in us to steward funds wisely to benefit the mission to aid military small businesses.

Interested in becoming a partner? We would love to hear from you! With our esteemed partners, we come together to foster inspiration, provide small-business education, and give resources within the military community. You host, we’ll bring the beer! (Thanks to our sponsor, Samuel Adams through the Brewing the American Dream program!)

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