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HCC Partners with Syracuse Unversity’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to Deliver NEW Entrepreneurship Program for Veterans — STRIVE




Following World War II, the U.S. saw a boom of businesses started by veterans. Today, the trend of veteran entrepreneurship continues as veterans are uniquely positioned to succeed in business ownership given their military discipline and experience. In an effort to nurture the business aspirations of veterans in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) partnered with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to develop and launch STRIVE- Startup Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship.
STRIVE leverages networks and education resources in local communities to support and advance veteran-owned businesses. The three-phase program for veterans with a budding business helps to identify, overcome and mitigate challenges for the new venture to pave the way for veteran business ownership success. STRIVE seeks to empower veterans, military members and their families to live the American dream by opening the door to economic opportunity for veterans, Guard members and reservists by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. HCC’s program will serve as a pilot with future cohorts offered at various other community colleges across the country.
“HCC has a long history of serving our community and its veterans. We are delighted to be the first community college partner of IVMF and for the opportunity to further enhance our programming for this important student population,” says HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater.
“Veterans demonstrate so many of the qualities of successful entrepreneurs– ambition, dedication, innovation and team-first perspective,” says Misty Stutsman, director of ARSENAL entrepreneurship and small business programs at the IVMF. “STRIVE is a great first step for veterans as they prepare to live the American Dream they fought to protect. We are honored to partner with HCC in launching this important program.”
The STRIVE program tests business viability through an eight-week residency that includes online instruction and once-a-week in-person meetings. Following the eight-week curriculum, participants have access to phase two support and mentoring, co-working space at HCC and ongoing workshops. The final phase includes resources for participants as their businesses grow. The first STRIVE cohort will commence in early August 2019 at HCC.
“Hillsborough Community College has over 2,000 veterans currently enrolled,” says Andy Gold, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Management at Hillsborough Community College. “We are excited and proud to offer this program and encourage our current student veterans as well as other local veterans to follow their dreams of business ownership.”
The IVMF’s entrepreneurship programs leverage the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management for veterans and transitioning service members. To date, IVMF has trained over 70,000 entrepreneurs.

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. Arsenal, IVMF’s entrepreneurship portfolio, includes eight national programs and three tailored information hubs designed to meet veteran entrepreneurs where they are in their business lifecycle. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit and follow the IVMF on social media @IVMFSyracuseU.

Hillsborough Community College serves over 48,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Tampa Bay. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit

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