Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
IVMF, Hillsborough Community College Develop New Program for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Earlier this semester, Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) expanded its portfolio of veteran transition programs with the launch of STRIVE-Startup Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship. Developed with insight from IVMF’s leading research and veteran entrepreneurship teams, the pilot STRIVE program launched at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in an effort to nurture the business aspirations of veterans in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. A second STRIVE program launches at Eastern Tennessee State University in Spring 2020.
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 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. Other community colleges across the country will offer future cohorts.
“Veterans demonstrate so many of the qualities of successful entrepreneurs—ambition, dedication, innovation and team-first perspective,” says Misty Stutsman, director of ARSENAL, IVMF’s entrepreneurship and small business portfolio. “STRIVE is a great first step for veterans as they prepare to live the American dream they fought to protect,” says Stutsman. “We are honored to partner with HCC in launching this important program.”
The STRIVE program was created using the framework of IVMF’s flagship Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program. While EBV is designed as a concentrated MBA-style entrepreneurship training program with online and intensive in-residence phases at one of its nine consortium schools, STRIVE offers veterans-focused business training close to home with the flexibility to manage their existing lives and businesses in their local community. The 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.
“Hillsborough Community College has more than 3,000 veterans currently enrolled,” says Andy Gold, Ph.D., assistant professor of entrepreneurship and 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.”
“HCC has a long history of serving our community and its veterans,” says HCC President Ken Atwater, Ph.D. “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.”
IVMF’s ARSENAL 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.