inLab@HCC STRIVE Ribbon Cutting


The InLab@HCC hosted an amazing ribbon cutting ceremony (video highlights below) on September 12th recognizing a first of its kind partnership between Hillsborough Community College’s (HCC) Operation Startup and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ (IVMF). The Startup Training Resources to Inspire Veteran Entrepreneurship (STRIVE) program is a multi-phase entrepreneurship program for veterans, military members and their families with a golden opportunity for funding as well for participants that meet the requirements.  STRIVE will expand veteran entrepreneurship and grow IVMF’s number 1 nationally ranked veteran’s entrepreneurship program locally here at HCC!

 HCC’s Operation Startup’s Beth Kerley and Dr. Andy Gold hosted the event acknowledging with pointed gratitude everyone that helped create this day of celebration. Recognition covered everyone that pitched in from both higher learning institutions and the supportive Hillsborough County officials and South Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Speakers included HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater, Syracuse’s IVMF Chief Operating Officer Maureen Casey and South Tampa Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Kelly Flannery. Kelly spoke to the future by stating that while she is proud to help with this milestone ribbon cutting ceremony, she will be even more excited to help host ribbon cutting ceremonies for each future business that is created in the Tampa Bay area because of this amazing opportunity.

The STRIVE program offers Veterans, active duty, Reserve/Guard, and their spouses with an opportunity to take an early stage business, or business idea through a rigorous 6-week training program. Outstanding instruction led by Beth Kerly, Dr. Andy Gold, Greta Kishbaugh and Entrepreneurship Resources, Inc. Founder & CEO Clinton E. Day (Vietnam Veteran). During the period of August 30 – October 6, 2019 participants access course materials and complete assignments attending in-person training at the InLab@HCC and online through the learning management system called Canvas.

As a CPA, I volunteered my time for financial cash flow statement questions during the Monday night September 19th class.  I came away very impressed at the amount of information, support and speakers curated for each participant. Speakers included Zig Ziglar certified Dave Kauffman, entrepreneur Sharon Fekete and a full panel of heart centered Hillsborough County officials. Dave questioned how far everyone is willing to reach with our imagination pointing out every product once started as an idea. Sharon provided an authentic look into how important connecting with a community is. She credited her Dad for setting such a wonderful example in her life when he made sure to as a young girl introduce her to each person he worked with. The three Hillsborough County officials covered every aspect of business and support an entrepreneur could dream of. Business best practices are shared in abundance for each STRIVE participant.

Here are some highlights of both September 12th and 19th:

Our military and their families are some of the best prepared to take on the startup challenge! God bless the service of these participants and the future jobs they will create for our Tampa Bay community!!!

Apply Now for the 2020 Cohort; here:

by Clinton D. Swigart, CPA, MA
Entrepreneurship Resources, Inc.