New Vets STRIVE Course Smash Hit.

 After 7 years of hosting an annual veterans entrepreneurship symposium, Dr. Andy Gold and his team took the next step. Forming a partnership with IVMF, Institute for Veterans and Military Families from Syracuse University, HCC, Hillsborough Community College Tampa used it lean, evidenced-based entrepreneurship skills to launch STRIVE -“Startup Training Resources to Inspire Veteran Entrepreneurship”. The five-week program teaches veterans and their spouses how to design, plan a model, and launch a new business through guest speakers, mentoring, and a “hybrid” course (half online Canvas course with half in-class instruction). This 7-year old method of planning a new business venture uses a target market to assist the entrepreneur solve a problem or validate a need. Each student has the opportunity to use legal, insurance, marketing, and eCommerce tutoring in their process of tweaking an idea as they test its viability. Compared to the old, obsolete traditional business plan, “lean” lowers the risk (no funding or employees until validated) and doubles the chance for success (by determining a market does or does not exist for the concept).

From the very start, IVMF has approached the challenges faced by veterans and their families through informed and strategic evaluation and analysis. A simple and profound idea — entrepreneur training boot camps for veterans — has been the catalyst for an entire series of highly effective and life-changing programs.These are programs that are driven by scientific research and designed to work through the help of generous donors. Whether it’s no-cost career training and professional certifications for a competitive edge in the job market, or choosing from an arsenal of programs designed to meet business owners where they are on their entrepreneurial journey to coordinating care and services for military families in local communities, the IVMF and STRIVE are committed to enhancing the lives of our nation’s military after they return home.

The STRIVE program is offered through a partnership between the IVMF and HCC to expand the reach of effective veterans small business training, condense an intense version of “lean”, and hopefully duplicate its own educational model in other rural and lesser known colleges. STRIVE is a 3-phase program that provides Veterans that have a nascent (budding) early stage business, or idea for a business with an opportunity to take action. By stress testing the business with a rigorous business modeling, design thinking, effectuation, and cohort-based curriculum, participants will develop their entrepreneurial competency and interact with an array of subject matter experts that help support aspiring entrepreneurs. This program will help to identify, overcome and mitigate trouble spots within the business model, leading to increased potential for success.

The course is designed to increase entrepreneurial competencies, while at the same time works through business modeling, lean start framework. Whether you enter the program with an idea for a business, or you are already in business, but at a budding stage of business enterprising journey you can expect to achieve the following objectives:

  • Assess and develop your personal entrepreneurial capacity.
  • Differentiate between entrepreneurial and managerial thinking.
  • Play with idea generation techniques to help you better create and shape ideas into bold opportunities.
  • Evaluate opportunities using a rigorous feasibility and experimentation processes.
  • Develop, define, and clearly communicate a business concept to determine its feasibility.
  • Gain confidence to use entrepreneurial thinking and action with future opportunities.
  • Identify myths associated with entrepreneurship.
  • Develop internal operational structure for your business.
  • Expand your network
  • Develop a cogent business pitch presentation

Throughout this course, veterans develop a mindset that enables them to build a toolkit to create and evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities, marshal resources, and form teams driven by creativity, leadership, and smart action. This course is a journey through the front-end of early stage entrepreneurial activity and an immersion experience for finding, creating, and advancing early stage opportunities. The next STRIVE cohort (class) will be in Tampa in HCC’s new InLab incubator on April 24th through June 6th 2020. Here is the contact website InLab is room 204 or 210, 2nd floor of the DSSC/Social Sciences building on HCC’s main Dale Mabry campus.


STRIVE is truly a wonderful, free opportunity for any Florida active duty or military veteran.   Photo to left Dr. Andy Gold, STRIVE creator and terrific teacher of entrepreneurs.  His team includes Professor Beth Kerly, Greta Kishbaugh, MBD & Clint Day, MBA.