In the November 2017 Florida College System newsletter, Chancellor Pumariega acknowledged Operation Startup as an example of innovative excellence in Florida. In early 2018, Dr. Andy Gold, and Professor Beth Kerly were invited to attend the Chancellor's 2018 Best Practices in Innovation and Excellence Convening, and HCC received recognition for Operation Startup and its impact.
In the newsletter, Chancellor Pumariega wrote "As we close November, a month we celebrate gratitude and our veterans, I would like to thank our brave military servicemen and servicewomen who daily devote their lives to our freedoms and to the principles of the American Dream. Our veterans return home to reestablish their lives through continued education and work. In response, many of our colleges are answering the needs of their community through exemplary programs tailored to assist veterans who seek to further their education. For example, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) has emerged as a national leader in community college entrepreneurship education and has developed Operation Startup (OPSU), a program that provides veterans with access to mentoring, educational programs, early stage business accelerator and numerous networking opportunities."