Validate, Test, Launch, Impact


The STRIVE program is an entrepreneurship training program offered through Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in partnership with Hillsborough Community College (HCC).  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. The program leads to post program support both locally as well as nationally through the IVMF network. If accepted, this program is completely free of charge. Participants that complete the program, and meet certain requirements will qualify to apply for funding through the HCC Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Seed Fund.


Take your emergent idea, or early stage business through a rigorous stress test to ensure viability! This program offered through a partnership between Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Hillsborough Community College (HCC) 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.


Open to all honorably discharged Veterans, spouses, active duty service members (with less than one year before discharge), and current or former members of the National Guard or Reserves – 50% or more of the business must be owned by a Veteran, active military service member, Reserve/Guard, or military spouse.  Graduates of other IVMF programs are eligible.


Phase 1:  Participants will go through a voluntary in-person orientation and one week mandatory online training. This online training will acclimate participants to business modeling, and will introduce the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and critical entrepreneurial competencies that will be covered in depth during the in-person residency.  

Phase 2:  The residency (in-person) training sessions are held on consecutive Saturday's,  and alternating Monday evenings (see schedule below). Access to online curriculum, assignments, and resources will be provided upon enrollment, and for 12 months after completion of the program.  Throughout the program, participants will be introduced to many subject matter experts. These individuals will be available to program participants during the 6-week training.  Toward the end of phase 2, participants will be assigned to a designated adviser/mentor. In addition, participants will have access to a network of local, regional, and national entrepreneurs, mentors, advisers, and subject matter experts.  Participants will also have access to free co-working space, SBDC/Score advisers, and access to nearly 30 ongoing workshops offered each month through Operation Startup @ Hillsborough Community College, powered by the InLab@HCC. Upon completion of Phase 2, participants that meet specific criteria (i.e. legal business entity, validated business model, website, functional financials, feasibility plan, and an explainer video) will qualify to apply for funding through the HCC Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Seed Fund.

Phase 3:  Involves resources to support the growth of your business.

Program Schedule
fall 2020

Thursday September 24, 2020    5:30pm - 7:00pm

Phase 1 Online - One Week
Friday September 25, 2020 through Friday October 2, 2020


Phase 2 In Person Residency Training
Session 1: Saturday October 3, 2020       8am - 3pm

Session 2: Monday October 5, 2020       5:30pm -9pm

Session 3: Saturday October 17, 2020     8am - 3pm

Session 4: Monday October 19, 2020     5:30pm - 9pm

Session 5: Saturday October 24, 2020     8am -3pm
Session 6: Saturday October 31, 2020     8am - 3pm

Session 7: Monday November 2, 2020    5:30pm -9pm


*Session 8: Saturday November 7, 2020 12-2pm

*Part of the 8th Annual HCC Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Sympsoium (VETS)






Our team is made up of Professors Beth Kerly, Clint Day, Greta Kishbaugh, and Dr. Andy Gold. These lead faculty have nearly a century of collective years of experience practicing entrepreneurshipNone of what we are able to do would be possible without an amazing support team comprised of Jennifer Harman that leads customer service, and Patrick Kelly who coordinates our intake and mentor/adviser referral services.

Professor Beth Kerly

Professor Clint Day

Professor Greta Kishbaugh

Dr. Andy Gold


Are you interested in supporting this program? Please reach out to Carolyn Fehrlin-Geck --

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HCC Veterans Entrepreneurship Program Partners with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)