Founded in 2016, Operation Startup is an early stage business ideation lab serving early-stage entrepreneurs to develop viable, sustainable, and mission driven businesses. We are a partnership between Hillsborough Community College and Hillsborough County. We operate off of a framework comprised of four IDEA pillars: 1. Innovation, 2) Discovery, 3) Effectuation, and 4) Action. Our services are geared toward Veterans, social entrepreneurs, college students, and everyday entrepreneurs. We leverage our community resources to provide our members with top tier access to mentoring and advising, educational programs, co-working space, early stage business accelerator, workshops and events, funding, and myriad networking opportunities. These services help mitigate factors that contribute to business failure, while increasing the likelihood of successful startups.
Through strong collaborative partnerships with many local, regional, and national partners the Hillsborough Community College Operation Startup team has built a nationally recognized entrepreneurship program. Over the past four years we have identified significant synergy between civilian social entrepreneurs and military Veterans. As such, we have empowered Veterans - Vetrepreneurs, and social entrepreneurs to work together and transform our community one social business at a time.
BUILDING ON SUCCESS
By drawing upon our successes, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) work together to encourage entrepreneurship in our community through:
Comprehensive academic programs, community events, and grant-funded projects
Active collaboration with 100+ regional and national partners
National recognition and awards from premier entrepreneurship organizations
Unique and specialized programs for Veterans
Social enterprise focused
Hub for college student entrepreneurs
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
OPERATION STARTUP DATA
Over 45 businesses launched by HCC students, Vetrepreneurs, and Social Entrepreneurs
in seed capital secured , and $57,000 of capital invested in Operation Startup clients
More than 300 workshops and events serving over 3,000 participants
100 plus community partners, business mentors, advisors, and subject matter experts
** Must complete one of our college credit entrepreneurship certificates or degrees to qualify for the Everyday Entrepreneur $250,000 seed fund.
Recognized as a national leader in community college entrepreneurship education. Acknowledged by the Florida College System Chancellor as an example of innovative excellance
Over 2,700 Veterans , social entrepreneurs, college students, and community members served
Andy Gold, PhD
Andy is a long time social entrepreneur and more recently has also become a tenured Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship at Hillsborough Community College. Andy has focused his efforts on working with Veterans interested in self-employment, social entrepreneurs, at-risk populations, and advocating for financial literacy
Beth Kerly, MBA
Beth is a full-time tenured faculty member at Hillsborough Community College, where she focuses her academic efforts on entrepreneurship, marketing, and management. She is a strong advocate for vetrepreneurship, woman in business, or interested in business, and she is passionate about working with undeserved populations.