Hillsborough Community College – Innovation Sandbox

Building new bridges of opportunity between HCC, students, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem
Hillsborough Community College – Innovation Sandbox

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Hillsborough Community College – Innovation Sandbox

4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd, 33614
Tampa, Florida
United States


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The entrepreneurship program at HCC is a broad, evidence led initiative that is designed to accomplish several key outcomes. First, to build new bridges of opportunity between HCC, it’s students, and the local, national, and global entrepreneurship ecosystem. In addition, the program offers an innovative, highly experiential academic certificate program designed to get students to go from an idea to business launch in 15 weeks, or realize that their idea lacks marketplace traction. Failing quickly, accelerates the learning process, and serves to preserve precious resources needed to successfully launch a business entity.

We have adopted the Lean Startup methodology that involves rapid learning through active scientific experimentation (hypothesis testing) of a business ideas. Our students spend a great deal of time in the field meeting with potential customers, competitors, suppliers etc. in order to validate or invalidate the core assumptions that startup entrepreneurial ventures all possess.

One final benefit if the program is to teach students an innovative framework for validating future ideas and projects, for students that track into a conventional 9-5 work environment, and can add value immediately by utilizing this method for rapid product development.

Engagement of the community is vital to this program.  Our community partners bring the element of the “real world” directly to the student.  Even more importantly, our partners are an inspiration to our students showing them what is possible and serving as mentors.

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