HCC's Founder Andrew Nguyen transitioned off Active Duty in the Marine Corps in 2006. After furthering his education, he started a marketing and development firm specializing in custom software, websites, and mobile apps. He then recognized a direct correlation between military leadership and entrepreneurship. He started a nonprofit in 2011, named after the Marine Corps core values,“ Honor, Courage, and Commitment,”o encourage entrepreneurship (HCC).
HCC focuses on three core components: Education, Mentoring, and Community Service. HCC offers an Entrepreneurship Program for Veterans, an 8-week full-time program offered in cooperation with the SMU Cox School of Business and the Caruth Center on Entrepreneurship. Veteran participants connect with distinguished veteran entrepreneurs and high-level executives in both the for-profit and nonprofit industries as a way to develop the veterans' talents. Participants will learn varying methodologies of entrepreneurship, develop a network of peers, and exchange ideas with mentors and others who can help them make an impact in both the economy and their communities. Topics covered include business planning, public speaking and presentation skills, and finding capital.
The program features:
- Business Planning
- Distinguished Speakers
- Public Speaking and Presentation Skill-Building
- Peer Learning Group Sessions
- Company Tours
- Raising Capital
This competitive program will only accept up to 16 veterans this year (2 classes of 8). The ideal HCC applicant should have displayed a high level of integrity throughout their military career with limited blemishes on record. Blemishes are not a rule out, but your positives must overcompensate for any mistakes you may have made (and got caught for). A common trait in our accepted candidates are warriors who took the initiative and worked hard to move up quickly in rank. Any additional accomplishments while in your military career or possibly before you joined - i.e. awards, outside education, certifications, volunteering, business launches, community projects, etc. - are all critical aspects that our review board will consider and generally values greatly. We are looking for the most competitive, strategic, innovative, ambitious, humble, and most importantly - COMMITTED veteran.
HCC serves veterans from any service branch and time of service, including Guard and Reserve. It does not serve veterans with other than honorable or bad conduct discharges.
Veterans interested in applying for the fellows program can apply by completing the online application available on the HCC website. They will be asked to submit their DD 214, a letter of recommendation, resume, and a 500-word essay on their business idea and how they plan to make it a reality.
Once the application has been received, it will be evaluated against other applicants for the upcoming Fellows class. Our Board has a consistent review system for possible applicants. Applicants with the highest reviews will be asked to come in for a face-to-face business pitch with the selection board. These pitches will also be evaluated and the scores from the applications and the pitches are averaged together for a total combined score.
Once all evaluation has been completed, applicants with the highest scores will be selected for the upcoming Fellows class. There are generally no more than eight veterans per class, and two classes are offered per year.