Through his personal experiences building businesses, Dr. Gold came into education energized by the possibilities available to his students and certain that diversity is the key to a successful program. From the beginning, he was adamant not to include the word “entrepreneurship” in the title of his program so as not to limit the kinds of students interested in the coursework. “We knew that to truly have an innovative culture, we had to be able to attract students, faculty, and community members across different areas of interest,” he said. He understood entrepreneurship to be broad and wanted to ensure his students were invited in for their ideas and their passion, not an interest in building the next big business.
For Jason Hendricks, one of Dr. Gold’s students-turnedmentees, the HCC entrepreneurial program, tools, and mentorship helped him become the successful business person he is today. When he first met Dr. Gold, his entrepreneurial endeavors were big ideas to solve the challenges of those around him with no clear pathway to a full time career. Yet, after spending time in the program and building a long-term relationship with Dr. Gold, Hendricks was able to advance his ideas and build a thriving business today.
It’s through relationships like those with Hendricks and his other students that Dr. Gold witnessed the power of empathy. While he relayed countless stories of success, it was in his recollection of his failures that he grew closest to his students. By reminding them he was once, if not many times, in their shoes, working tirelessly to turn an idea into action, he was able to close any gap between them. In closing that gap, he’s built a sturdy foundation to introduce the tools and resources he provides throughout the program