USC Upstate’s GreenHouse to host entrepreneurship event for vets


Aspiring entrepreneurs in Spartanburg who have served in the U.S. military will receive some free help.

The University of South Carolina Upstate’s GreenHouse business incubator and the Spartanburg office of Upstate Warrior Solution have joined forces to host a seminar from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The seminar, entitled Operation Launch: Helping Veterans Start Businesses in Spartanburg, will be held at the GreenHouse located on the third floor of USC Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.

“At the Johnson College of Business and Economics and The GreenHouse, we are excited to help build a community of veteran entrepreneurs  in Spartanburg and to identify resources and tools to assist in helping them start businesses,” said Brian Brady, director of the GreenHouse and an instructor at The George. “With our partner, the Upstate Warrior Solution, we identified a need to help foster entrepreneurship to this underserved community. We are grateful to sponsors like the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group in helping to support our efforts.”

Retired U.S. Marine Corp. Lt. Col. Mike Zacchea, director of the University of Connecticut Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans With Disabilities, will serve as the keynote speaker.


As a Marine, Zacchea earned the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals, and a number of other unit and campaign citations.

Zacchea’s overseas deployments include Somalia for Operation Restore Hope and Haiti for Operation Support Democracy.

He served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, where he helped establish the first Iraqi army battalion trained by the U.S. military, and participated in Operation Phantom Fury and the second Battle of Fallujah.

Zacchea is the author of “The Ragged Edge: A U.S. Marine’s Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion” and the executive director of the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

John Fix, a retired U.S. Army sergeant major and director of Upstate Warrior Solution’s Spartanburg office said the seminar will be a veteran-specific information session.

He hopes to follow up the seminar with workshops that will help bring veteran-owned small businesses to Spartanburg.

Fix said there is still plenty of room for those who want to attend the seminar. He said the event is open to veterans of all ages.

“This is a fantastic partnership with USC Upstate,” he said. “Brian Brady [director of the GreenHouse] has been instrumental in helping us put this together along with our other partners.”

Upstate Warrior Solution, based in Greenville, is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on generating quality of life solutions for veterans, active duty, National Guard, and Reserve soldiers and their families in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties.

For information contact, Fix at 864-977-1288 or; or Brady at 864-503-7623, or



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