Six years ago, Julian Montenegro came to the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida (SBDC at USF) with a clear business idea: buy heavy equipment in the United States to export to his native country of Colombia. He started as an industrial engineering graduate working on a master’s in engineering management at USF. But, instead of seeking a traditional career path, Montenegro followed his family’s entrepreneurial roots. As he transformed Heavy Auto Parts, Inc. from an idea into reality its exports didn’t only reach Colombia, but also unexpected markets, like Nigeria, Ghana and Russia. He continues his dream as Heavy Auto Parts’ growth has kept pace at an approximate 30 percent increase, each year, for the past three years.
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