Definition of "start (something) off" in Essential American English Dictionary

start (something) off

phrasal verb with start us /stɑrt/ verb

B1 to begin by doing something, or to make something begin by doing something:

She started off her essay with a quote from the book.
I’d like to start off by thanking you all for coming.

(Definition of “start (something) off” from the Webster's Essential Mini Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)