Small Business News & Opportunities
Celebrating You, 2020 & the New Year! 

  • Featured News  
    • Celebrating You, 2020 & the New Year
    • 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition - Let's Make the Most of 2021 Together!   
  • Alumni Successes and Updates
    • HCC Business Plan Competition
      • Margo Baines Wins 1st Place & $7,500 in the Houston Area Urban League Pitch Competition
      • Aziz Hikem Breaks Ground on Hiketron Production Facility
      • More 2020 Awards for Women Alumni!
    • Thanks Again to our HCC Business Plan Competition Sponsors, Trainers, Judges and Advisors! 
  • Join Us in January for:
    • January 7-  2021 HCC Business Plan Competition Launch Party - Celebrate Application Period Opening!   Zoom in to Meet Past Winners & Grads, Leaders, Sponsors, Trainers & Advisors for all interested in Applying for the 2021 Competition. Join us to celebrate past successes and your future success! 
    • Creating a Successful Business Plan - Online Self Paced Class. Sign Up Now! Take it at Your Pace. 
    • Financial Webinars for Small Business Launch & Growth - Choose the day and time most convenient for you!
      • Thursday January 14 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm 
      • Saturday January 23 - 9:30 am -12:00 pm
      • Saturday January 30 - 9:30 am - 12:00 pm 
  • More News from the Glenda & David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship - HCC Northwest 
    • Junior Achievement Teams Place 2nd & 3rd in the HCC IDEAS Pitch Competition
    • Celebrating More Entrepreneurs - Our 2020 Alumni
    • Our Success is Your Success - 2020 Results
Alumni Success Stories
HCC Business Plan Competition
Margo Baines, Owner
Enrichly, Inc. 
Youth Enrichments, Inc.
Chicks With Class, LLC
Baines Wins 1st Place & $7,500 in HAUL Pitch Competition

Margo Graduated from two Signature Programs at HCC

I opened Chicks with Class in 2017 as a brick & mortar location to empower young girls. I entered the HCC Business Plan Competition in 2018 to evolve the concept further to include boys and more programming; and Youth Enrichments was born!  This led me to work on franchising and licensing my concept. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I moved up my timing to grow the virtual side of my market. I jumped at the chance to develop my plan and seek funding  through the August-September Cohort of the Small Business Success Series by HCC and through the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL); both of which offer great eco-system programs. This led me to the HAUL Pitch Competition on December 12 at their annual Small Business Exchange.  

With the knowledge I gained throughout the years from HCC and now from HAUL, I am a better-equipped entrepreneur. I am proud to win the pitch competition and $7,500 to expand my business!  Small business owners must pivot and respond to market challenges and continue to evolve their plans if they are to survive and succeed.  The Houston entrepreneurial eco-system provides amazing ongoing support to keep us on our toes!  I have a strong pitch now and will continue to evolve my plan and strategy for Enrichly in 2021.  Thank you HCC and thank you HAUL for your outstanding programs and support! 

Aziz Hikem, Owner
Hiketron Breaks Ground on 
New Production Facility

Honorable Mention Winner 
2018 HCC Business Plan Competition
Hiketron is a high-end, premiere homecare and personal care product manufacturer. We specialize in reimagining laundry detergents for the entire family - including pets! 

Mr. Hikem first came to HCC November 2017 to an Engineering Entrepreneurs workshop. He had an idea: to develop household cleaning products and a "laundry detergent hub" to revolutionize the way people do laundry. He went through our HCC business plan class, several workshops, won a prized slot in the 2018 competition and placed as a finalist!  He secured a loan from HCC Business Plan Competition sponsor Wallis Bank in September 2018 and proceeded to begin manufacturing, production and online sales of his new detergent. Since then, he has secured a patent for the Hiketron Detergent Hub and seven patents in all.  In addition to clean, green, concentrated detergents, Hiketron has also expanded their product lines to include shampoos, conditioners, skin care products and soap dispensers.

This latest expansion is self-funded.  Aziz broke ground in November 2020 on a new production facility in Sealy, Texas. The 12-acre site includes a 2,500 square foot (s.f.) existing building and 5,000 s.f. of new space for a fully automated production line to accommodate high demand for Hiketron products. "We will also launch private label brands for those who want to start a business similar to Hiketron and don't have the means to start. With this private label process, you can launch your own brand without massive investment and with low volumes."  

HCC and Wallis Bank congratulate Aziz and wish him the best as he moves toward the grand opening of his facility in Spring 2021!   
More HCC Business Plan Competition Alumni Recognition in 2020 - Congratulations to All of You!  
We don't always capture and sing praises of all of our alumni successes happening throughout the year, but here are some more to celebrate before we close out 2020!  Congratulations to the following HCC Business Plan Competition (BPC) Alumni for being recognized as follows: 

Houston Business Journal
2020 Women Who Mean Business Awards

Women to Watch Awards: 

Christina Meade, Nerdy Girl Success, Inc.., 2017 HCC BPC
Tiffany Williams, Twice Media Productions, 2016, HCC BPC

Professional Services Awards:

Landi Spearman, Organized SHIFT, 2015 HCC BPC 
Marylyn Harris, Women Veterans Business Center, 2010 HCC BPC

Christina MeadeTiffany WilliamsLandi SpearmanMarylyn Harris

Houston Business Journal 

40 Under 40 Award 

Megan Eddings, Accel Lifestyle, LLC
2018 HCC BPC

Deidre Mathis, Wanderstay Accommodations
2017 HCC BPC 

Houston Business Journal 
40 Under 40 Award 

BeyGOOD Foundation Partners with NAACP
Creates the Black Owned Small Business Impact Fund 
NAACP Grant Awarded from Beyonce - $10,000

Regional Hispanic Contractors Association

2020 Luna Award
Established AEC Firm of the Year

Helen Callier, Permit Us Now, 2016 HCC BPC

SBA Small Business Awards - Houston

Minority Small Business of the Year

Zawadi Bryant & Anastasia Gentles, 

Congratulations to these outstanding women! 

We'll close with a Regional Award! 

National Minority Supplier Development Council

Regional Supplier of the Year Award

Tiffany Williams
HCC BPC 2016

Way to Rock
2020 Ladies! 

 Thank you Again to our 2020
HCC Business Plan Competition Sponsors! 

Announcing 2021 Sponsors in the Spring! 
Featured News 
2021 HCC Business Plan Competition
 Season Opens

2021 HCC Business Plan Competition

Application Period Opens January 8

Prepare Now to Apply
The annual HCC Business Plan Competition is for Proposed, Startup and Existing Entrepreneurs. All accepted contestant teams get free training and advising late February through May to refine and polish their plans to start and/or grow their business.  The top five teams win prize money!  All graduating teams feel like winners because they all come out with the greatest value, a stronger written plan, slide deck and video to pursue their business goals and to seek funding.  

Are you ready to apply?  

Proposed and Startup* Entrepreneurs - Steps to Apply  

1) Complete One Prequalifying Class or Program and 
2) Attend the Financial Webinar/Workshop
3) Apply in January

Have you completed ONE of these Prequalifying Classes or Programs?
  • HCC Creating a Successful Business Plan Online Continuing Education Class - Still Available! - Quick Sign Up  It takes just three minutes to sign up and takes about 24 hours of your time! Scroll down for More and to Sign Up.
  • Small Business Success Series by HCC©  
  • Small Business Management - College Credit Class at HCC
  • Entrepreneurship and Economic Development - College Credit Class at HCC
  • Liftoff Houston Startup Competition
  • Houston Area Urban League Small Business University
  • University of Houston SURE Program
If you still need the class/program scroll down to sign up for the self-paced class.  
If you still need the financial workshop/webinar sign up for one of the January financial webinars. Then submit a strong application January 8-29. Have you completed the above already? Then take a sneak peak at Application questions and get started on your answers before the Application period opens! 

* You are considered to be a Startup Entrepreneur for the purposes of our competition if you had not yet achieved six continuous months of net profit prior to the pandemic.

Existing Entrepreneurs - Steps to Apply

1) Financial Webinar/Workshop - Sign Up Now for a January Virtual Webinar & attend it.
2) Apply

All Applicants Should Submit a Strong Application between January 8 - January 29

Ready to start working on your application?  Our Competition Website gives you a sneak peak at the application's business concept questions, if you'd like to start working up your answers!  

Featured January Events
2021 HCC Business Plan Competition - Launch Party - Reception, Showcase & Orientation
Join us on Zoom Thursday, January 7, 2021, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Who is invited?  

Proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for the 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition; competition leaders, trainers, sponsors, judges, advisors, community supporters and past HCC BPC winners, finalists and graduates!  
Come join us to mix, mingle and learn more from all parties involved!  Meet past competition graduates, winners, our ecosystem partners, and competition leaders, trainers and advisors signing on for the 2021 HCC BPC Advisor Cohort.  
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm - Reception & Showcase.
  • 6:00 - 7:00 pm - Orientation for interested competition applicants.
It's a celebration of all involved to showcase our past competition alumni and introduce all who make this outstanding competition possible. 

Welcome to those applying and to those considering applying for the 2021 HCC BPC during the January 8-29 Application period!  This optional but awesome gathering is a great way to start the year and connect with our competition and entrepreneurial community! 

Creating a Successful Business Plan Class
Online Continuing Education Class
Takes 15-24 hours of your time 
Self-Paced Class

Turn your business ideas into a solid plan for financing and long-term success. Committing your idea to paper in the form of a business plan not only increases your chances of obtaining financing, but also in keeping your business strategically focused. 

You will work through all the major components of writing a business plan and emerge with your first draft in hand. And most importantly, you will have completed the first-and most difficult-step on the path to small business success.

If you are a proposed or startup entrepreneur, this class prepares you
 to apply for the Spring 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition (BPC)!   

How it works: Complete 12 online lessons (each about 1.5 - 2 hours) with quizzes to advance to next lesson. At the end of the 12 lessons, take the multiple choice test to complete the class. (Hint - Save your quizzes; they prepare you very well for the final). The whole class takes about 15-24 hours of your time. 

Easy Enrollment - Takes just three minutes to register for the class!  

Choose Self-Paced Class if you are taking it to apply for the 2021 HCC BPC!
Self-Paced - Sign up any day any time!  Our Continuing Education department gives you three months from the date you sign up to finish the class. However, for those taking the class as a prerequisite to apply for the 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition ("Competition"), we recommend that you finish the class by the Competition's Application Deadline of January 29 or by no later than February 15.    

Click below for more info on each lesson and to sign up for the class!  
Financial Webinar for Small Business 
Launch and Growth
Choose One Date: 1/14, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm, 
1/23, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm or 1/30, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
For proposed, startup and existing business owners. A two-and-a-half hour webinar that sets you up for success. Know your numbers and plan right for 2021!
Thinking of applying for the 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition? This webinar prepares you to go for it! 

Featured Topics:
  • Understanding the Primary Purpose of your Business
  • How to Generate Revenue from your Business Idea
  • Understanding concepts such as Burn-rate, Breakeven, and Cash-Flow
  • Determining Cash Needs of Business
  • Financing Cash Needs
  • Financial Record Keeping
Funding Panel - Hear from, and ask questions of a panel of our financial resource partners from Houston's entrepreneurial eco-system.
Event Fee: Free to all entrepreneurs 
Choose One of the Following Financial Webinar Dates and Register Now: 

  More News From 

Junior Achievement High School Teams Place 2nd & 3rd in HCC IDEAS Pitch Competition 

Houston Community College hosted the bi-annual Student Ideas Pitch Competition virtually last month. This competition was designed for high school and college students to share their creative ideas and social innovations by pitching a product or service to an panel of expert judges from Rice University, University of St. Thomas, HCC and Impact Houston.  The judging criteria for the entries were social impact, economic impact, environmental impact, completeness of the pitch and originality.  We are proud to announce that out of the 15 finalists selected, 8 were startups founded under the JA Company program!  Congratulations to Simply Co. from Clements High School who won 3rd place and $250 for their food clip that is convenient and effective at preserving food/snacks (so they will not go stale) and Dulicious from Dulles High School who won 2nd place and $750 for their product Hexawrap - a sustainable resusable beeswax wrap that helps promote the eradication of plastic wraps and creates awareness about the declining bee population.  Best wishes to all the Junior Achievement high school teams as they move to launching their businesses in the Spring!
Celebrating Entrepreneurs - HCC Alumni 
Together we Weathered a Tough 2020!  

Let's Stick Together, Keep Pivoting and be Grateful
to be a part of the Houston Entrepreneurial Eco-System!  
We accomplished so much in 2020 even though it brought unprecedented challenges!  

Celebrating our entrepreneurs, eco-system partners, entrepreneurial leaders, champions and sister programs within HCC, Entrepreneurs in Residence, trainers, volunteer advisors, program sponsors and community supporters! 

We'll wrap up 2020 with a special nod and congratulations to the 2020 Alumni of our signature programs and to those that made our success possible!  

2020 HCC Business Plan Competition 
We pivoted big-time moving from onsite launch of of the competition in January and onsite training in February and early March to virtual training from late March through May, with virtual finalist presentations and our awards ceremony in June!  In spite of the pandemic, we had a 92% graduation rate.  We celebrate our 2020 winners and graduates!  Congratulations and deep thanks to all who contributed to our success!  


Thanks to our Trainers!


Thanks to our Lead Advisors and to All of our Advisors! 

Interested in Joining our 2021 Advisor Cohort?

Juan Zane 

Thank You All for your time and experience! 
 You are truly making a difference in the lives of these entrepreneurs!

Onward to 2021We look forward to opening our 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition season next week and look forward to more monumental accomplishments. Hope to see you on January 7 at our virtual 2021 Kick-off Reception and Showcase.  It's a celebration of past competition winners and alumni and a welcoming and orientation for any entrepreneurs interested in applying for the 2021 competition in January!  It's not required that applicants attend it to apply, but it sure gives you a great start!

Small Business Success Series by HCC©    

We converted our whole Small Business Success Series by HCC© program from onsite to virtual and graduated two cohorts. We now celebrate three complete cohorts and 90 cohort graduates!   
Cohort 2  - Small Business Success Series - August - September 2020


Thanks to our Facilitators!

David Regenbaum


Cohort 3 - Small Business Success Series - October - November 2020  

We thank our facilitators and guest speakers from the Houston entrepreneurial eco-system, including the Small Business AdministrationSCORE, various sources of funding, and legal, tax, insurance and cyber security experts.  Wells Fargo Bank
 participates throughout the five week cohort providing resources and panelists, while sponsoring funds to provide this tuition free program to the entrepreneurs accepted into our program!   

To all Small Business Success Series Graduates:  Your Completion of the Small Business Success Series also fulfills the program/class pre-requisite for applying
for the 2021 HCC Business Plan Competition in January!    


Onward to 2021We look forward to more in 2021 including a Small Business Success Series by HCC© cohort for veterans in April, with the application period for veterans opening in February. This cohort will be Stage II of a three-stage Veterans Entrepreneurship Program in collaboration with our Center for Entrepreneurship at HCC Southwest. Stage I of the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program includes webinars for improving entrepreneurs' digital skills; and these begin in January.  For more on the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program:  hccs.edu/vep

 Congratulations to our 2020 Alumni and 
Welcome to our Growing HCC Alumni Entrepreneur Community!

Our Success is Your Success!

Glenda & David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship

In all, 2020 has been an extraordinary year for our Center.  We thank Glenda and David Regenbaum for their generous $100,000 endowment and naming of our Center at HCC Northwest. Thank you David for dedicating your time and experience to help us develop and grow our programs.  

Thanks to Dr. Zachary Hodges, President, HCC Northwest for starting entrepreneurship at HCC and remaining one of our strongest leaders and ongoing champions!  Thanks to the HCC Northwest Leadership Team and all staff and faculty supporting our offerings and spreading an entrepreneurial mindset to and through our community. 
  • 2020 - Pre-Pandemic we delivered 9 onsite events for 500 attendees. Post pandemic, we delivered a total of 50 virtual events with 2,100 in attendance, for a total attendance of 2,600, including our signature programs and other small business events, such as our Digital Marketing Clinics with Beth Guide.
  • Past five years - In the past five years, our Glenda & David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship has delivered entrepreneurial training events attracting 10,000 attendees in collaboration with 30 strategic partners.
  • Star Staff - Special thanks to Sabiha Dholkawala and Flora Renteria who joined our team this year during the pandemic and hit the ground running!  You are entrepreneurial, open-minded and have an outstanding ability to pivot, develop and implement solutions and come to work ready to have fun, deliver results and shine!
Houston Community College was also named 2020 Entrepreneurial College of the Year thanks to so many amazing people and relationships. 

Congratulations to all within HCC who have worked tirelessly including Dr. Maya Durnovo, Chief Entrepreneurial Officer, Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, and to our sister programs:  Centers for Entrepreneurship at HCC Southeast & HCC Southwest; Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and the HCC Corporate College.  Thanks also to HCC Procurement, Communications, IT, Continuing Education, Student Services and the HCC Foundation.  For years, entrepreneurial and innovative thinking has been spreading throughout the HCC System in places like our West Houston Institute and across workforce and academic programs through our Centers of Excellence.  More is yet to come!  

2021 Together

We look forward to another challenging year in 2021 undoubtedly!  

However, with 2020 behind us, we realize we can make the most of 2021 thanks to:
  • great partners, sponsors & supporters in the Houston entrepreneurial eco-system;
  • strong internal leaders, faculty, staff and champions of entrepreneurship within HCC; 
  • our alumni entrepreneurs that forge ahead, pivot, prevail and pay it forward helping others; and   
  • the proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs pursuing our small business offerings to advance their plans and their ever-evolving entrepreneurial journeys! 
 Stay Safe and Healthy and Warm...and Ready!
About the Glenda & David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship - HCC Northwest

OUR MISSION:  To help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. We do this by offering workshops, seminars, summits, classes and competitive training and advising, while also providing practical knowledge, resources and connections.
Contact us at [email protected] or 713-718-6650

We are committed to furthering the cause of social justice in our community and beyond...

Houston Community College is committed to furthering the cause of social justice in our community and beyond. HCC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. I fully support that commitment and, as such, will work to maintain a positive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. In this course, we share in the creation and maintenance of a positive and safe learning environment. Part of this process includes acknowledging and embracing the differences among us in order to establish and reinforce that each one of us matters.  I appreciate your suggestions about how to best maintain this environment of respect. If you experience any type of discrimination, please contact me and/or the Office of Institutional Equity at 713-718-8271. 
From all of us to all of you In all our offerings! 
Sandra Louvier, Director
David Regenbaum, Entrepreneur in Residence
Flora Renteria, Reception Assistant
Sabiha, Dholkawala, Administrative Assistant