Center for Entrepreneurship - West Houston   
The 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition
Let's Go - Apply!
Let's Go Video! - Alumni Succeses & News   
For Proposed, Startup and Existing Entrepreneurs
Get Ready, Get Set, Go!  
Prepare Now and Apply for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition!

Important Dates and Upcoming Opportunities - How to Apply in January 
  • Apply for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition Before 5:00 pm January 30
  • Proposed, Startup and Existing Entrepreneurs Can Apply for the Competition - Do You Already Qualify to Apply?  Scroll down for more.
  • Creating a Successful Business Plan - Online Class - For Some Proposed and Startup Applicants Who Still Need the Pre-Qualifying Class - Enrollment is Open for the Class that Started January 15 -  Enrollment closes January 28 at midnight! - S ign up for the  SELF-PACED class that started January 15. Commit to finishing it by no later than February 21 or sooner.
  • Financial Workshops for Small Business Launch & Growth - Choose One:
    • Saturday January 25 - West Loop Campus
    • Saturday February 1 - HCC Alief Hayes Campus
    • This workshop is stand alone excellent. It is also a prerequisite for proposed, startup and existing small business owners/teams applying for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition! Sign up for a workshop before you apply!
  • January 30 - Application Deadline - 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition Application Period Closes at 5:00 pm January 30
January News and Alumni Successes
  • Mix and Mingle BPC Reception and Showcase Features BPC Alumni, Sponsors, Leaders, Advisors, Trainers, Community Partners and many applying for the 2020 competition! BPC Alumni Who Spoke:
    • Derek Gilboe - Loximox
    • Richard Sebastian Alexander - Darbe
    • Raquel Freeman - Empower Youth Sports
    • Lyndsey Brantley - Camellia Alise
    • Raya Guruswamy - EnergyFundz
    • Helen Callier - Permit Us Now
  • Allegiance Bank Presents $4,000 Check to Sponsor the 2020 HCC BPC 
  • Alief Early College High School Alumni Gather for Inspiration and Entrepreneurship
  • First Financial Workshop for 2020 - Done and Fun!   
  • Alumni News
    • The Topic Podcast Featuring William McMordie, Texas Swim Academy & Competition Leaders-Want to Apply for the 2020 BPC? Watch this & go for it! 
    • Success Stories by HCC Business Plan Competition Alumni  - Video Shorts
      • Lyndsay Brantley - Camillia Alise
      • Helen Callier - Permit Us Now
      • Tiffany Williams - Twice Media Productions
      • Megan Eddings - Accel Lifestyle
    • More Alumni Successes
      • Aziz Hikem - Hiketron 
      • Saul Alan Barerra - Grass on the Go   
      • Hussain Ali - HD2Menus
2020 HCC Business Plan Competition - Prepare Now! 
About the HCC Business Plan Competition 

For Proposed, Startup* and Existing Entrepreneurs! 

HCC's annual 2020 Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an opportunity for proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs to develop focused plans to start or grow their businesses.

Applications are accepted January 1 - 30 at 5:00 pm. The BPC will begin in February and run through May, with five free, two-hour training sessions. Two advisors will be provided to each team.  Participants can look forward to the following: 
  • Free training and one-on-one advising
  • Seed money will be awarded to the top five teams. 

Participants can look forward to the following:
  • Free training & one-on-one advising.
  • Seed money will be awarded to top five teams.
In 2019, $26,000 was awarded in seed money to the top five teams, with $20,000 in in-kind prizes and $51,000 of discounted support services. All graduating teams will be awarded in-kind prizes! 
Preparing to Apply -  HCC Business Plan Competition

Proposed & Startup* Entrepreneurs - 3 Steps:
1) Workshop, 2) Class/Program-One of Seven Pre-Qualifying Classes or Programs listed below, 3) Apply.   You may already be qualified to apply! 
*Startup=not yet achieved six continuous months of net profit.

Existing Entrepreneur s - 2 Steps: 1) Workshop and 2) Apply
*Existing=have achieved 6 continuous months of net profit

For  Proposed & Startup* Companies
Take Required Class/Program and Financial Workshop
  • Class or Program:   Proposed and Startup Team Entry Requirements - At least one member of each proposed or startup team should complete ONE of the following classes at HCC or ONE of the following HCC programs or partner programs before the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition training sessions start:  
1) Creating a Successful Business Plan  (CASBP) (an abbreviated online HCC continuing education class-takes 3 minutes to sign up, 24 hours of your online time over six weeks). For applicants who have not completed one of the below classes or programs, scroll down to sign up for the SELF-PACED January CASBP class that started January 15. You must enroll in it before the class enrollment deadline of midnight January 28.  Finish it between now and February 21.    
2)  Small Business Management - BUSG 2309  (for credit); 
3)  Entrepreneurship & Economic Development - BUSG 1373  (for credit); prior to the competition;
4) Small Business Success Series by HCC 
5) Liftoff Houston Startup Competition
6) HAUL Small Business University
7) University of Houston SURE program

  For Proposed, Startup AND Existing Companies-Take Workshop
  • Financial Workshop - Required for Proposed, Startup and Existing Business Owners* -  A one-day workshop. 9:00 am-4:30 pm      
    • Previous Financial Workshop Dates at HCC that will satisfy this requirement: November 1, 2018, December 13, 2018, January 15, 2019, January 26, 2019, February 2, 2019 or October 5, 2019.
    • Workshop Dates in 2020: January 14, January 25 & February 1
C ompetition Timeline
  • Apply* - January 1- January 30, 2020
  • Accepted Teams Announced - February 21, 2020
  • Training** - Five 2-hour sessions February 25, March 3, March 24, April 7 & April 21, Tuesday Evenings 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Plan Submission Deadline - May 6, 2020
  • Finalists Present to Judges** - May 21, 2020
  • Prize Money! Awards Ceremony & Reception** - May 28 - Seed Money awarded to top five teams-all graduating teams receive in-kind prizes.
*Applicants can apply with teams of from one to five persons.
**Competition Training, Finals and the Awards Ceremony & Reception will be located at HCC Alief Hayes, 2811 Hayes Road, Houston, TX 77082. Training sessions and finals will be in the Center for Entrepreneurship, Main Building, 3rd. Floor, Room A319. The Awards Ceremony & Reception will be in the West Houston Institute building, fronting Westheimer in the Grand Ballroom.

More Important Dates and Upcoming Opportunities
Creating a Successful Business Plan (CASBP)
Quick 6 Week Online Class  
Take a 24-hour, Six-Week Online Continuing Education Class 
For Proposed and Startup Entrepreneurs Applying for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition, if you have not already completed a pre-qualifying class or program: 

Turn your business ideas into a solid plan for financing and long-term success. C ommitting your idea to paper in the form of a business plan not only increases your chances of obtain ing financing, but also in keeping your business strategically focused. With the support of your instructor and a network of like-minded students, you'll work through all of the major comp onents of writing a business plan and emerge with your first draft in hand. Most importantly, yo u will have completed the first--and most difficult--step on the path to small business success. 

The 2020 BPC Application period opens in January, so if the class is required for you, sign up for it prior to submitting your application! 
How to Sign Up
  • January Class - Sign up for the CASBP Class that started January 15 & commit to finishing February 21.  Take the self-paced class, because you can finish it sooner, or by February 21.  Note, the enrollment deadline for this class is 11:59 pm January 28; therefore, you cannot enroll in/sign up for this continuing education class after 11:59 pm on Tuesday January 28.
  • 12 lessons over six weeks or sooner - takes 24 hours of your time. We recommend you do two lessons per week or you can do them faster if you take the self-paced class. Just finish all 12 lessons and take the multiple choice final when you are done with the 12th lesson. Fee: $119.  No Textbook! All lessons are online and included in fee. Sign up online in less than three minutes!
  • To Enroll in the class: http://tinyurl.com/CASBPclass
  • For questions regarding enrolling in these online classes: call 713-718-5149 or email anna.go@hccs.edu
 For More & To Register Now - Choose the Self-Paced Class that Started January 15-You must enroll before Midnight January 28
Financing Workshop for Small Business Launch and Growth

Choose One Date & Location: 1/25 HCC W Loop or 2/1-HCC Alief Hayes

For proposed startup and existing business owners.   An all-day workshop that sets you up for success. Know your numbers and plan right for 2020!

Thinking of applying for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition? This workshop prepares you to go for it! 
Featured Topics
  • Understanding Cash Needs - Understanding how much money you need; Negotiating to save money - a framework; Collecting money and making a profit; and Forecasting for success.
  • Loans - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Understand how much you should borrow; What loan type is best for you; Loan sharks, and How to avoid predatory lenders.
  • Are You Doing a Good Job? -  The basics for measuring your hard work; Importance of understanding your financials; Building a real asset; and Connections. 
  • Financing Panel - Relationships for success. Representatives from Houston's financial entrepreneurial eco-system.
Free to HCC Faculty, Staff, Students and Veterans!  Also offered at a reduced cost of $25 to our external community, thanks to our sponsor Wells Fargo Bank. 

Choose One of the Following Workshop Dates and Register Now: 

January News
Mix & Mingle Reception Drew a Big Crowd as HCC Opens the Season for 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition Applicants  

Competition Alumni Share Success Stories.   Competition Leaders, Trainers, Advisors & Sponsors Met Entrepreneurs Applying by January 30 

Proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition gathered to celebrate the new year on Tuesday January 7 at our Center for Entrepreneurship at HCC Alief Hayes. 
Recent and past winners shared their stories and we welcomed recurring and new sponsors. We gave huge thanks to returning sponsors: LiftFund, Wallis Bank, Houston Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (HAGGL), ProVideo Systems and Permit Us Now.  Your support means the world to us and to our contestants!
HCC is also delighted to welcome new sponsors Ken & Tracy Janda and Allegiance Bank for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition! 

After the festivities, Sandra Louvier, Austin Tenette, Helen Callier, competition advisors and trainers and many of the competition alumni held an inspirational and informative briefing with those interested in applying for the 2020 competition.  

They also held a robust question and answer session. HCC thanks to our internal and external partners for spreading the word and referring entrepreneur applicants from within HCC and from across the greater Houston area! 

Our reception was awesome and it was optional. So, if you didn't attend and still want to apply; go for it!   2020 HCC Business Plan Competition Applications are rolling in and will continue to do so until the deadline, which is 5:00 pm on Thursday, January 30! 
Allegiance Bank Presents $4,000 to Sponsor  the  2020 HCC Business Plan Competition     

Gary Henderson, Sr. Vice President, Presents Check to Competition Leaders
HCC welcomes Allegiance Bank as a sponsor to the 2020 competition!  Allegiance Bank has been a supporter in years past through Newspring our competition's founding partner.  Steve Retzloff, CEO, Allegiance Bank has also served as a judge in the competition.  Gary Henderson served as an advisor in our 2019 competition, and his team made it to the finals!  Thanks to Allegiance Bank for your support in 2020! 
Alief Early College High School Alumni Return to Connect with Inspiration, Opportunity and Entrepreneurship 

Hosted by Dr. Rima Adil, 
Dean of Students, and 
Dr. Zachary Hodges, 
President, HCC Northwest
They came back to reconnect with each other, and with their high school instructors and HCC instructors; and to listen to each others' career paths since graduation. Dr. Zachary Hodges spent some time with them to check in on their dreams and goals. Sandra Louvier, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, also spoke with them. Many were interested in opening their own business; some soon, while others wanted to work for another small business owner to gain more experience first. Will any apply for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition?  We'll see!
The Topic - HCC TV PodCast - More Alumni Successes & How to Apply for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition (BPC) 

Featuring William McMordie; who at age 21 delivered the presentation that won 1st place for Texas Swim Academy in the 2015 HCC BPC!  
The podcast was broadcast live on January 14 and taped for posting and viewing here and throughout the January application season. 

Host, Todd Duplantis interviews William McMordie, who entered the competition with his parents Bruce and Kathleen. They competed as a three-person team and all agree that the competition training and advising helped them move William into a leadership role. He says he learned to pursue growth and pivot according to the market, taking reasonable risks that kept their business sound. "Our plan has been updated numerous times since then.  All leaders in the company live by our agreed upon strategic plan." At age 26, William is now vice president and his dad has retired. Both Bruce and William also served as advisors in the 2019 competition.  

Host Todd Duplantis chats with Sandra Louvier about more past BPC alumni he has had on the show and he has her lay out how to apply for this year's competition.  Austin Tenette, Entrepreneur in Residence, HCC Northeast also talks with Todd about competition training and advising since he serves as both a trainer and an advisor. Both Sandra and Austin tell new applicants how to take action to apply now for the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition.  Proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs can apply through 5:00 pm on January 30; but should start now to ensure they meet the competition prerequisites; or so they can take action to do so by the deadline.   

Click here to view podcast:   
Financing Workshop
on January 14 was Excellent!  

Still Need It?  There are Two Dates & Locations  Remaining to Choose From: 

Tuesday January 14 - HCC Southeast - Scroll Down for More Photos 

Success Stories by 
HCC  Business Plan Competition Alumni

Let's Hear from our Alumni as Others Prepare to Apply for the 2020 BPC

Lyndsey Brantley
Camellia Alise  

An all natural beauty and educational skin care company

We provide products that help to eliminate razor bumps, in-grown hair and stretch marks.    

We also offer certification and marketing classes for people who are interested in the spa and beauty industries.  

When I entered the HCC Business Plan Competition, we were in the startup phase. I had my products, but needed a plan to start the Camellia Alise Studio and educational services.  

We sell our products on Amazon.com and we opened our studio in August 2019.  Our recent crowdfunding campaign also allowed people to support the business and to get products as part of their gifts.

Hear From Lyndsey

Helen Callier, Owner 
Permit Us Now

A One-Stop Permit Expediting Company

We entered the competition to develop an idea to launch a permitting division as a separate entity to complement my existing company, Bradlink, LLC.   

The competition allowed me and my team to fully flesh out a robust and solid plan together.  I did not win prize money, but w e launched Permit Us Now just three months after the competition. We now have clients all over the state of Texas; large corporate clients, as well as small business owners. We have offices in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio and are adding employees. 

Helen also gives back through HCC.  She is a recurring cash sponsor of the HCC Business Plan Competition. Thank you Helen!   

Hear From Helen:   90-Second Video

Megan Eddings
Accel Lifestyle

Creator of Elevated Anti-Stink Gear

Accel Lifestyle is the first socially conscious fashionable fitness apparel brand for people who sweat...and want to smell fresh.  Eddings invented a bacteria-resistant, stink-free material that ensures consumers are less likely to throw away their clothing.    

Megan won first place in the 2018 HCC Business Plan Competition & Launched her company in August 2019.

"The HCC Business Plan Competition was awesome, teaching me everything from the ground up. Not only did it give me the tools and guidance to start my company, but my competition mentors were awesome!"

Hear From Megan:

Tiffany Williams, CEO
Twice Media Productions

"Twice Media Productions is a video production company based here in Houston. We offer everything from traditional video marketing campaigns to virtual reality and 360 video experiences, to mobile video training that allows clients to produce more professional high quality products."    

Tiffany won 3rd place in the 2016 HCC Business Plan Competition.

The HCC Business Plan Competition helped her differentiate, re-brand and expand her company in a market saturated with competitors.  Since the competition, Twice Media has continued to grow; just last year acquiring their largest contract to date with the City of Houston Health Department, and a strategic partnership with a large communication firm in the city. 

Tiffany also gives back through HCC, the Houston Area Urban League, HSMDC and other key small business ecosystem partners. She served as an advisor in the 2019 HCC Business Plan Competition and the team she advised won first place!  

Hear From Tiffany:

Reboot with HCC TV Host
Todd Duplantis 

In the January 2020 Podcast, Todd fondly mentions some past HCC Business Plan Competition Alumni guests he has interviewed.  Here they are again.  
Four minutes each:

About the HCC Center for Entrepreneurship - West Houston

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 c4e@hccs.edu or 713-718-6650