Business Plan Competition

Business Plan Competition

About the competition

HCC’s annual 2019 Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an opportunity for proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs to develop focused plans to start or grow their businesses.

The BPC will begin in February through May, with five free, two-hour training sessions. Two mentors will be provided to each team.

Applications are accepted January 1-30, 2019.

* All applicants MUST attend the one-day Financial workshop. 

* Proposed & startup entrepreneur applicants should take this quick online class (24 hours on-line over six-weeks).

Participants can look forward to the following:

  • Free training & mentoring.
  • Seed money will be awarded to top five teams. 

Last year $26,000 was awarded in cash to the top five teams, with $30,000 in in-kind prizes and $78,000 of support services! 
All teams will receive in-kind prizes and support services.

Who Should Apply

The competition is open to entrepreneurs pursuing proposed and startup businesses. It is also open to existing business owners planning their next level of growth.

  • Proposed Business – A business that is in the planning stage. Founder is planning to start the business within 12 months following the competition
  • Startup Business – Businesses that have been launched/opened, but are still in the process of proving the business model and management. A company is considered a startup until it demonstrates 6 consecutive months of positive cash flow & profitability.
  • Existing Business– An existing business can range from a small business to a large enterprise. In either case the initial business model has been proven and they are operating for the most part profitably with positive cash-flow. The primary focus of the company is growing the business profitably and adjusting the business model accordingly.
    • Entrants who own a business embarking upon a growth plan;
    • Entrants who own a business that needs a new course of action; or
    • Entrants whose employer needs a new business direction and/or new product line;
    • More details on existing businesses.


Entry Rules

  • Entrants are encouraged (but not required) to work in teams of two or more. A team can consist of from one to five persons who are actively involved in the business venture during planning, opening and implementation of the business plan/growth plan.
  • Proposed and Startup Entrepreneurs – Class & Workshop – Proposed and Startup team leaders are required to take a Class (see options below) and the 1-day Financial Workshop.
  • Existing Business Owners – Workshop – Existing Business Owners are required to take the 1-day Financial workshop only.
  • HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Alumni – No Prerequisites – The 1-day financial workshop is recommended, but optional.
  • More on the Class & Workshop:
    • Class: Proposed and Startup Team Entry Requirements– At least one member of each proposed or startup team should complete ONE of the following classes*: either
      • 1) Creating a Successful Business Plan (an abbreviated online continuing education class-takes 3 minutes to sign up, 24 hours of your online time over six weeks); or
      • 2) Small Business Management – BUSG 2309 (for credit); or
      • 3) Entrepreneurship & Economic Development – BUSG 1373 (for credit); prior to the competition. HCC students must be in good academic standing.
    • Financial Workshop – Required for Proposed, Startup and Existing Business Owners* – A one-day workshop. Multiple opportunities for this workshop will be offered December 13, January 15, January 26 and February 2. Note for HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Alumni, the Financial Workshop is NOT required; it is recommended, but optional.
    • Applicants may take the Financial Workshop on February 2 after the application period has closed on January 30 but before teams are selected and announced on February 15, provided they have registered for the workshop prior to application submission.
    • Some Proposed and Startup entrepreneurs may apply to take the class concurrently – during the competition – but each applicant will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on the past experience/resume of the applicants. Those wishing to apply in this manner should sign up and pay for the class, prior to submitting their BPC application.

*Note, Graduates of the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program are NOT required to take the prerequisite class options. Your completion of the 10,000 Small Businesses program is considered your prerequisite class.


A Word from Competition Leaders

Dr. Zachary Hodges, President, HCC Northwest is the Visionary Responsible for Launching & Overseeing the Annual Competition.

“Our competition gets better every year thanks to an extraordinary collaboration between accomplished business leaders and an entrepreneurial college. I personally want to thank visionary leaders Robert Westheimer, Jack Barry and Richard Tyler from Newspring for all their past service in the competition, as well as Sandra Louvier, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Also invaluable to the competition is the outstanding support by mentors, judges, sponsors, and staff.

I believe that Human Capital Development = Economic Development = Community Development. This practical working competition pairs experienced trainers and mentors with aspiring and existing entrepreneurs primed for success through HCC’s entrepreneurial programs.

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 competition training will be hosted in our Center for Entrepreneurship at HCC Alief Hayes. Our 2019 competition awards ceremony will be held in the grand ballroom of our newly opened West Houston Institute on the HCC Alief Hayes campus. Stay tuned as we continue our work to empower small businesses to create jobs and positively impact our community.”


Hear from Sandra Louvier

Director, Center for Entrepreneurship

  • 4-Minute Interview on The Topic TV – Host Todd Duplantis
  • Interview on Dialogue Houston TV Show about BPC With Last Year’s Competition Leader Jack Barry.
  • 2018 Winners!


2019 Competition Timeline

  • January 1, 2019– HCC Begins Accepting Applications
  • January 30, 2019 – Application Deadline (5:00 pm)
  • February 15, 2019 – Applicants Notified of Contestants Accepted Into Competition
  • February 26 – April 16 – Five Tuesday Evening Group Training Sessions and Contestant Mentoring – 2/26, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2 & 4/16.
  • May 8, 2019 – Submission Deadline for 2018 Business Plans
  • May 23, 2019 – Finalists present business plans to judges. See 2018 Judging Photos
  • May 29, 2019 – Winners announced and awards presented – 4pm-6pm, Grand Ballroom, West Houston Institute, 2811 Hayes Road at Westheimer. See Article & Photos from 2018 Awards Ceremony


Guest Speakers

Funding Panel – Bonus feature for this session is meeting people that can change your life! Hear from and network with financial resource partners from Houston’s entrepreneurial eco-system, including:

  • LiftFund – Richard Gianni – President, East Texas Region, President, Houston Market
  • Wallis State Bank – Nasr Khan – Executive Vice President, Chief Lending Officer, Wallis State Bank
  • Amegy Bank – Peter Ellen – Senior Vice President, Amegy Bank of Texas

Featured Presenters and Workshop Content Developers

David Regenbaum

  • Entrepreneur in Residence at the HCC NW Center for Entrepreneurship
  • President, HCC Foundation
  • Faculty & Mentor for 10,000 Small Businesses
  • Entrepreneurial Curriculum Developer & Advocate


David Regenbaum was Owner and Operator of Association Management, Inc. (AMI) from 1979-2010. AMI achieved remarkable growth and prestige under his leadership for over 36 years, resulting in AMI becoming the leading community association management firm in Texas, managing over 300 communities consisting of over 100,000 homes and commercial units. Many of his innovative management philosophies and practices have become industry standards. In 2010, he sold AMI to FirstService Residential Houston, the largest community association management company in America. Regenbaum then served as President of FirstService Residential Houston for the next four years, before “retiring.” Much to our benefit, David’s altruistic encore career is dedicated to empowering Houston’s startup and existing small business owners and to instilling entrepreneurial skills in the greater Houston area workforce through Houston Community College!


Rebecca Schultz

Rebecca Schultz has two decades of lending experience, with a focus on commercial lending and business banking. Schultz has dedicated a majority of her time assisting business owners with access to capital and business growth. As an experienced entrepreneur, Schultz owned two businesses for many years, a retail store and a full-service day spa. In 2014, both businesses were sold and Schultz returned to her passion, helping small business owners. As a commercial loan officer for TDECU, Schultz’s goal is to develop valuable relationships that support both the clients she serves and the community that depends on them. Schultz serves as a financial educator to the community focused on building better credit for entrepreneurs. As a certified credit counselor and financial analyst, she provides energetic and engaging seminars for individuals that are serious about securing their future and gaining access to capital.


“I have been on both sides of the table in business. Having been a banker for over 20 years dedicating my energy to helping consumers and business owners manage their assets to achieve financial goals. Like participants, I have also worked through the challenges of building, managing, and exiting my own small business ventures. I wanted to create a financial program that shared bits of wisdom entrepreneurs could use to cut through obstacles that minimize financial success. My goal is to provide valuable insight and training that will launch participants into a whole new realm of success quickly.” Rebecca Schultz