Center for Entrepreneurship - Southwest

Center for Entrepreneurship - Southwest

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Southwest College offers entrepreneurial workshops, training, and specialized entrepreneurial programs in collaboration with our HCC Centers of Excellence of Digital Information Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing. We offer one-on-one and group mentoring services to help develop a personalized pathway for entrepreneurship and innovation with our three student clubs: Innovation, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing.

Building Awareness &


Building Awareness &

Opportunity Workshops, Small Business Workshops, Business Summits, 21st Century Skills Trainings, Student Hackathons & Tech Faires to build innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

We build ChangeMakers for Houston

Office of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Inspiring Action!


Inspiring Action!

HCC PitchFest (formerly IDEAS@HCC) Competition, InnovateHER Competition, One-on-One Mentoring, Open Office hours, Access to Houston's Startup EcoSystem and Investors.

We Grow Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Ravi Brahmbhatt, Director


Workshops & Training

Current Semester Programs/Events:


Past Workshops and Training

  • HCC Innovation Lab Playlist
  • SW/Central Opportunity Workshops
  • SW/Central SCORE Workshops
  • Baylor University Training 
  • TYE Boot Camp
  • Preoccupied Workshops
  • BrandUrSelf Workshops 



Center for Excellence Collaborations & Events



Start-up Resources


Houston Startups Discussion - The historical organizing point for Houston Startup community. No other single resource will keep you as involved, or connect you with as many people, as this one will.

Startup Listing - A document in the Houston Startups Facebook Group. List your startup so we know that you're Hustling in Houston!

Startup Service Providers List - A list of companies who work with startups such as software dev shops, agencies, design firms, consulting services and more. A document in the Houston Startups Facebook Group, community members are encouraged to list their services.

Houston Digital Jobs - A sister group of the Houston Startups Discussion specifically meant as a jobs board. For both hiring and seeking!

Startup Digest Calendar - A summary calendar for many of the events in the community. You can also subscribe to get the digest over email. Linked from

Accelerate Houston Calendar - Another summary calendar for community events, with an active focus on helping organizers prevent cross-scheduling. Why two community calendars? Because competition benefits the consumer! Also be patient: on busy months it seems to take a while to load event details.


Major StartUP Monthly Events

Houston Demo Day - Every month, four Houston startups are given a platform to introduce themselves to the community, pitch before a panel of investors and mentors and get feedback. Hosted by START, normally the 4th Wednesday of the month. Exceptions do happen, so check the Meetup!

Lean Startup Circle - Meetup focused on Lean methodologies, with talks by founders, industry panels, "working meetups" and happy hours. Normally 3rd Thursdays of each month, but exceptions do happen, so check the Meetup!

Startup Grind - A moderated discussion series and intimate dinner with a Houston startup CEO, often centered on a particular topic. While some groups/events will focus specifically on one industry (i.e. medical, tech, energy), Startup Grind puts a lot of effort into remaining industry-agnostic.

Startup Happy Hour - With all of these working meetups, speaker series and events, sometimes its nice to just hang out and get to know one another more informally. Hosted monthly or semi-monthly as a very simple, but very valuable, mixer for the community. Normally the first Thursday of each month.

The Platformit Show/House - Platformit it runs two events: "The Platformit Show" and "The Platformit House" on alternating months. The "Show" is a webcast, sit-down interview with local entrepreneurs, and each with a theme. The "House" is a more party atmosphere, but also has a short spotlight of local companies. The Show has featured equal parts small business entrepreneurship and startup entrepreneurship. The House has so far leaned toward startups.

1 Million Cups - A weekly morning series of startups sharing their stories with each other. Rather than a showy, public pitch, 1 Million Cups is a place to lower your guard, share your story, and discuss the realities of startup life. A safe zone for entrepreneurs to be open among peers.

Houston Open Coffee Club - Monthly morning meetup focused on building a community of entrepreneurs, investors, and techies interested in supporting our local businesses and economy.


Major StartUP Annual Events

City of Houston Hackathon - Houston's annual civic hackathon. Play with the City's open datasets, solve real problems, win assorted prizes. Projects from previous years have gone on to be integrated into the City of Houston's website.

Startup Weekend - Form a team and build a business across a three-day span of time and compete for recognition and prizes. Sometimes a general event, sometimes organized around a theme (e.g. Healthcare, Ed-Tech).

3 Day Startup - Form a team around an idea and prototype it across a three-day span of time, then show it off! A few projects have even gotten seed funding straight out of a 3DS event. Many 3Day Startup events are hosted by UH, Rice, or both in cooperation.

Tech Street - A once (and future) innovation technology conference. Rather than have a hiatus for 2014, will be part of the Rice Alliance IT & Web Venture Forum. Returning in full form, November 2015.

MEST - Conference around innovation and trends in Medicine, Energy, Space and Technology. High representation from reasearch-heavy companies.

HATCH Pitch - Pitch competition with an integrated mentorship component. Occurs at SXSW interactive, but in 2013 had a special path to the main event for Houston companies via the HATCHou contest. Look for HATCHou to return in 2016.

Startup Softball - Semi-annual Houston entrepreneurs come together around beer, burgers, and baseball. Simple rules: Play a little softball, meet new friends, no assholes allowed. A free and family-friendly event.

Houston TechFest - Internet and Technology conference which is free and open to the public. Both Hardware and Software vendors show off their wares, as well as recruiters.


StartUP Coworking Spaces

STATION Houston -  Coworking, Offices & Events located on 1301 Fannin St. Suite 2440 Houston, TX 77002

START Houston (Moved to Station Houston) - Coworking, Offices & Events located in EaDo (East Downtown). Hosts Houston Demo Day and a large number of technology meetups. - 1121 Delano St, Houston, TX 77003

Level Office Houston - Office space and coworking right next to where all the light rail lines meet downtown. - 720 Rusk St, Houston, TX 77002

TMCx+ - Located alongside the TMCx accelerator program, TMCx+ (note the plus-sign) is office space tailored for growth-stage companies life science companies. Just to avoid confusion: while TMCx is a 6-month accelerator, TMCx+ is a year-round, continual office space offering. - Texas Medical Center John P. McGovern Campus -2450 Holcombe Blvd, Suite X Houston, TX 77021

The CANNON - Coworking, Offices & Events located on 1336 Brittmoore Rd Houston, TX 77043

WeWork Houston - Main ( 708 S Main St, Houston, TX 77002) and Galleria (2700 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056)


Accelerators & Incubators

TMCx - Texas Medical Center's Healthcare Accelerator. All new program and campus as of Oct 2014. Accepting applications for the 2016 class until November 15th!

SURGE Accelerator - SURGE focuses on accelerating Energy Software, leveraging Houston's position as the capital of that ecosystem. Since 2015, it also has an associated later-stage investment fund, SURGE Ventures. Located north of Montrose, SURGE also offers coworking and office space.

The SURGE Shack - 177 W. Gray St., Houston, TX 77019

RED Labs - University of Houston's Accelerator Physically housed at TMCx during the summer and cooperating with OwlSpark.

OwlSpark - Rice University's Accelerator Physically housed at TMCx during the summer cooperating with RED Labs.

Houston Technology Center (HTC) (Now HX)- Large Technology Incubator located at the north end of Midtown. Historical focus on hard science technologies, but now also has a quick-launch focused Accelerator-style program. Also has an incubation campus near Johnson Space Center.

Fruition Labs - Incubator and Lab space located just inside the South side of the Loop.

Enventure - Events, resources and curriculum for medical entrepreneurs, with a focus on researchers and students.

NextHIT - Seed Accelerator Program run by Houston Health Ventures (Fund).

Launch Effect - A live-in incubator for innovators with a focus on social entrepreneurship.


Hackerspaces & Makerspaces

HCC West Houston Institute - Coming Soon

HCC Advance Manufacturing Building

HCC Hayes Campus - Design Lab

TX/RX Labs - Houston's Largest Hackerspace, located in EaDo. Classes, workshops, and lots, and lots of tools. Hosts an Open House every Friday evening.

Houston Makerspace - Neighbors of TX/RX, with a different set of classes and workshops. Expanding soon to add private studios.

Techno Chaos - Hackerspace located in Sugar Land with lots of classes and programs for kids in addition to the usual facilities.

Proto Makerspace - Makerspace located in Spring, also has some classes geared towards kids.

Katy Makerspace - A Makerspace in Katy. Currently in the process of securing a permanent location.

CreatorSpace - Located in Clear Lake, recently took the big step of getting its own dedicated space.


Funding & Investment

Mercury Fund - An early-stage venture capital firm, with primary offices in Houston and partners who are very active in the community.

Houston Angel Network (HAN) - Houston's oldest Angel network, and one of the most active in the entire country.

Alliance of Texas Angel Networks (ATAN) - Non-profit which facilitates cooperation between Texas' various regional Angel Networks. Hosts an annual Texas Angels Day conference.

Texas HALO Fund - A sidecar fund for ATAN investments (including HAN).

Red House Associates - Red House is several things all at once, lying somewhere on the spectrum between incubator, accelerator, and investor network.

SURGE Ventures - SURGE began as an Energy Industry-focused Accelerator for technology companies, and in 2015 opened a longer-term/later-stage investment fund with the same focus.

The SURGE Shack

Rice Alliance Venture Capital Events - The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship annually hosts one of the world's premier business plan competitions. The Alliance additionally organizes several investment-centered events throughout the year, each with a specific industry focus.

Life Science Venture Forum (February) - Rice Business Plan Competition (April)

Energy & Clean Tech Venture Forum (September)

IT & Web Venture Forum (December)

NextGen Capital - Simultaneously a fund and a platform for companies to connect with institutional investors.

Polus Capital - A fund specializing in B2B companies, especially technology companies and tech-enabled healthcare companies.

Houston Ventures - An energy-focused VC fund focused on investments of at least $2 million.

Cougar Venture Fund - An early-stage fund which involves a course offered by the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business. Each year's MBA students analyze several potential companies and make recommendations to the fund's directors.

Houston Health Ventures - Healthcare-focused and operators of the aforementioned NextHIT accelerator. No relation to Houston Ventures.

Technology Cultivation Fund - A fund focused on addressing the gap in funding between seed-style investments of less than $200,000 and heavy VC investments of $1 million and above.

Shell Technology Ventures - Investment fund focused on upstream oil and gas sector, occasionally also downstream, renewable energy and by-product recycling technologies. Also check out this alternative website.

Chevron Technology Ventures - Invests in early-stage energy companies, including biofuels and emerging renewable technologies. See also the page for Chevron Venture Capital.

SeedInvest - Texas is moving fast on the road to enabling entrepreneurs under the new equity crowdfunding regulations, and that's at the center of what SeedInvest is doing. Not Houston-based, but Managing Director Marc Nathan has been a pivotal presence in the Houston startup scene for many years.

NSBRI: National Space Biomedical Research Institute - A non-profit which helps coordinate industry and government by offering grant funding to projects which tackle various challenges at the intersection of space and health.

This list is constantly being updated, for questions or suggestions, please email: Ravi Brahmbhatt,



Our Community, Our Money

The Entrepreneur In You

Our Community, Our Money (The Entrepreneur In You), is a show produced with the Entrepreneurial Initiatives department and HCC-TV. The show will focus on topics related to business and the community. The show will promote a variety of activities developed by the Entrepreneurial Initiatives Department, Centers of Excellence, students, partners, and business owners in our community.

The show will air on Mondays, Wednesdays, (6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.) and Saturdays (7 p.m.) and it is broadcast on AT&T U-verse Channel 99, Comcast Channel 19, TV Max Channel 97, Phonoscope Channel 77 and Cebridge Channel 20. HCCTV reaches more than 700,000 basic cable television subscribers daily in Houston’s city limits and beyond. This show will be an opportunity to drive more engagement to our programs and to highlight the success of our students, small business owners, and community.


Center for Entrepreneurship - Southwest Contact

Ravi Brahmbhatt, MBA

Director, Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Sign up to get event news from Southwest Center for Entrepreneurship directly in your inbox.

Ste. 228.2 1600 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489

We partner with the local and national community organizations to foster entrepreneurial activity in southwest college.

We host a citywide student competition, IDEAS pitch competition to help budding entrepreneurs validate their value proposition and earn cash awards to build their ideas of Social impact and innovation!

We host a citywide student hackathon, Inventathon@HCC, to build ideas and solutions for the world’s most pressing issues. It’s a 2-day event of hands-on creative problem solving and rapid prototyping for high school and college students!

We publish a bi-monthly blog/newsletter of past events, student success stories, entrepreneurial success stories, and upcoming evenings on this page.