Business Plan Competition Rules

Eligibility Rules

  1. The HCC Business Plan Competition is open to proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs who have taken one of the HCC prerequisite classes and to graduates of the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program:
  • An idea for a new business or for the expansion of a startup or an existing business in the Houston area. (You are encouraged to locate your business in Spring Branch although this is not required).

Applicant Requirements

  • Proposed & Startup Entrepreneurs – 3 Steps: Workshop, Class, Apply
  • Existing Entrepreneurs – 2 Steps: Workshop and Apply
  • 10,000 Small Business Alumni – 1 Step: Apply

*Startup=not yet achieved 6 straight mos net profit

  • Class – For proposed and startup applicants, one member of each team must complete either Small Business Management-BUSG 2309 (for college credit students), Entrepreneurship & Economic Development-BUSG 1307 (for college credit students), or the Creating a Successful Business Plan Class for continuing education students) either before the application period closes or, if in the Creating a Successful Business Plan class, then commit to finishing December class by January 18, or commit to finishing the January Class by February 22. To Register for December or January Class. Proposed and Startup entrepreneurs, you will indicate the class you have taken or are currently taking in the application, and HCC will check your status and verify you have completed it by the required completion date.
  • Financial Workshop for Small Business Launch & Growth – 1-Day –Understanding Cash Needs, Loan & Business Financials –HCC Ctr. For Entrepreneurship-9a-4:30p. Your Workshop Date Choices: – 10/5/19, 1/14/20, 1/25/20 or 2/1/20. BPC Applicants Sign up for the workshop prior to submitting BPC Application! Register for a Workshop For existing entrepreneurs, HCC will check your status and verify that you have registered for the workshop prior to submitting your application and HCC will also check to verify that you have attended the workshop.
  • Graduates of HCC’s Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program may also apply for the competition and are NOT required to take take the class, nor the financial workshop. HCC Goldman Sach 10,000 Sall Businesses BUSG 2309; nor BUSG 1307, nor the Creating a Successful Business Plan class. Your completion of the 10,000 Small Businesses program is considered your prerequisite class. Although the workshop is not required for 10ksb grads, it recommended as a great refresher! 2018 Application

Each contestant team must submit a fully completed application with their business idea within this time frame: January 1, 2020 through January 30, 2020. Upon notification of acceptance, each team will be paired with their advisors and can begin working at once.

HCC students applying must be in good academic standing. Students on academic probation are not eligible. Every team leader must either be an HCC Student who has taken one of the prerequisite classes or have graduated from the 10,000 Small Businesses program (For proposed and startup entrepreneurs, we encourage other team members to enroll in the prerequisite class, but it is not required). Teams can include from one to five persons, all of whom should be affiliated with the operation of the proposed or existing business. Teams cannot include outside business consultants or other individuals who are not involved in the actual on-going business as an employee. Teams may, however, consult with outside parties in research for their plan. Nevertheless, all plan content must be the original work of the contestant team. Owners, partners, etc. are considered employees if they perform a substantial role in the operation of the venture.



2. The business plan should be for a new business venture or for an existing business that is embarking on a growth plan or a needed new course of action.   The business must be located in the Houston area. If for a new business, the plan must address the entire business concept, including implementation. If for an existing business the plan must fully justify the change in direction and/or the planned growth.

The venture may show intentions to license technology from or to another company for manufacturing and/or distribution purposes. Revenue streams from the venture should not be based solely on deriving revenues from the licensing of its own technologies.

Proposals for the buy-out of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, franchise, real estate syndications, and other consulting projects and analyses are not eligible.


2019 Application Process

Prior to filling out the online application, proposed, startup and existing entrepreneurs should precede as follows:

  • Proposed & Startup* Entrepreneurs – 3 Steps: Workshop, Quick online class, Apply
  • Existing Entrepreneurs – 2 Steps: Workshop and Apply
  • 10,000 Small Business Alumni – 1 Step: Apply! No prerequisites!

* Note, you are considered a startup entrepreneur if your existing business has not yet achieved 6 straight months of net profit.

  • Class – Creating a Successful Business Plan – If you still need the Class, you currently have two options to take this quick online class that takes 24 hours of your time spread out over six weeks. – Option 1: Enroll in the class that starts November 13, 2019. Finish as early as December 20, 2019 or by final deadline of January 4, 2019. Option 2: Take the class that starts 12/12/18 and finish it by 1/18/19. Apply for the competition January 1 – 30. We will verify that proposed and start up entrepreneurs completed the class. (Click here to sign up for an upcoming class Cost $119)
  • Financial Workshop For Small Business Launch and Growth – Choose and sign up for the day that is best for you Click here to choose and sign up for one financial workshop – Dates: October 5,2019, January 14,2020, January 25,2020, or February 1,2020. Be sure to sign up for the financial workshop prior to submitting your BPC Application (January 1-30), and then attend the workshop on the date you registered for it. We will verify that you attended the workshop as part of our evaluation of the submitted applications.

In the application, college credit students provide Student Number; 10ksb grads, can provide COHORT Number instead of Student Number. Creating a Successful Business Plan Class students can input Confirmation Code instead of student number.


Submitting Your Application:

  • Resumes – Have electronic resumes for EACH team member ready to attach. Upload each resume in a pdf file or word.doc file when prompted in the online application.

01-10-19_Tips-for-a-Strong-BPC-Application– We recommend you get started on your answers to the on-line application by first typing them into a word.doc and saving it, so you can better write and prepare your answers before cutting and pasting into the on-line submission form, and so you will have a copy of your answers.

2020 Application Deadline – January 30, 2020, 5:00 pm. We also recommend you apply early, because we will be choosing the 25 teams for the 2019 competition throughout January up through and after the application deadline until all teams have been notified by February 15, 2019.

2020 Business Plan Submission Process

  • Written Plans can be uploaded from May 1 through May 6, 2020 until 5:00 pm for the 2020 Competition:

Plans will only be accepted from contestant teams who:

  • Were accepted into the 2020 HCC Business Plan Competition in February 2020
  • Attended all five required BPC Training Sessions from February 25-April 21, 2020


Apply! January 1- January 30, 2020

Click on the link below to fill out the Application form to enter the HCC Business Plan Competition. If you have not done so already, you should read the competition rules.

2020 Application Combined Shape Created with Sketch.