About the competition

HCC’s annual 2022 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 in January. The BPC will begin in late February and run through early June, with six free, virtual, 1.5 hour training  sessions.

Two advisors will be provided to each accepted team. Applicants can apply as a team of from one to five persons.

Participants can look forward to the following:

  • Free training & one-on-one advising.
  • Seed money will be awarded to top five teams. 

Last year, $26,000 was awarded in seed money to the top five teams, with $43,700 in in-kind prizes and $20,300 of discounted support services!  All teams will receive in-kind prizes and support services.


Preparing to Apply - 2022 HCC Business Plan Competition 

  • Proposed & Startup* Entrepreneurs - 3 Steps:
    • 1) Pre-requisite Financial Webinar, 2) Pre-requisite Class/Program, 3) Apply
  • Existing Entrepreneurs - Just 2 Steps:
    • 1) Pre-requisite Financial Webinar and 2) Apply

Proposed - A business that is in the planning stages or has opened but has not yet produced revenue. Founder is planning to start the business within 12 months following the competition.

Startup - A startup is considered any business that is producing revenue but has not yet achieved six continuous months of net profit prior to or during the pandemic. Businesses that have been launched/opened, but are still in the process of proving the business model and management. 

Existing - An existing business can range from a small business to a large enterprise. In either case, the initial business model has been proven and, prior to or during the pandemic, the business has proven it can operate profitably with a positive cash flow for six continuous months, within the past three years (2019 – 2021). The primary focus of the company is continued repositioning to adjust to the pandemic, adjusting the business model accordingly to get back on track to growing the business profitably.

Proposed and Startup Entrepreneurs - You may have already taken the required pre-requisite financial workshop and pre-requisite class/program. Details are below, but, if you have not, you can still sign up for the required pre-requisite financial workshop and pre-requisite class/program from now until 2:00pm CST on Friday, January 28, 2022 and you must submit your completed HCC Business Plan Competition Application by 2:00pm CST on Friday, January 28, 2022.

Existing Entrepreneurs - Take Just the Pre-requisite Financial Workshop - You can still sign up for the required Pre-requisite Financial Workshop (no class required) from now through the HCC Business Plan Competition Application Deadline by 2:00pm CST on Friday, January 28, 2022 (Financial Pre-requisite Workshop are on 1/13/22, 1/22/22 and 1/29/22). Details below.

For Proposed, Startup & Existing Companies - Take Pre-requisite Financial Workshop:

  • Required for Proposed, Startup AND Existing Business Owners: 

For Proposed & Startup Companies - Take Required Pre-Requisite Class/Program:

Pre-Requisite Class or Program: Proposed and Startup Team Entry Requirements - The Team Leader of each proposed or startup business applicant team should complete ONE of the following classes at HCC or ONE of the following HCC programs or partner programs:  

Have you completed one of these Prequalifying Classes or Programs?

  • 1) 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.
  • 2)  Small Business Management - BUSG 2309  (for college credit) 
  • 3)  Entrepreneurship & Economic Development - BUSG 1307  (for college credit); prior to the competition;
  • 4) Small Business Success Series by HCC
  • 5) Liftoff Houston Startup Competition
  • 6) Houston Area Urban League Small Business University (HAUL SBU)
  • 7) University of Houston SURE program

If you have already completed one of the above, just sign up for and attend a pre-requisite financial workshop in January and submit a strong Application before the competition's January 28, 2022 Application Deadline.

If not, Proposed and Startup Entrepreneurs can still take the following SELF-PACED on line class and finish it by February 14Creating a Successful Business Plan – SIGN UP NOW or before you submit your application

Competition Timeline

  • Apply - January 7 - January 28, 2022
  • Teams Announced - February 18, 2022
  • Training - Six free, virtual, 1.5 - hour sessions on ZOOM:
    • Tuesday Evenings 6:30-8:00pm - Subsequent training sessions: 
      • Feb 22 - Session 1 - Roles & Responsibilities
      • Mar 08 - Session 2 - Leadership
      • Mar 22 - Session 3 - Sales & Marketing
      • Apr 05 - Session 4 - Financials
      • Apr 19 - Session 5 - Written Plan
      • May 10 - Session 6 - Pitching & Slide Presentation
    • Note one team member from each competing team must be present at all six virtual training sessions!
  • Plan Submission Deadline - May 9, 2022
  • Slide Presentation & Video Submission Deadline - May 16, 2022
  • Finalists Present to Judges - June 2, 2022
  • Competition Awards Ceremony and Graduation – June 9, 2022 – HCC Alief Hayes, West Houston Institute, Grand Ballroom - Prize Money Awarded! - All Graduating Teams receive in-kind prizes*.

*In order to receive in-kind prizes, all graduates must have one team member present at all training sessions and meet submission deadlines for plans, slide deck and one-minute video. 

Next Step:  APPLY 

If you have already completed the above mentioned webinar, and (if required) the class; fill out the application.  If you still need to take the webinar and/or the CASBP class that is still available, register for it/them prior to submitting the application. 

Submit your application January 7 - January 28, 2022 2:00 pm CST as follows:  

  • Read the Contestant Requirements and Competition Rules - You must commit to this in the application.
  • Get your Resumes ready for each team member before you submit your application – 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.  You cannot advance in the application past a certain point, until you attach a resume, so we recommend you have them ready when you start.
  • Tips for a Strong BPC Application – You can start your application and save it before submitting it. Once you click SUBMIT it, you can no longer make changes. Note: there are important BUSINESS CONCEPT QUESTIONS in the application. We recommend you get started on your answers to the business concept questions in 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. Here are the BUSINESS CONCEPT QUESTIONS you can prepare for before you fill out the online application form: ProposedStartup and Existing
  • Video - Totally Optional!  Not Required!  If you'd like to submit a brief video, please do, but it is okay not to do so.   
  • 2022 Application Deadline – January 28, 2022 2:00 pm noon CST.  We recommend you start your application early, to ensure you meet the deadline. We encourage you to submit it early.  We will be choosing 25 teams for the 2022 competition as we review completed applications up to and after the application deadline, until all teams have been notified by February 18, 2022.

  • Submit your application January 7 - January 28, 2022 2:00 pm. Team Leaders can begin your application by clicking the green Register button at the TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.  You can save the application in draft until you click Submit. Note, after you click submit, you will no longer be able to edit your application.  Deadline January 28, 2022, 2:00 pm CST. 

In-Kind Prizes Awarded to All Graduating teams!

The greatest prize is moving through the competition’s free advising & training, but you could win prize money too! Last year, $26,000 was awarded in seed money to the top five teams, with $43,700 in-kind prizes and $20,300 of discounted support services!  All teams will receive in-kind prizes and support services. 

For Questions email us at c4e@hccs.edu

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