Spring Kick-Off News-Let’s Celebrate. Let’s Grow.



Spring Kick-Off News: Let’s Celebrate and Grow.

In this Edition:

  • Entrepreneur Success Stories. 
  • Position for 2017.
  • Spring Events So Far – Pursuing Success Together. 

Alumni Successes –  Feature Story

HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition   

Khurum Choudry – Legacy Rags – Approaching $10 Million

churum-choudry-and-shazia-choudry-bajwaKhurum Choudry and Shazia Choudry Bajwa- Legacy Rags, 2011, 3rd Place Winners– This team ultimately launched two businesses. “Legacy Rags is a textile recycling company. We buy clothes from charities in bulk and ship to other countries in Africa and South America. Shazia’s company, Vintage Veins buys specific articles of clothing from entities like my company and resells vintage clothing to retail stores. “I never would have dreamed back in 2011 when we entered the competition that I would be running a multi-million dollar business by 2013.  We are expanding internationally and approaching $10 million in sales in 2017.  The competition mentors and trainers changed our lives forever!  Our story is one of learning, taking action, taking risks, succeeding and failing and then succeeding again far beyond our original plan!”.   Khurum Choudry

More Alumni Successes Continued Below…

Position for Success in 2017


Free Mentoring & Training in Spring for Business and Growth Plans – Chance to Win Prize Money  

January 18 Deadline  

The Annual HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an opportunity for startup and existing entrepreneurs to develop focused plans to start or grow their businesses.

  • Free Training & Mentoring – The 2017 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition runs February through April 2017 and delivers five tuition-free, clinic-style, two-hour training sessions on five Tuesday evenings in February & March. The competition also provides two mentors to each accepted team offering one-on-one mentoring for four hours per month to guide and counsel teams to update plans to start or grow their businesses further.  All teams benefit from this priceless experience!

  • Startup or Existing Business Owners Can Apply – We encourage you to Apply Early!

  • Seed Money Awarded to Top Five Teams – $30,000 in Cash and In-Kind Prizes, Connections to Funders and Post Competition Assistance.

 For More on the BPC and To Apply 

Miss the deadline? Join the Pipeline Group – Take the Class, Sign up for Mentoring and Attend Workshops and Seminars to advance your plan.

Interested in Earning a College Credit Certificate, Degree or in taking some CE Classes?  (hover & click on the offerings that interest you)

Make Progress in 2017 and Prepare to Apply for the 2018 BPC

as a Startup or an Existing Company!


Creating a Successful Business Plan Class – Start Now or Sign Up Now for the Class That Starts in January

Your Chance to Sign Up for the Quickest Class

24 Hours Online Over 6 weeks

Take it Concurrently with the Competition

Online, 12-Lessons, Takes 24 hours Over 6 Weeks – Continuing Education Class

  • January Class – Sign Up Now-Start January 18 – Finish by February 24.

  • Miss the January BPC Deadline?  Sign up for the Class that Starts February 15 or take the next class. A new class starts every month.
  • Sign up in 3 minutes – This class qualifies you to apply for the 2017 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition.

For More on this Class and Other College Credit Class Options    

Heads Up – HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduates.  You are NOT required to take the class to Apply for the BPC.  Graduation from the 10,000 Small Businesses program is also considered to fulfill the prerequisite for applying to enter the competition.


College Credit Students of Small Business Management or Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

You Are Qualified to Apply for the 2017 HCC Newspring BPC  

Your Chance to Refine and Polish your Plan and Win Prize Money!

This Student Did Just That!  Erik Calderon, FLMC Films,  HCC Film Making Student, 2016 BPC Contestant –  “I brought in $50,000 in additional business the summer after I competed in the 2016 competition!” “The HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition has been the best career experience in my life. The training sessions were so informative, and inspiring. Each week I was motivated by the BPC team and lecturers to push myself and FLMC Films to new heights.”

 College Credit Students Can Act Now 

  • Already Taken It? If so, you are qualified to apply for the 2017 HCC Newspring BPC now.

  • Are You Signed Up for a Spring 2017 Session?  If so, you can apply right now. State experience and apply early!

  • Apply Now for the 2017 BPC – Apply Early-Deadline is January 18.

  • Still Need the Class? BUSG 2309 or BUSG 1373  Sign up and then apply for the BPC!



HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Graduates and HCC MBDA Clients Can Apply Immediately to the 2017 HCC Newspring BPC – No Class Required!


Thirty-Two 10ksb Grads Have Applied and Been Chosen for Past BPC Training and Mentorship – Will You Be the Next?

10ksb Grads are NOT required to take the class to apply for the BPC.  Graduation from the 10,000 Small Businesses program is considered to fulfill the prerequisite for applying to enter the competition.  Free mentoring and five free clinic-style training sessions on Tues evenings in February & March. Owner can bring up to four employees to mentoring and training sessions to create plan together for further growth.  Helen Callier and others did it.  Read about them below.

For HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduates

Pursuing Success Together!  – Spring Events So Far – Upcoming Events  

Entrepreneurs Gathered at HCC to Start 2017 Strong

What a Great Friday the 13th! 

Small Business Seminar – Business Plan Prep to Launch & Grow – Marketing and Funding to Make it So

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Forty-three startup and existing entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds gathered on Friday January 13 for a full program by HCC and entrepreneurial resource partners from SCORE, Constant Contact, the Small Business Administration, LiftFund, Amegy Bank and Wallis State Bank.  They covered SBA Resources and SBA Loans, Micro Loans, Traditional Loans, Factoring and Lines of Credit and tapped into their preferred pathways to next steps in pursuing their small business goals. 

For Article, Pathways and Photo Web Album       

HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition Reception Drew Big Crowd

Apps Due Jan 18-Free Training & Mentoring Feb & Mar-Plans Due Apr 10

$30,000 in Seed Money and In-Kind Prizes Awarded May 2

Mix & Mingle Gathering – Great Way to Kick Off BPC Activities Prior to the Application Deadline

10-190954 Zach at Reception 2017 01 10Now an annual tradition, the Mix & Mingle Reception is a great way to inspire those applying, or considering applying for the annual HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition.  Competition Leader, Jack Barry, let past contestants tell success stories.  Asif Dakri, CEO, Wallis State Bank welcomed the crowd.  Dr. Zachary Hodges, President, HCC Northwest, told the story of Newspring and HCC’s ten-year strategic partnership. Newspring brings $150,000 to $200,000 of in-kind mentoring and training to BPC contestants annually.  BPC alumni, leaders and recurring competition sponsors (LiftFund, Wallis State Bank and Small Business Today Magazine) mixed and mingled to meet the new wave of applicants for 2017.  The crowd was lively, talkative and engaged, which bodes well for a great set of incoming applications!

Did you miss the reception? No Worries!  Those interested can follow up and take action now to apply and win a prized spot in the 2017 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition.

For Article, Photo Web Album & To Apply for the BPC   

Click Here for Upcoming Events

….More Alumni Successes

HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition


Todd Bermont, TCC Learning

TCC Learning, Todd Bermont, 1st Place, 2016 HCC Newspring BPC TCC Learning is a Software as a Service (SaaS) business that provides proprietary education, tools, and resources on key topics such as career discovery, résumé writing, interviewing, and salary negotiation, that empower motivated students, job seekers and individuals in transition to land the ideal job.  Since the competition, TCC Learning LLC, has signed on iGroup of Hong Kong which has 10 representatives that will sell TCC throughout Asia, been featured on FOX26 in Houston, awarded a two-year contract with Lee College, and Todd Bermont now has a radio program, Your Career with Todd Bermont on Conroe’s 104.5 FM.

Raya Guruswamy, EnergyFundz

EnergyFundz, Raya Guruswamy, 2nd Place, 2016 Competition – EnergyFundz is an online platform to connect oil & gas royalty buyers and sellers.  Since the Competition, Raya used most of the prize money towards building his company’s web platform and some was used for online marketing.  Through consultation with BPC mentors and advisers, he decided to change or ‘pivot’ his focus from strictly oil & gas royalties to include oilfield equipment and rigs and deal consulting & advisory services as well.  As a result, he has had greater success leveraging his network and finding unique deals for buyers and sellers. He expects to pass break-even and realize a profit in the Fall 2017.

Bruce McMordie, Texas Swim Academy

Texas Swim Academy, Bruce McMordie, 2015, 1st Place Winner – Bruce McMordie is the founder/co-founder of Texas Swim Academy, a family-owned swim school for infants, children, and adults.  They were particularly attracted to the BPC because it offered the opportunity to move husband, wife, son and another employee through three months of competition mentoring and training as a collaborative team.  The McMordies created a plan to expand further by adding competitive swim team facilities, training and activities.  They also allowed the competition to be a platform for moving their son William into a stronger lead role in the business.  William did the verbal presentation in the competition finals in 2015, and their team won first place! Since then, the McMordies have identified and secured the land for their new location.  They are now planning to break ground in Spring 2017 and open their second location in Fall 2017.


Update on Landi Spearman, Destination4Relocation.

HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition (BPC) Contestant 2015 – Since the competition, Destination4Relocation has rolled out an expanded line of services through several key partners including Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Gite Art Gallery, Cantoni Furnishings, Whole Foods and the Houstonian Spa and Athletic Club.  Average client commissions have increased from $5,000 to between $8,000 to $12,000; and Landi has also added two new contract staff.  Before the competition, her target market was local.  Now she is doing business in Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey, Pittsburg, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, South America and China. “In 2016, we became a Lean Six Sigma Certified company, which allows us to deliver metrics on time saved, increased employee productivity, morale and engagement for our U.S. and international new hire and transfer relocations.  In 2017, we are on track to do business with larger companies, universities and the Texas Medical Center.  We are also positioning to increase average commission by moving into a higher net worth client market. On top of this, a special Super Bowl project will provide a boost to our 2017 sales.”

Nina Rios-Youngers, Got Dirty Blinds?

2015 HCC Newspring BPC Contestant, 2014 LiftOff Houston Contestant – “In 2015, we: launched GotDirtyBlinds.net and our marketing strategy; I went from a part-time to a full-time business owner; and we brought on three part-time employees.  In 2016, we have: gotten our SBE certification; landed contracts to clean the blinds in the Federal Reserve and other government buildings; and we obtained a micro-loan from LiftFund that allowed us to expand to do business in Houston and Austin, by acquiring a business from a retiring owner. I have added two full-time employees and expect to end 2016 with $110,000 in revenue.


Connie Rankin, Customized Real Estate Services

Connie Rankin, Lifelong Learner Credits HCC in Helping Her Become an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Author

From the 1980s Through Now, Connie Rankin has come to HCC for numerous HCC real estate courses, the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, the 2013 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition, the SBA’s InnovateHER Competition and HCC writing courses.  This all became a springboard for pursuing and accomplishing her dreams.  With the help of HCC and others, Connie has: launched and grown her award winning company  Customized Real Estate Services; established Bridge Literacy Now, a non-profit entity dedicated to helping poverty stricken women attain their GED and improving children’s reading skills by 4th grade; and she has authored God Gave Us Wings, which is in pre-sales now and scheduled for release in April, 2017.  Connie gives back as well.  She is donating $1,000 in prize money to the 2017 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition.  More about Connie

Helen Callier, PermitUsNow,LLC and Bradlink, LLC.

2016 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition Constant, HCC Goldman Sachs Graduate –  Helen Callier, PermitUsNow,LLC and Bradlink, LLC. , HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Graduate “I launched a new division three months following the competition using the plan I created with the mentoring and training in the 2016 competition.  We went live with PermitUsNow.com  in August 2016.  Since then, we have landed HEB as a client.  To date, we have permitted about a dozen stores in Houston and surrounding areas, have a task order for 17 more stores to permit in January; and we received a task order for 25 to 30 HEB stores in Austin and surrounding areas.  We are simply thrilled!”  More About Helen.

HCC Newspring BPC Alumni – Let Us Share Your Good News!

Your Success Inspires Others and You Deserve to be Celebrated 

We invite all past contestants to email us with news and testimonials about how the HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition helped you and about your successes since.

We know for a fact, many more of you are winning awards, expanding and growing.  Let us tell the world about you!  Email us at:  c4e@hccs.edu

About our 2016 Winners      More Alumni Success Stories 

About the HCC Center for Entrepreneurship 

The mission of Houston Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurship is to provide education and training for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our mission fosters economic growth through business and community development. More 


Posted December 22, 2016