February & March Bring Action-Packed Competition Training Sessions to HCC Spring Branch-Training Blog Posts

The first of five training sessions began on February 7 and will continue through March 21 for the 2017 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition (BPC).



L to R: R. Tyler, S. Louvier, J. Barry & R. Westheimer.

Sessions are conducted by competition leaders Jack Barry, Robert Westheimer and Richard Tyler and hosted at HCC Spring Branch by Center for Entrepreneurship Director, Sandra Louvier and her team.  Training session photo web albums capture the excitement and action, as the teams gather, learn, meet with Newspring mentors, and participate, vetting their business assumptions in a friendly competitive environment.

February 7, 2017:  Training Session #1 – Training kicked off to a packed house at HCC Spring Branch.

07-201856A record 92 applications had led to two more records:  33 teams accepted thanks to yet another record of 66 volunteer advisors  donating their time and priceless experience to the chosen teams over the next few months.  Robert Westheimer, Founder of Newspring opened the session and Jack Barry and Richard Tyler led the training.  Group training alternated with contestant/mentor 1-on-1 exercises.

07-201858It was a great evening as teams got to know their mentors and stayed after for more team meetings to review Barry’s and Tyler’s lead in training and to plan for milestones to be met by the next training session on February 21.   HCC and our contestant teams thank strategic partner Newspring including the competition leaders, trainers, mentors and judges for their expertise, generosity of time and experience going into our 10th year of this unique working competition.

Photo Web Album-BPC Training Session 1

February 21 2017:  Training Session #2 was all about elevator pitches, differentiation, validating business ideas and basing launch and growth plans on a sound business model and principles. Competition Leader, Jack Barry shared the microphone with BPC Contestants pitching their customer solutions and putting forth their differentiating market positioning.  It’s all about strong verbal and written articulation in front of groups and 1-on-1.  There was plenty of both in this fast-paced two-hour session.  The heat was on for contestants, but they rose to the challenge, seeking practice and feedback from mentors and peers inside the competition, in preparation for bringing their A-game to the market and to funders. training 2

Jack Barry said the pitches last night were among the best yet in his 10-year run as Lead BPC Trainer.  Robert  Westheimer also recognized time-honored mentors who have served the HCC Newspring BPC over the past 10 years.

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Next up, sales, marketing and leadership training on February 28!

Photo Web Album-BPC Training Session 2

28-210228February 28 2017:  Training Session #3 – Sales, Marketing and Leadership were the hot topics in training session #3.  Richard Tyler covered sales myths, developing a revenue generation strategy and customer acquisition, to name a few topics.   Jack Barry covered a CEO’s 3 constituents characteristics of a leader people want to follow, how a leader defines the company culture, establishing the company mission, and more.  The session was highly interactive  and it was interspersed  with one-on-one team meetings.

Photo Web Album-BPC Training Session 3

21-201115J PriceMarch 7, 2017:  Training Session #4 – Financials – This evening was “all about the numbers.”  The session was conducted by Robert Westheimer, Newspring Founder and Jarrett Price, Director, Natixis Corporate and Investment Bank.  Presenters covered financial criteria to be addressed in written plans and before the competition judges, answered questions, and included pitfalls to avoid.

21-205726March 21, 2017: Training Session #5 gave all contestant teams the last chance for:  1) wrap-up training regarding written plans prior to the April 10th due date; 2) verbal presentation techniques training for all, particularly for those in the room who will ultimately be chosen to present in the finals on April 27st; and 3) group discussion and Q&A.  Teams also met one-on-one with assigned advisors before and after group activities.   The session started with a review of the fourteen points of the business thought process that should be developed and relayed in writing to advance plans for starting, growing and sustaining a sound business.

21-205728Both Jack Barry and Richard Tyler also coached the group on presentation techniques to deliver concise, effective 15-minute presentations followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from the judges. The whole room thanked the Newspring advisors who have been attending training with the teams and putting in hours of one-on-one coaching with the contestants as they move toward plans due on April 10.   Photo Web Album – Training Session #5 

23-163557Key Dates Coming Up: For Competition Wrap-Up:

  • April 10 – Plans Due:  It’s all about the written plan when it comes to making it to the competition finals.  Each plan will be reviewed and scored by three reviewers, ultimately leading to the announcement of five finalist teams.
  • April 27 – Finals:  Then, it’s all about the verbal presentation.  In the finals, a panel of seven esteemed judges will not have read the entire business plan, but only the executive summary, just before each finalist team presents.
  • May 2 –  Awards Ceremony:  All completer teams and winners will be announced and prize money will be awarded at a reception and awards ceremony from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center (1414 Wirt Road, 77055).


Posted February 22, 2017