The Entrepreneur in You!
By Germaine Washington, MBA
If you missed the latest episode of #OCOM, you missed a great show. This episode featured winners from the HCC Business Plan Competition and each of our guests brought their unique perspective regarding their experience in the competition.
The show also featured Sandra Louvier, Director, Glenda and David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship at the Northwest Campus. Sandra is responsible for the overall management of the competition.
My first guest featured on the show is Mr. John Hadley, who won first-place and who is the President of Specialty Diving, LLC. He took home the grand prize of $12,000 dollars! John discussed how the HCC business plan competition helped him focus on his finances and how he used that knowledge to help increase business. John also explained that since his company was designated as an essential service, it afforded him the opportunity to continue operating throughout the pandemic. Specialty Diving is not a personal diving company but specializes in underwater diving for construction projects and other projects that are needed.
We also had the pleasure of interviewing, Ms. Reda Hicks who has a business called Got Spot, Inc. Reda took home the third-place prize and won $4,000 for her efforts. Reda explained that her company is not like a typical workspace rental company. Got Spot Inc. not only rents out space to companies but it also helps companies find any type of space around the city that they need from kitchens to warehouses. In addition to providing that service; her company also assists clients with consultation expanding and marketing their businesses. Reda told our viewers that the mandated quarantine gave her time to re-evaluate her business model and come up with ideas to make it even better. Reda was also able to streamline her company to be more efficient with the help of the HCC Business Plan Competition which she cited as a critical partner in achieving her business goals.
Our final guest was Ms. Christa Clarke, who won honorable mention in the business plan competition. Her company is called Cubicles to Cocktails. Christa successfully turned a happy hour with her professional girlfriends to a thriving business that offers a networking platform, newsletter, panels and a place where professional women can meet to discuss partnership opportunities and other resources to build their career. Christa’s company is dedicated to uplifting women of color by using her company’s platform as an opportunity to come together to discuss solutions to break barriers. Christa also discussed how she was able to pivot her business online during the pandemic by taking Cubicles to Cocktails virtual. She also talked about how the business plan competition helped her by offering her a mentor to increase her bottom line and develop more business opportunities. Christa was able to win $1,000 dollars from the competition and had nothing but positive affirmations regarding her experience.
The Show ended with Sandra Louvier, Director of Glenda and David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. Sandra discussed how the center changed its name from the Center for Entrepreneurship to the Glenda and David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. David Regenbaum, who is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Northwest Campus has been very successful in working with her to develop programming at the Northwest campus. He has provided the college with his business expertise and is also a faculty member for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. If that is not enough, he is also the Board President of the HCC Foundation where he has raised millions of dollars to help our students pursue their educational goals at Houston Community College.
The show was awesome and informative! Our guests provided essential information that any aspiring or current entrepreneur would find useful. You can still check out the show on HCC-TV on Friday nights at 7pm or you can see the video version on our website at www.hccs.edu/smallbusiness