Innovation Week HOU Speaker Presentations



Monday, September 19


10:00-11:00 AM     Common Accounting Mistakes that are Costing You Money with Dwayne Briscoe, Bookkeeping Results LLC

21For new business owners or current business owners, there’s often times issues to where you’re not sure if something is a business deduction or not.  Learn about common accounting mistakes that can not only cost you and your business money, it can also cost you additional taxes or a potential loan to expand your business.  Key points from this session can be immediately applied to your current status following this session and find out how you can save money by managing your finances better.


2:00-3:00 PM    Project Management Essentials: Small Business Owner’s Toolbox TM with LaToshia Norwood, L’Renee & Associates, LLC

LaToshia Norwood, PMPAre you confident that you have the tools in your toolbox to manage ANY project or day-to-day business challenge? In today’s fast-paced business environment, as a business owner it is imperative that you do! Join us for the Small Business Owner’s Toolbox TM workshop and you’ll add the MUST HAVE tools EVERY small business owner needs, and will learn how to:

  • Utilize project management tools to get the work done on scope, on time, and on budget
  • Avoid issues that may derail success
  • Plan, manage, and control business processes and projects successfully and with minimal risk


3:00-4:00 PM    Worker Classification and Taxes: What You Need to Know with Jessie Campbell, Houston Volunteer Lawyers

Jessie Campbell_headshotAs you grow your business, you may need help. This session will provide you with the necessary information about worker classification and the IRS for when you are ready to hire your first worker.  Specifically, you will learn what the difference is between an employee and an independent contractor, who makes that decision, what are your tax requirements, and what happens if you classify the worker incorrectly.  This session is designed to informational only.


Tuesday, September 20

9:00-10:00 AM     Build Your Marketing Toolkit: Engage Customers with Email and Social Media with Toni Harris Taylor

Toni Harris headshotMany small businesses and organizations find themselves seeking the right strategies, tools and tactics to make their marketing efforts as effective as possible.  But between Facebook and Twitter, email, and whatever new social network is rolling out that month—there’s a lot to keep up with. And there are only so many hours in each day. The number of possibilities can feel overwhelming. This session will help make sense of the noise. In this session, you will learn:

  • A greater understanding of marketing basics like goals and objectives
  • what a “campaign” is and what to write about and offer in that campaign
  • Simple but powerful tips for how to get your messages opened and read, shared and socially visible
  • About tools to help engage with your existing customers  as well as expand your reach to new prospect

10:00-11:00 AM    How to Scale Your Business with Zawadi Bryant, Nightlight Urgent Care

ZawadiNationally, there are approximately 28 million Small Businesses.   Over three-quarters of these businesses have no employees.  But for those who want to scale their business, there are FIVE key factors for success.  Growing your business can be overwhelming, but with these key success factors you will learn to share the fun with others and build a company that will last.  In this session, you will learn to:

  • Think Big and Be Bold
  • Work ON your business and not IN it
  • Establish Key Advisory Networks
  • Build a Public Profile
  • Evaluate the Right Financing for Expansion


1:00-2:00 PM     Soup to Nuts: Business Priorities with The Profit Mover Team

Our Profit Mover™ business experts will present: “Soup to Nuts Business Priorities”, a 1 hr seminar on the six priorities you need to focus on to sell what you make more profitably and efficiently. They will be discussing and answering questions on legal, financial, sales, marketing, admin, and funding issues. **Attendees will be able to sign up to meet with the team at our office hours immediately following the presentation.

Profit Mover™ Team:
Jan Triplett, Business Success Center & PMT leader
Andrew Eisenberg, Lee & Hayes
Francoise Luca/Sam Thacker, Business Finance Solutions
Steve Pearson, Pearson Strategy Group
Joe Wargo, PendasWargo, PLLC

2:00-3:00 PM     Powerful Social Media Strategies for Professional Events with Jessica Bolaños Vanegas, Goodspero LLC

Jessica SperoWhether you’re hosting a luncheon, attending a networking event or speaking at a conference, there are powerful ways to use social media to strategize your approach before, during and after professional events. In this session you’ll hear from a 10+ year digital media veteran on how to get one step ahead of the rest using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with industry professionals, potential clients, partners, “unreachable” mentors, and how to best utilize social media to increase brand awareness, web traffic, and grow your follower/fan base. Follow Jessica: @FancyCapitalist


3:00-4:00 PM    Doing Business with the City of Houston with Tanya Makany-Rivera, Houston Office of Business Opportunity

TanyaWith hundreds of millions of dollars being awarded annually through City departments, knowing where to go for contracting information can seem overwhelming. Attend this workshop and see how you can make it through the maze of City contracting. You’ll find out what types of products and services are purchased, types of certifications you need to do business with the City of Houston, and how their procurement process works.


4:00-5:00 PM   Step by Step Guide to Innovation  with Ebony L. Thomas, Innovation Strategist (Certified in Business Innovation)

Ebony Thomas

The one critical difference between an innovative entrepreneur and a traditional entrepreneur, is that one sees dots and other  daily insights while the other also sees them but does not question, explore, or connect any of them. The acumen of attentiveness to how things apply to companies, products, and brands in an ever converging manner is the foundation for innovation. Get ready to strategically innovate with Ebony L. Thomas the Innovation Strategist Certified in Business Innovation. In one hour you will:

  • Identify your primary innovation business style that promotes your business growth & development.
  • Outline insights and competencies to address business challenges and opportunities.
  • Learn strategic and concise steps to innovate despite technological, economic, and political values constantly converging.

 Wednesday, September 21

10:00-11:00 AM   Business Law Basics: Who and What You Need to Know with Crisarla Houston, of Cris S. Houston Law

crisThis session will go through the various types of business entities available to entrepreneurs as they begin their journey of owning a thriving business. This session will also cover basic business law issues that every business owner should know and will also cover the major pitfalls to avoid when starting one’s business. The session will focus on the keys to success in navigating the beginning stages of business ownership from a legal and business perspective.


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM    Perceived Legitimacy during the Fundraising Process (for Small Business) with Gira Desai Wieczorek, Aleberry Creative

aleberryWhat is “perceived legitimacy?” This session teaches you how you should visually prepare your startup to articulately deliver its message and raise funds & gain traction.


1:00-2:00 PM      Big Money for Small Business: Access to Capital with Nini Gutierrez, PeopleFund

Small business is big business in Texas: over 90% of businesses in Texas have 5 or fewer employees. Even though small business is such a huge economic driver in the Texas economy, most business owners state that accessing the capital they need for their business remains their biggest challenge. If you are wondering how you can get the money you need to grow, even if you’ve been told “no” a hundred times, this session will outline the different ways you can access resources outside of traditional bank loans.