Innovation Week HOU


Join us May 1-5 for Innovation Week Houston!

Innovation Week Houston is a FREE week-long conference for Houston entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. Based on the success of our long-running Austin event, we’ll offer engaging panels, interactive workshops, and thought-provoking sessions designed to help you grow your business.


Join us at the Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South St. Houston, TX 77009

Innovation Week

Houston 2017 Agenda

Mon May 1, 2017

9 AM - 10 AM

Innovation Week Kick Off Breakfast

Welcoming Remarks from Carlecia D. Wright, Director, Office of Business Opportunity, City of Houston

Kick off a week of inspiration and education with coffee, breakfast treats, and a few words from the City’s Office of Business Opportunity!

10 AM - 11 AM

Doing Business in Houston: Permitting & Licensing Overview

Tanya Makany-Rivera, City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity
YC Lawson, Lawson Media Services

Got Customers? Facebook does! This workshop will teach you how to create, advertise, and profit with Facebook Ads for your business on any budget. Facebook has over 1 billion active users and most of them check FB at least 13 times each day. This means that business owners who advertise have 13 times to grab the attention of your ideal customer each day. Traditional FB ads experts can be costly to hire. Boosting post on Fb usually fail if you have no training. Join Facebook Ads Demystified and learn how to successfully advertise and market your business today!

12 PM - 1 PM

SHOP Marketplace: The Healthcare Marketplace for Small Business Owners

Tim Delaney, The Montrose Center

Learn about how small businesses who have fewer than 50 employees can provide group insurance to their employers and their dependents at a substantial discount from the private marketplace. In many cases, employers who provide healthcare to their employees may be eligible to receive tax credits for doing so.

1 PM - 2 PM

Discovering Ways to do Good with Business

Erin McClarty, Erin McClarty PLLC

Want to act on a passion? Or make a positive impact with your business? There is so much room for creativity but most founders only scratch the surface. Come discover the different ways you can accomplish good while protecting yourself and staying out of trouble.

2 PM - 3 PM

Unlock the Secrets to Real Estate Leasing

with Josh Feinberg, Tenavox

A guided presentation on the process of leasing commercial real estate.  From the search for space to execution of documents, you will learn to confidently negotiate the best lease terms for your company.

Toni Harris Taylor, Drastic Steps Marketing

Participants will learn how to use mobile technology to promote themselves and drive more business:
Mobile internet usage is growing fast – more people are starting to receive and read your email and social media messages with their smartphones. And more businesses are starting to use mobile to create marketing communications and make it easy for their customers to buy from them. Join us for this seminar to make mobile a part of your business.
You’ll learn:
• Why mobile makes local listings more important than ever
• How to drive action with mobile marketing
• How to create content with and for mobile

Monique LaCour, Houston Business Lounge

Dig into your business idea to find new markets and uncover potential challenges. This workshop will help you differentiate your business, so that the buyers who need your
products and services see you as the CLEAR choice! You’ll have a vastly different idea of WHO to market your
business to and how to reach them. You’ll probably be quite surprised at what you discover!

– Have a clear picture of who needs you, and where/how to reach them.
– Identify what makes you unique (better have at least three distinctive traits!).
– Uncover your many unknown competitors.
– Find out what it takes to get people to say “I need you!”
– Save money, by focusing your efforts where they will have the most profitable results.

Tue May 2, 2017

9 AM - 10 AM

How to Keep Your Pitch On-Key

R. Leigh Johnson, Livication Business Group, LLC

This is an engaging look into the art of pitching a business idea to investors, supporters, and other key stakeholders, focusing on four key elements of the pitch and providing attendees with practical actions that they can take to improve the impact, and ultimately success, of their pitches.

10 AM - 11 AM

Secrets to Business Loan Approval

WenFang Bruchett, Bliss Finance

Do you know what it takes to get business loan approval? Understanding the hidden formula will increase your chance of getting a YES instead of a NO. Come and discover the secret sauce with WenFang Bruchett as she unveils how to think like a lender. In one hour, you will take away:

– How to prepare before meeting with a lender
– Identify key elements in your financial statements
– Learn key ratios that impact loan approval

Tiffany Taylor-Hicks, Velvet Rope Experience

The purpose of the workshop is to educate business owners on the importance of the customer’s experience and how it impacts the bottom line of their business (3 R’s- Repeat Business, Reviews and Referrals).

  • 1st Impressions
  • Quality of Product
  • The Extra Mile
  • 7 Tips to Improve your Customer’s Experience Today
12 PM - 1 PM

Seven Often Missed Business Tax Deductions

Dwayne Briscoe, Bookkeeping-Results, LLC

Are you aware of all the ways in which you could be saving tax money each year through your business? Join us to discover the most common business expenses that  can save money for entrepreneurs come tax time.

1 PM - 2 PM

Are you ready to see your product on retail shelves?

Ivette Mayo, Yo Soy I AM, LLC

You have products that everyone loves. You want to get them on the shelves of local, regional and national retailers. It is impossible? No. The important question is, “What do you have to do to get your products in stores?” During this session, you will receive information that will guide you on your quest to achieve retail placement.

Michelle Lenzen, People + Words

How intimately do you know your customers? Do you know their specific hopes, dreams, gripes, and challenges? No matter what kind of business you run, understanding the people you are trying to reach is critical to your success. The best way to learn how to connect with your target audience is through customer research. In this workshop, we will learn how to conduct customer interviews, create empathy maps, and draw insights to build an effective content marketing strategy.

3 PM - 4 PM

Is Incorporation Really Necessary?

Dwayne Briscoe, Bookkeeping Results, LLC

A common question that gets asked oftentimes is when and how people should incorporate their business. Perhaps you’re not sure if it would be beneficial from a tax standpoint.  Come join us as we look at the financial advantages and disadvantages of some of the more common business entity types.

4 PM - 5 PM

A Roadmap to Successful Leadership

Erick Garcia, Hedgeway Group

In this workshop we will dive into what it takes to be a successful leader. In other words, what characteristics does a successful leader possess.
We will start from the beginning of truly understanding who we are so that we can know what type of leader we want to become.
We then will lay out a roadmap of how to get to successful leadership.

Wed May 3, 2017

9 AM - 10 AM

Personality Types in the Workplace

Joy Lacy, Joy of Consulting

The objective of this workshop is to help participants gain a better understanding of their personality types (based on the Myers-Briggs assessment) and conceptualize how their types fit into the structure of an organization, determine how they may achieve greater productivity, and learn how to better navigate interpersonal relations within the workplace.

Nolen Davis, Vids Inc.

This class will show you how to deliver you company’s message to prospects and customers using the power of video. We will discuss the proper way to deliver a message, multiple platforms where video accelerates your marketing efforts, how to use video to get to the top of Google, the mind set of smart phone videos and when to use them. Also, with Facebook Live being the most popular streaming platform out there how should you use it to market your business.

11 AM - 12 PM

The Art of Collaboration

Shahara Wright, The CEO Effect, LLC

Collaboration is a necessary tool in 2017. Many people use the term as a synonym for referrals. If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. But that is not what collaboration is. Collaboration is a state of mind, a mode of doing business, and a set of principles that lead to the betterment of all. Learning to collaborate effectively will make a big difference in a company’s bottom line. Participants will understand communication techniques that will create better collaborative communities. The why and how we communicate to have stronger collaborative connections is what this presentation is all about.

1) Audiences will learn five strategies to effectively collaborate;
2) How to implement those strategies into their business or work environments;
3) Gain practical steps that can be applied immediately; and
4) Create a true collaborative atmosphere

Silvia Mintz, Attorney at Law

Any business can face the nightmare of having an Immigration Audit and it is essential for business owners to plan and prepare to defend themselves against what is expected of compliance investigations. Preparing for this kind of audit in advance is the most effective way to avoid the imposition of crippling monetary fines or even criminal prosecution.

2 PM - 5 PM

Entrepreneur Village

Entrepreneur Village

Get in touch with the vibrant and diverse entrepreneur ecosystem in Houston. Meet fellow business owners, get connected to local resources, and innovate your business. Light refreshments will be provided.

Thu May 4, 2017 *Talleres en Español.

9 AM - 10 AM

Contabilidad - Principios & Conceptos Basicos para su Empresa

Gustavo Suarez, JPG Accounting

Nuestro taller tiene como objetivo cubrir de manera interactiva & altamente visual conceptos elementales de contabilidad con aplicacion en industrias en general como: Transporte, Construccion & Servicios. Resaltaremos:

• Importancia de contabilidad
• Como aplicar facilmente contabilidad en su empresa
• Interpretacion de reportes contables

Nuestro principio elemental educativo es “Basico & Practico”

Celina Enamorado, Business Logix

Aprenda sobre branding, redes sociales y la importancia de la página de internet. En este seminario se le dará una breve introducción acerca de todos estos temas. Tener el conocimiento de estas herramientas de una manera óptima y estratégica le ayudará a mejorar su negocio en línea.

11 AM - 12 PM

Seguros Esenciales para Negocios y Bienestar Financiero

Jaime Levy, Principal Financial Group

Los dueños de negocios de pequeña a mediana escala necesitan obtener protección adecuada para ellos y los activos del negocio, con la finalidad de que la empresa pueda seguir operaciones en caso de que sucedan eventos inesperados.
En este seminario explicaremos los tipos básicos de seguros para negocios, requeridos aun cuando la empresa apenas está comenzando operaciones:

• Propiedad y Accidentes (Property and Casualty)
• Seguro Lucro Cesante o de Interrupción Comercial (Business Interruption)
• Seguro de Compensación del Trabajador (Workers’ Compensation).
• Seguro de Responsabilidad y Fianza (Bonding)
• Seguros contra Incendios, Inundaciones y Tormentas (Fire, Flood and Windstorm)
También hablaremos acerca de los elementos básicos para el Bienestar Financiero de su Negocio:
• Garantías para Créditos con SBA (SBA loan collateral)
• Otras protecciones para Créditos Comerciales (Business loan protection)
• Maximizar beneficios para dueños de negocios y sus empleados
• Planificación para el retiro
• Elementos de un acuerdo de Compra- Venta

Silvia Mintz, Attorney at Law

Esta clase le ayudara a decidir cuál es la mejor formación para su negocio. Sera de beneficio para cualquier empresario sin importar si está iniciando su negocio o si tiene ya un negocio encaminado. Aclararemos dudas acerca de que es una corporación, una compañía de responsabilidad limitada, una sociedad y otras opciones de formación en un negocio. Discutiremos las responsabilidades de los miembros o socios y cuáles son las ramificaciones legales de cada una de las opciones.

1 PM - 2 PM

Hacer Negocios en Houston: Permisos y Licensias

Tanya Makany-Rivera, City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity
3 PM - 4 PM

Acceso Capital para Emprendadores

Nini Gutierrez, PeopleFund

Aunque pequenos negocios en el estado de Texas son un impacto inmenso en la economia, muchos de los emprendedores dicen que uno de los obstaculos muy grandes es tener acceso a capital. Si esta pensando en como poder obtener el dinero para crecer aunque ya te hayan dicho que “no” milesveces, esta sesion te mostrara las diferentes maneras de acesar recursos afuerade prestamos con bancos tradicionales.

4 PM - 5 PM

El Presupuesto en un Pequeño Negocio

Alexis Rios, Small Business Specialist at BakerRipley

Es un plan para asegurar, controlar y permitir decisiones financieras acertadas para el alcance de los objetivos en la consecución de un proyecto.

Fri May 5, 2017

9 AM - 10 AM

Market Analysis Made Easy with the Census Bureau

Lacey Loftin, US Census Bureau

Please join us for an overview to the Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, a free online web app that provides selected Census Bureau demographic and economic data in a simple to access and use format. The primary users of the Small Business Edition are small-business owners and entrepreneurs who are considering opening their first business that caters primarily to individual consumers or who are looking to expand their existing business into other geographic areas.

10 AM - 11 AM

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program

Ida Benson, SBA

The SBA Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Set-Aside Program is designed to enable women-owned small businesses to compete for federal contracting opportunities in industries that they are underrepresented. The goal is to expand on the number of industries where WOSB are able to compete for business with the federal government. This presentation will give you an overview of the WOSB program.

You Will Learn:

• Tools available to help small businesses build and successfully compete in the federal sector
• Overview of the SBA Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program
• Overview of the Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Set-Aside Program
• How to Apply for the Program

11 AM - 12 PM

Starting a Business: 3 Required "Adjectives"

Julio Viniegra, NopaNoga

Wanting to be an entrepreneur and becoming an entrepreneur are two different things. Wanting to open a business and opening a business are two different things. There are many issues to take into consideration for an idea to become a business and, there are 3 adjectives a business must comply with: “healthy, scalable and salable”.

Healthy. We will talk about financial health, minimum capital required to start a business, initial capex and how to prepare a cash flow projection.

Scalable. “Think Big Act Small” o “Think Global Act Local”. A business must be scalable. If a business is not scalable … it is not a business.  We will answer questions such how do I scale up a business or do I have to scale up my business?

Salable. The discussion will not be around the idea of selling your business, but around the idea of what do you must do to make your business salable.

Thomas Nguyen, Peli Peli

Come learn the secrets to successful marketing tactics for restaurants and other hospitality businesses, and what relationships are worth investing in. This session is led by Thomas Nguyen, co-founder of Peli Peli, a South African fine-dining concept currently ranked in the top 5 in Houston on both Tripadvisor and Yelp and Peli Peli Kitchen, a South African fast casual concept that was featured on CNBC’s Restaurant Startup.

Thomas is a 2015 Houston Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient, 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and 2016 Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year. Thomas is also a freelance food writer for the Houston Press.

1 PM - 2 PM

Business Plans that Seal the Deal

Profit Mover Team, Business Success Center

There is more than one kind of deal and more than one kind of business plan. Don’t waste your time, energy and opportunities. Know what you really need to provide to accomplish your funding, marketing, or management goals with the right plan with the right stuff!

2 PM - 3 PM

Mentor Zone

Profit Mover Team

Mentor Zone is Profit Mover’s™ Mentoring Office Hours. Free, individualized private mentoring work 30-minute work sessions with one of the 2-3 person Profit Mover™ business expert teams who are all business owners themselves. Only six spaces are available. You don’t have to have attended the Business Plan seminar to request mentoring time.