Entrepreneurs and small business owners can always use a little help starting or growing their business. With that in mind we’ve collected resources to help answer questions and make life easier. Take a look below, there’s something for everyone!
Galveston County Economic Development
131 Pecan Drive
League City, TX 77573
8030 El Rio St.
Houston, TX 77054
BioHouston, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] corporation founded by Houston-region academic/research institutions. They are leading a broad effort to establish the Houston region as a vigorous global competitor in life science and biotechnology commercialization. BioHouston works with the leaders of some of the greatest research institutions in the world and interacts with scientists, venture capitalists, public officials, pharmaceutical industry leaders, and the leaders of emerging biotechnology companies.
Galveston County Small Business Development Center
8419 Emmett F. Lowry Expwy.
Texas City, TX 77591
The Galveston County Small Business Development Center (GC SBDC) provides business consulting and training to help entrepreneurs and small business owners at every stage of your business development. Assistance is customized to your needs, whether you need help evaluating financing alternatives, developing a loan package, reviewing and updating your business plan, or improving productivity and profitabilty. GC SBDC can also help you evaluate new market opportunities selling to federal, state, and local governments or to customers outside the United States.
Houston Business Solutions Center
900 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
The Houston Business Solutions Center provides free information, programs and services designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs regarding city, county, state and federal regulations.
Houston Export Assistance Center
1919 Smith St., Suite 1026
Houston, TX 77002
The U.S. Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce is part of the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, an extensive network of trade specialists located throughout the world devoted to assisting U.S. companies expand their international business presence. The Export Assistance Center helps companies identify and evaluate international partners, navigate international documentation challenges, create market entry strategies and provide other export related guidance.
Houston Technology Center
410 Pierce St.
Houston, TX 77002
HTC is a nonprofit organization enabling and accelerating the growth of emerging technology companies for the purpose of creating jobs and promoting economic development in the greater Houston region.
San Jacinto College Small Business Development Center
(Counseling is provided at four locations.)
281-485-5214 ext. 16
San Jacinto College’s Small Business Development Center offers free, private counseling and low-cost workshops that help entrepreneurs start new businesses, grow their existing businesses, and boost productivity and profitability. Guidance is provided on every facet of business, including applying for loans, writing business plans, creating marketing strategies, developing budgets and much more.
SATOP – Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program
18045 Saturn Lane
Houston, TX 77058
The Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP) strives to transfer the knowledge and technology of the space program to small businesses. Any type of small business is encouraged to submit a technical challenge to SATOP. If SATOP is able to assist, the small business is provided with up to 40 hours of FREE technical assistance from a scientist or engineer in the Space Program.
University of Houston SBDC – Small Business Development Center
2302 Fannin, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77002
The SBDC offers assistance to those starting or expanding a business. The center offers services such as consulting, workshops and seminars, specialty programs, facility rental and customized training and access to the SBDC’s business library.
SCORE – Service Corps of Retired Executives
8701 S. Gessner, Suite 1200
Houston, TX 77074
SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE volunteers serve as “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” They are real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses succeed. Counselors are experts in such areas as accounting, finance, marketing, management and business plan preparation.
(Information on business registrations, licenses and permits)
Licenses, registrations and permitting vary by the industry and regulating agency. The state’s website will provide detailed information on this topic.
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship is Rice University’s flagship initiative devoted to the support of technology entrepreneurship. The Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch over 225 new technology companies. The Rice Alliance provides a collaborative network and forum for support, education, and exchange of ideas. It also provides entrepreneurs access to the human and financial capital needed for success.
P.O. Box 22777
Houston, TX 77227-2777
Workforce Solutions provides free assistance to businesses of all sizes; they can answer questions relating to state and federal employment laws; can help companies find qualified candidates who are trained and equipped with the correct skills to fill open positions; and can also help find solutions for human resource needs. The organization matches qualified applicants with employers through the largest job matching database in the state.
University of Houston’s start-up accelerator and technology entrepreneurship program. Has historically been run in cooperation with OwlSpark.
Start-up community, incubator and workspace providing mentorship, resources and educational programs for the (aspiring) entrepreneur and innovator. Many of the events are free to attend, only requiring registration. Mentors range from industry subject matter experts, through serial entrepreneurs to financiers and include in their ranks also Rice faculty.
The Houston Technology Center (HTC) is the pre-eminent business and technology incubator and accelerator in Houston, specializing in the energy, information technology, life sciences, transportation & logistics, and commercial space industries.”
Local chapter of the global TiE Network, providing a network for mentorship, events and education between entrepreneurs. * “TiE is a non-profit, global community welcoming entrepreneurs from all over the world.”
Facebook group with over 5,500 members for the startup community in Houston
BioHouston, Inc. is a non-profit tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] corporation founded by Houston area academic/research institutions. They are leading a broad effort to establish the Houston region as a vigorous global competitor in life science and biotechnology commercialization. Its mission is to create an environment that will stimulate technology transfer and research commercialization, thereby generating economic wealth for the Houston region and making it a global competitor in life science commercialization. BioHouston’s activities provide the greatest leverage in making the Houston region a world-class competitor in the life science industry.
The TMC Innovation Institute is a unique learning environment aimed at impacting the health care industry through the collaboration of medicine and cutting-edge technology from around the world. By supporting entrepreneurs as they broaden their vision and network, they help companies take their products from bench to bed.
Jlabs focus is on supporting emerging pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health companies through the tenuous time between early discovery and having the necessary resources to move a product through the path to commercialization. They give companies every tangible advantage to succeed, providing access to core research facilities hosting specialized capital equipment, educational programs, operational capabilities and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Fannin performs primarily in-licenses promising, early-stage therapeutic and medical device technologies from leading academic investigators in the Texas Medical Center and on a national stage. Fannin develops and de-risks these technologies via preclinical work and engineering up through early clinical trials, in addition to building the business model and use case, resulting in strategic partnerships or acquisitions.
The Houston Angel Network (HAN) is the oldest angel network in Texas and most active angel network in the USA. Its members have invested more than $100M in more than 366 deals since its inception in 2001. The typical individual HAN member is an accredited investor seriously interested in providing capital and coaching to early stage companies. HAN also has institutional members such as seed funds, accelerators, universities and other networks within the innovation ecosystem. HAN is a non-profit association that does not charge fees to entrepreneurs; its revenue consists of membership fees and sponsorships.
In 1976, an anonymous donor gave $100,000 to Bryn Mawr College for the purpose of helping students learn to invest money in the stock market. The Owl Investment Group was formed and has tracked its portfolio, traditionally giving back money to Bryn Mawr College in the form of club and other donations, and outperforming the S&P 500 index annually.
The GOOSE Society of Texas was established in 2005 by Jack Gill, a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and Rod Canion, the founder and CEO of Compaq computers. GOOSE is now comprised of twenty one members including five MBAs, one MD, four PhDs, and one JD. GOOSE has invested over $30 million in startups with four exits of 5-10x and has 16 current investments.
AngelMD is the only online community of healthcare startups, physicians and investors that combines community engagement, physician insight and machine learning to highlight the promising investment opportunities for its members. Its physician community is a blend of private practice clinicians, hospital employees and MDs in research and innovations positions driven to improve healthcare by evaluating, advising and investing in its most promising entrepreneurs. Its investor community is a blend of angel investors, venture capitalists, family offices and corporate investors drawn to our physician insight and data-driven investment opportunities.
“The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is Rice University’s nationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education, and the launch of technology companies.” Organizes multiple events per year, including the Energy & Cleantech Venture Forum, Life Science Venture Forum and the Rice Business Plan Competition
Rice’s in-house accelerator program, open to current undergrad and grad students and alumni. Culminates in the Bayou Startup Showcase, where the teams having completed the OwlSpark and RED Labs programs pitch before an audience of entrepreneurs, investors and interested public
“The McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy has two pillars to its mandate: research and engagement. The center enables, analyzes and produces academic research on the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the U.S. economy. It then translates this research into timely policy assessments and recommendations, and engages with public- and private-sector decision-makers to enable growth and prosperity.” Located in the Baker Institute across the fountain from Rice Business, the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship is a great source for research articles and blog posts on the economics of entrepreneurship and public policy.
“Rice’s Entrepreneurship Initiative was founded in 2015 by President Leebron, with the aim of supporting Rice’s innovative energies across the liberal arts, professional schools, and the research university. The new Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Lilie) captures and builds from this spirit. The Liu Idea Lab is curricular and co-curricular opportunities, meaningful experiences bridging Rice and the broader world, a physical space on campus opening in 2017, as well as resources to support Rice innovators and entrepreneurs in continuous learning and discovery on their entrepreneurial and innovative pathways.”
Rice EO provides a forum for Rice University students and alumni to surround themselves with like-minded, fellow & future entrepreneurs who are in various stages of their entrepreneurial life cycle. Members are seeking entrepreneurial education, business ideas, developing business plans, sourcing capital, running new or established businesses, or are looking to mentor others on their entrepreneurial journey. The Rice EO along with the university provides educational events, networking, a business plan competition and CEO Roundtables – all specifically with these members in mind.
“The Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) provides a space for undergraduate students majoring in bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and applied mathematics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and nanoengineering, mechanical engineering and statistics to design, prototype and deploy solutions to real-world engineering challenges. To create the full circle of real-world experience that has societal impact, interdisciplinary teams tackle problems proposed by industry and partners in the Texas Medical Center and abroad.”
Information provided is taken directly from each group’s self-description.
Our focus is to advance Houston’s entrepreneurship and innovation communities. We are helping to build the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem through events, programs, and by connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and experts.
The E4H Fund was founded by Houstonians in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to provide the financial capital, entrepreneurial resources, and technology expertise to empower communities to recover, rebuild, and reimagine. The Fund will build and pilot civic and social technology solutions in Houston that can be scaled globally.
The Houston Lean Startup Circle conducts FREE monthly workshops to help entrepreneurs learn and apply lean startup principles using the Founder’s Journey Framework* by LeanMastery. The Founder’s Journey Framework helps first time and struggling founders avoid mistakes that cost time and money.
Each month in our local market there are about 7000 sales that happen over the MLS and over 20,000 sales that happen outside the MLS – this latter market is called the “SHADOW” or “DISTRESSED” Real Estate Market. To succeed as a Real Estate entrepreneur it is critical that you understand how to find and then acquire this DISTRESSED Real Estate assets.
“Women Helping Women 2 Network” is a platform created so female entrepreneurs can connect with one another, network and succeed in business. We want to help you thrive and flourish. This is a place for women to meet, network, share ideas and help one another with referral business, team up for events and projects, and to educate and learn from one another. We also have events in Dallas and San Antonio.
A community for local artists, designers, fabricators, architects, engineers and other makers. Hosted by Houston Makes, an organization set on connecting, educating and empowering our creatives and creators to better make, market and even sell their work.
Houston Exponential’s mission is to accelerate the development of Houston’s innovation economy by fostering a robust ecosystem that supports high-growth, high-impact startups. The formation of Houston Exponential comes after a year-long study linking the Roundtable’s and Task Force’s efforts by the professional services company, Accenture.
Food & Restaurant Entrepreneurship Society of Houston (FRESH) is for everyone interested in entrepreneurship and impacting the food industry. We’re bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, developers, marketers, designers, strategists, researchers, and engineers who want to grow existing ventures, brainstorm new ideas, learn from industry experts, and get connected. We plan to focus product development (e.g., software, consumer packaged goods, supply chain, agritech), but ALL are welcome to come feast on brain food! Join us in cooking up a thriving food startup community in Houston. We can’t wait to meet you!
This is a community group for people interesting in microfinance and social entrepreneurship in the City of Houston. It is organized by Bayou Microfund, a non-profit organization that provides zero-interest, long-term loans to Houston-based businesses.
This is a group for anyone in Houston looking to network, expand their entrepreneurship education, co-collaborate, co-create, invest in companies or seeking investments for their startup and etc. All skill levels and industries are welcome. We are looking forward to building a strong community of entrepreneurs, go getters and business professionals.
The purpose of this event is to network with like-minded hustlers who are interested in learning or are already involved with eCommerce. We share tips, ideas, implementation strategies, and create synergy within our group. If you’re passionate about having an Entrepreneur Mindset, eCommerce, online shopping platforms, social media marketing, mobile tech, new tech, future tech, etc etc, no matter you’re background, we want you to join us!
Inspired by the works of Eric Ries (http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/) and Steve Blank (http://steveblank.com/), the Houston Startup Network conducts FREE monthly networking events to provide entrepreneurs an opportunity to share and learn from each other how they’re using lean startup techniques in their businesses.
Design Thinking & Innovation (DT&I) is a community of creative people who seek to share their skill & knowledge to create a meaningful positive impact in the community. Our focus is designing for change and creating positive social impact using techniques in Human Centered Design (Design Thinking), UX & Lean.
Important Information/Mailing Lists/Links
The economic development wing of the County. It prides itself in providing a vast range of development expertise to both current and prospective constituents. The department partners with all Chambers, EDC’s, and Partnerships within the county and a majority throughout the Greater Houston area to provide one of the largest business networks at the county level found anywhere in the state of Texas. News Feed
The Partnership is a gathering place for community-minded business leaders who want to be involved in Houston’s positive growth and influence our economic trajectory. Through the dedicated efforts of our members, the Partnership addresses Houston’s unique challenges, and champions the growth and success of our region. Since 1840, the Greater Houston Partnership has strived to make the region the best place to live, work and build a business. We serve over 1,000 member companies in the 11-county Houston region. Mailing List
The University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network is a business advising and training center serving 32 counties in Southeast Texas. The UH Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network is a program of the UH Bauer College of Business and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration.
Sign up for TMC’s newsletter to receive the latest on all things medical tech news and startup information.
A recently established innovation development organization aimed at expanding Houston’s tech capabilities. Sign up on their website and they will periodically send you their exclusive pro-entrepreneurship Houston-centric newsletter.
The Department of Economic Development Finance provides globally competitive, cost-effective financial tools to expanding businesses operating in the state and businesses relocating to Texas. Programs administered by this office include various grants, financing and tax refund programs which all promote economic development, job creation and capital investment. The office partners with local governments and other entities to deliver programs targeted at small businesses, communities and universities in the state, among other entities.
The Strategic Business Development Department serves as the conduit to the business recruitment and project management process. This team identifies and develops both domestic and international investment leads and works with prospective companies who are considering locating or expanding in Texas. The department also serves as a vital contributor to the overall mission of the office by assisting in marketing efforts and initiatives in partnership with the Texas Economic Development Corporation.
The Department of Business Assistance serves domestic and international businesses of all sizes, interested in doing business in Texas. The team is responsible for strengthening the competitiveness of Texas’ industries by promoting international business and trade, small business advocacy, entrepreneurial support, as well as industry engagement, and assisting with permitting, licensing and regulatory compliance. The department also houses the State of Texas Mexico Office, which seeks to help Mexican companies enter the Texas market or aid Texas companies looking to do business in Mexico, and the Office of Aerospace and Aviation, which aims to promote and grow the aerospace and aviation industry in Texas.
(HUB) requires all Texas state agencies to make a good faith effort to use HUBs for purposes of contracting for construction services or commodity purchases. To obtain HUB certification, a business must be at least 51% owned by an Asian Pacific American, Black American, Hispanic American, Native American and/or American woman, and as a result of the recent legislative session now service-rendered disabled veterans are considered a minority for purposes of the HUB Program.
A business must also be a for profit entity that has not exceeded the size standards prescribed by 34 Texas Administrative Code 20.23, and has its principal place of business in Texas. Additionally the business must have an owner residing in Texas with a proportionate interest that actively participates in the control, operations and management of the entity’s affairs.
The Texas Comptroller’s Office organizes and administers the HUB certification program. For more information on how to qualify and register as a HUB, please visit the Texas Comptroller’s Office website.
(DBE) was created to provide a level playing field for small, minority and women-owned companies wanting to do business with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and other agencies receiving federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Skills for Small Business Program offers financing tuition and fees for community and technical college courses. This program, run by the Texas Workforce Commission, is targeted to help current and newly hired employees of small businesses.
(SBA) can provide information on available loans and grants, small business workshops, advocacy efforts and much more. To learn more about what the Federal SBA can do for your small business, locate the nearest SBA Regional/District Office through the SBA website.
SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses owners. There are hundreds of SCORE business mentors in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Launch your business today by locating your nearest SCORE Business Mentor in Texas.
(SBDCs) are funded in part through a partnership with the SBA and provide assistance to small businesses throughout the United States. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace.
SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners with a variety of free businesses consulting and low cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, marketing research help 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.
(WBCs) represent a national network of over 100 educational centers throughout the United States, and are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses by providing individual counseling and small business workshops. To find the nearest Women’s Business Center in Texas, visit their website.
(USEACs) has a network of export and industry specialists located in Texas and 100 other U.S. cities and over 80 countries worldwide. These trade professionals provide counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and midsized businesses export their products and services.
(VBOC) are designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.
(PTAC) is a nationwide network of dedicated procurement professionals working to help local businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace. PTAC counselors offer access to experts in bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories, and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts.
- General Accounting Office
- Houston Business Journal
- Small Business Taxes & Management
- Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center
- Texas Engineering and Extension Service
- Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Federal Geographic Data Committee
- TDED Business and Industry Data Center
- Texas Legislature Online
- US Congress on the Internet
- Asia Houston Network
- Asia Society Texas Center
- Asian American Bar Association
- Bay Area Houston
- Economic Alliance of Port of Houston
- Empresarios Latinos
- Export Import Bank Houston
- Greater Houston Manufacturing Association
- Greater Sharpstown Management District
- Houston Airport Systems
- Houston Business Journal
- Houston District Export Council
- Houston Galveston Area Council
- Houston Technology Center
- Port of Houston
- Rice Alliance
- Rice Space Institute
- Small Business Administration
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Underwater Technology
- Startup Houston
- Structural Engineers Association of Houston
- Texas Medical Center
- Texas Medical Center Innovation (TMCx)
- S. Export Assistance Center
- World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP)