The Art of the Startup: Techpreneurs

December 3 – Entrepreneurs are visionaries and risk takers who play a critical role in growing our economy, creating jobs, innovating products and services across our state and nation.  According to the SBA, small businesses have generated 64% of net new jobs over the past 15 years.  Although, small businesses add more than half of new jobs each year, many of them fail within the first five years of business.  According to another report from the Congressional Research Service, business startups play an essential role in job creation.  Then one question that remains is why do small businesses fail?  Some of the biggest factors for business failure is the lack of guidance (mentorship), capital (money), and a starting on a solid foundation.

The Art of the Startup was started out with the sheer determination to give business a solid foundation to get started, and get inspired by other entrepreneurs in their community.

“Often times those who desire to open a business do not know where to start.  We wanted to provide a place they can learn and be inspired to start their business,”  stated Talia Washington, Program Specialist Community Economic Development Department.

This year, during National Entrepreneurship Month, the Community & Economic Development unit of the Cooperative Extension Program wanted to recognize the importance and increased demand for innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship in our limited resources communities. Thus, giving creation to the 2nd Annual the Art of the Startup: Techpreneurs.

“As we advance into the digital age, it’s imperative that we celebrate our local tech entrepreneurs who serve as true pioneers of possibility and prosperity to drive our economy through job creation,” stated Nate Peterson, Harris County Extension Agent in Community Economic Development.

More than 50 participants including Carl Wunsche Sr. High School juniors and seniors, professionals, and business owners attended. The following topics were covered:

  • Top 10 Things to Starting a Business
  • Designing Your Own App
  • Protecting Your Idea
  • Funding Your Venture
  • 3-D Printing
  • Designing a Website From Scratch

The Art of the Startup experienced a 30% increase in registration and participation since its implementation in 2017. The CED Unit will continue to innovate the event around current and potential entrepreneurial opportunities for limited-resource communities for years to come. Overall, 90% of the participants were highly satisfied with the quality of the event, location, speakers and looking forward to participating in Harris County upcoming 2019 CED programs. Participants also received professional folders including information about our Cooperative Extension Program filled with goodies from the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences and Texas LLC Filing Forms.

Although the statistics among small business and startups can be alarming, however as we reflect, our nation thrives today because of brave innovators, technologists, and entrepreneurs who had vision and passion that fueled their dreams.  We look forward to seeing more businesses get started through this program.

Developed by Natriez Peterson, CED Agent Harris County & Talia Washington, Program Specialist II

If would like more information about how to start a business in Harris County, contact Nate Peterson at (713) 274-0988 or

Participants Testimonials
“I love Terence presentation on Developing an App.”
“Excellent program! Just keep getting better every year.”
“The content delivery was awesome! The speakers were informative, passionate, patient, and willing to assist! I will be honest, I came with the intent to sit back and complete school-related tasks, but I was learned so much! Thanks for hosting the Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, I have so much information I can apply personally and bring back to my students.”

The CEP does not discriminate against anyone regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity.


Natriez Peterson


Natriez Peterson
Community and Economic Development Extension Agent
(713) 274-0988



Talia Washington


Talia Washington
Program Specialist
(936) 261-5119