Build Up Houston

Press Release

"Build Up Houston" Program to Help Small Local Construction Companies
University of Houston-Downtown, Office of Business Opportunity, and Interise partner to increase the capacity of the small businesses powering Houston’s construction boom

September 10, 2015 -- Owners of small businesses in Houston’s construction service industry are invited to participate in the second cohort of Build Up Houston, an award-winning program designed to build their operational capacity, increase revenues, and create sustainable jobs in the Houston-region. Since 2012, the Office of Business Opportunity has provided educational opportunities for construction firms in Houston in order to help them overcome construction industry challenges and share best practices. With its initial class yielding tremendous results, the Office of Business Opportunity will begin its second class of Build Up Houston on October 6, 2015.

Build Up Houston is a comprehensive seven month program that will cover financial management, marketing and sales, human resources tactics, business strategy development, and access to capital and new contracts. Utilizing an interactive curriculum format, participants will get the tools, know-how, and confidence to take the next step in their own growth trajectories. The program will utilize an award-winning curriculum developed and refined by Interise, an innovative nonprofit. Over the past 10 years, Interise has established itself as the go-to partner with a proven model for accelerating economic and small business growth in lower income communities. Participants emerge from the program with a three-year strategic growth plan and the tools, professional network, and peer support needed to implement it.

"We are pleased to continue to offer this innovative program to our Small Construction Companies. We understand the importance of building capacity  and our goal is to provide participants with the tools they will need to participate as Primes on construction projects," said Carlecia D. Wright, Director of the City of Houston's Office of Business Opportunity. "Our first class resulted in growth for many businesses and new opportunities, we invite interested companies to apply."

"Build Up Houston gave me confidence to open a new location and to pursue new franchising strategies,” said John Higgins, owner of Neutex-Advanced Energy Group, Inc. and a 2014 Build Up Houston participant. “My company saw immediate increase in income by settling issues with cash flow. We experienced 140% growth in 2014 and a 297% growth so far in 2015.”

“The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity, University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), and Interise are all committed to creating opportunities for thriving small businesses while supporting local communities,” said Bernard Johnson, Director of Programs at Interise. “The first ‘Build Up Houston’ executive education program was a tremendous success, and the firms who were a part of the initial cohort that concluded this past spring are already experiencing successes. I am looking forward to another stellar group of business owners participating in this program and to witnessing their sustainable impact and growth.”

“UHD is proud to be a partner with the City of Houston and Interise to develop organizational capacity for Houston’s booming construction service industry,” said Bill Flores, Ph.D., president of the University of Houston-Downtown. “Together, we will provide participants with tools and training to help them grow their businesses as they do business with the City of Houston.”

The Office of Business Opportunity has begun accepting applications and will close on September 21st, 2015.  Anyone interested in learning more about the program or becoming a part of it please visit:

2015 Press Conference Photo

The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) is committed to creating a competitive and diverse business environment in the City of Houston by promoting the growth and success of local and small businesses through a wide range of services from startup business assistance to certification for established businesses seeking contract opportunities with the City. Through OBO’s Houston Business Solutions Center, we provide resources that help with the start-up, sustainability, and growth of businesses. For more information about the Office of Business Opportunity and our suite of services, please visit or call 832.393.0600.

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), founded in 1974, is one of four distinct universities in the University of Houston System, and is the second largest university in Houston and the 15th largest four-year, public university in Texas. One of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country, UHD ranks 43rd nationally for graduating Hispanic students with bachelor’s degrees and 49th nationally for graduating African-American students with bachelor’s degrees. For more information about UHD, please visit

Interise is the go to partner with a proven model for accelerating economic and small business growth in lower income communities. Its StreetWise ‘MBA’™ provides small business owners with the business knowledge, management know-how, and relationships they need to scale, including a national network of business experts, instructors and 3000+ Interise alumni. While learning to work on as well as in their business, small business owners develop a comprehensive three-year Strategic Growth Plan™. Alumni have secured almost $3 billion dollars in government and institutional contracts since 2008. In 2013, they reported an average annual revenue growth of $486,000.

Tanya Makany - Rivera
Office: 832.393.0623
Mobile: 713.397.6581
Claire Caton
Office: 713.226.5223
Mobile: 713.591.3912
Craig Panzer

Office of Business Opportunity Logo  University of Houston Downtown Logo Interise Logo