Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Launches Liftoff Houston Start-Up Business Plan Competition, With Winners Receiving Cash Prizes

June 6, 2018 -- Enterprising Houstonians are encouraged to vie for more than $30,000 in cash and prizes during the 6th annual Liftoff Houston Start-Up Business Plan Competition, sponsored by Capital One Bank. Enrollment is now open at:

Liftoff Houston has helped dozens of Houstonians turn their business ideas into reality. Participants receive essential information, resources and support to develop a sound business plan. They then will be invited to pitch those plans to a panel of experts. They will select three winners who will each receive $10,000 of seed money, thanks to a generous contribution from Capital One Bank.

“I invite all enterprising Houstonians to sign up for Liftoff Houston and learn from some of the best on how to start and grow a new business,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “I also would like to thank Capital One Bank for its generous support and for helping Houstonians achieve their goals of business ownership.”

To be eligible, applicants must have a for-profit business that is less than 1 year old, has earned less than $10,000 in revenue, and whose owners live and operate the enterprise within Houston’s city limits.

“Capital One is once again pleased to sponsor the Liftoff Houston competition,” said Mark Boucree, who leads Community Development Banking small business efforts for Capital One Bank in Texas and Louisiana. “Through our product and services, and through our support of programs including Liftoff Houston, Capital One is constantly developing innovative solutions to help small business owners succeed.”

Liftoff Houston is a 5-month long competition organized by Houston Public Library and the Office of Business Opportunity. It is divided into four stages: Orientation, Workshops, Mentoring, and Business Pitching. Workshops will be offered at various locations citywide—including many Houston Public Libraries—with special emphasis on locations within the Mayor’s Complete Communities neighborhoods.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Houston and the Office of Business Opportunity is committed to their growth all across this great city,” OBO Director Carlecia Wright said. “The 2018 Liftoff Houston competition will help dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs learn new skills to grow their businesses and contribute to Houston’s economy.”

To enter the 2018 Liftoff Houston competition, fill out an application at by 3 p.m. July 16, 2018. To learn more, visit the website or call 832-393-0954.

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