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Liftoff Houston Business Plan Competition

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Liftoff Houston is the City of Houston's annual business plan competition. This entrepreneurial initiative aims to empower Houstonians with business literacy education and mentorship to start their own business while contributing to the local growth and sustainability of the Houston economy.

To be eligible, applicants must be in the start-up phase of their business which means they must be in operation for less than one year with revenue of less than $10,000, and must live in the Houston city limits with their business in the Houston city limits. Capital One Bank is the key sponsor for this event providing cash prizes totaling $30,000.

The competition will take place in four stages – orientation, workshop, mentoring, and presentation, over a 5 month period. Applicants will participate in a myriad of workshops ranging from business plan basics to access to capital, as well as information sessions on essential City of Houston business resources available through the Houston Public Library (HPL) and the City's Office of Business Opportunity (OBO.) The goal is to enable individuals to successfully research and develop their business plan.  Applicants will also receive additional support from professional mentors from SCORE Houston and Capital One Bank to further refine the business plan for submission.

The award categories are Product, Service, and Innovation.

  1. ​$10,000 – Awarded for top “Product” Based Business Plan (Retail, resale, merchandise, etc.)
  2. $10,000 – Awarded for top “Service” Based Business Plan (Food, labor, consulting, etc.)
  3. $10,000 – Awarded for top “Innovation” Based Business Plan (Software, Hardware, inventions, new market businesses, etc.)

Competition Cycle

  1. Launch of Competition
  2. Applications
  3. Orientation
  4. Workshop Sessions
  5. Mentor Consults                                 
  6. Business Plan Judging
  7. Pitch Day/Award Ceremony


The 2015 competition launches July 1, 2015!

The competition workshops will be held at multiple locations across Houston.

To be eligible, applicants must be in the start-up phase of their business and only in operation for less than one year and with revenue of less than $10,000, must live in Houston city limits and plan to open their business in Houston. Please see competition rules & eligibility for more details.
Apply for the competition by clicking the “APPLY” button below to an account on the Liftoff Houston Competition website and complete the Liftoff Houston Application.

Apply HEre 


Liftoff Houston offers workshops series to non-competing individuals to help create a business plan and start their business! Liftoff Houston contestants are given priority when registering for the workshops. Participants are required to RSVP for individual workshops to

Liftoff Houston/ Houston Business Solutions Center
611 Walker St, Lobby
Houston, TX 77002
Telephone: 832-393-0954

This is a City of Houston Program. The competition is a collaborative effort between Office of Business Opportunity, the Houston Public Library, and Capital One Bank, and is designed to engage and empower Houstonians seeking to start a business using the robust resources of the City of Houston.  The path to launching your business starts with Liftoff Houston!