Capital One Bank Sponsors Business Plan Competition – Celebrating Fifth Year
The City of Houston and Capital One Bank are pleased to announce the 2017 launch of the “Liftoff Houston” Start Up Business Plan Competition; a program that is helping to launch new businesses today, for a better Houston tomorrow!
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the 2017 program on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Sponsored by Capital One Bank in partnership with the Houston Public Library (HPL) and the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO), “Liftoff Houston” is a start-up business plan competition that engages and empowers Houstonians seeking to start a new business in Houston by providing them with access to essential information, resources and the support necessary to develop a sound business plan toward realizing their goal.
In its fifth year, Liftoff Houston has helped to educate thousands of individuals seeking information on how to start and sustain their business, supported the launch of new businesses, and provided over $120,000 in cash awards and incentives to those businesses. This year’s program will build on past successes to include more opportunities to showcase previous winners and finalists, encourage program participation and completion and engage the general public. Added program activities such as a Winners Panel and mixer featuring past competition winners, additional business plan and pitch coaching, cash incentives for business plan completion and fan favorite selections, and live streaming of key events are just some ways this will be accomplished.
Houston was recently named “Best City in America” for minority business owners by the Expert Market Group and the Liftoff Houston Start Up Business Plan Competition is an excellent example of how the City of Houston and key stakeholders such as Capital One Bank are working collaboratively to foster an environment that helps all Houstonians achieve their goal of business ownership.
“Houston is a city of economic opportunity. Liftoff Houston! is an opportunity for all Houstonians who are considering starting a business but may need that extra push to get started. I am grateful to our partners and Capital One Bank for continuing to invest in our small business community and I am inviting all interested Houstonians to participate.” stated Mayor Sylvester Turner.
To be eligible, applicants must have a for profit business that is less than a year old, has earned less than $10,000 in revenue, is operated and have owners who live within the Houston city limits. The top three finalists will receive much needed capital to invest in their business. Capital One Bank is providing cash prizes totaling $30,000 to the top three winning business plan submissions in the categories of Product, Service and Innovation. Prizes of $10,000 will be awarded for each category.
Entering the “Liftoff Houston” 2017 Business Plan Competition is easy and free. Application submissions open Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 11 AM. All interested parties are required to complete and submit the application no later than 2 PM, Friday, July 5, 2017. To learn about the competition or to apply, visit www.Liftoffhouston.com or call 832-393-0954.
The competition is five months long and is divided into four stages that include: orientation, workshops, mentoring, and business pitching. The workshops will be offered at various Houston Public Library locations and other local entities citywide, with special emphasis on locations targeted in the Mayor’s Complete Communities neighborhoods.
“Capital One Bank is proud to once again sponsor the Liftoff Houston Competition,” said Jim Nicholas, Houston Market President for Capital One Bank. “Small business owners want solutions that make it easier for them to grow and manage their businesses. Through our product and services, and through our support of programs including Liftoff Houston, Capital One develops innovative solutions to help them succeed.”
“Startup businesses contribute significantly to the economic viability of our City and the Houston Public Library is proud to play an important role in helping to support their development through Liftoff Houston”, stated Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Director, Houston Public Library.
“The Liftoff Houston Business Plan Competition is an excellent forum for aspiring entrepreneurs to gain invaluable knowledge and get insights on how to successfully manage and grow their startup businesses. The Office of Business Opportunity is proud to support these businesses in their development.,” said Carlecia D. Wright, Director, Office of Business Opportunity.