Houston Announces Business Plan Competition Capital One Bank Sponsors Liftoff Houston!

Style Magazine Newswire | 4/26/2013, 4:39 p.m. | Updated on 4/26/2013, 4:39 p.m.
Mayor Annise Parker today announced the launch of the “Liftoff Houston!” Business Plan Competition. Sponsored by Capital One Bank and ...

Mayor Annise Parker today announced the launch of the “Liftoff Houston!” Business Plan Competition. Sponsored by Capital One Bank and in partnership with the Houston Public Library (HPL) and the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO), the competition aims to engage and empower Houstonians seeking to start a new business in Houston by providing them with access to essential information, resources and support necessary to develop a sound business plan as a first step toward realizing this goal. For more information or to register, visit http://www.liftoffhouston.com or call 832-393-0954. The competition will be take place in two rounds – an application round and presentation round, over a 6-8 month period. Capital One Bank is providing cash prizes totaling $30,000, including a $15,000 grand prize, to the winning business plan submissions. Registration opens April 26, 2013, and is preceded by a mandatory orientation that will provide a general overview of the competition application and judging process and requirements. Participating applicants will be assigned a professional business coach/mentor and a personal financial advisor. Orientation sessions will be offered in May 2013 at select libraries citywide. To be eligible, applicants must be in the start-up phase of their business and only in operation for less than one year or with revenue of less than $10,000, must live in Houston and plan to operate their business in Houston. The top three finalists will receive much needed capital to invest in their business. “The City of Houston wants to serve our small business community by helping it grow, and Liftoff Houston will be a part of that effort,” said Mayor Parker. “Navigating the various permits and regulations can be intimidating for new business owners, and thanks to Capital One, they can even have more startup cash to get their business going. It’s a win-win for everyone.” “At Capital One Bank, we are committed to Investing for Good in Houston, connecting our company’s people and financial resources to education, financial literacy, and small business and workforce development,” said Annella Metoyer, Houston Market President for Capital One Bank. “The Liftoff Houston competition can help local businesses grow and create jobs, which is so important to the community. It’s a great example of how Capital One Bank brings Investing for Good to life for businesses in Houston. We’re pleased to partner with Mayor Parker, the Houston Public Library and the Office of Business Opportunity to offer this competition.” “We are proud to be a part of the awesome team launching Liftoff Houston! This project is buoyed by an exciting public-private partnership that supports Houston’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and one of Mayor Annise Parker’s citywide priorities, Jobs and Sustainable Development. We are thrilled that Liftoff Houston will showcase the vast resources and services available through the Houston Public Library and the Office of Business Opportunity that are invaluable to small startup businesses. Liftoff Houston also presents a unique opportunity to emphasize the important role that public libraries play in small business development and the immeasurable impact that free access to critical business-related resources has on the community,” said Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson. The Office of Business Opportunity’s Director Carlecia Wright said, “We are truly ecstatic about this wonderful venture. The Liftoff Houston Business Plan Competition provides an excellent opportunity for startup entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the suite of services made available through the City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity, where we help educate, connect and grow our local businesses.”