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2015 Winners

2015 Liftoff Houston Winners
“Liftoff Houston!” Business Plan Competition Selected Three Grand Prize Winners To Receive $10,000 Awards

Houston (November 19, 2015) - Three Houston-based start-ups emerged as the Grand Prize winners in the City of Houston's "Liftoff Houston!" Business Plan Competition.  This year the finalists participated in three categories: Innovation, Product and Service. A Grand Prize winner was selected from each category and received an award of $10,000. Sponsored by Capital One Bank in partnership with the Houston Public Library (HPL) and the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO), the competition was created 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. First and Second Prize Winners were selected from nine finalists during a final pitch presentation on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

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2015 Grand Prize Winners:
Apurva Sanghavi - Throttle, is a mobile app that analyze consumers' financial accounts and builds a plan to save them money by recommending extra payments on high interest debts and shows them all of their accounts on a simple and easy to use dashboard. 
Mario Garcia - Mandarino's Café, is a Houston based business importing specialty high-graded coffee from a family farm in Honduras to be commercialized among the coffee roasters in Houston.
Keisha Thompson - Dean's List Fit Club, offers school district employees the benefits of stress free practices, healthier nutrition choices, self-motivational techniques, and exercise programs.
Honorable Mention:
Allen Thornton- Grant Source, is a company devoted to producing a mobile application with grant and resources for small business owners.
Denise D. Douglas- Balloon Boutique and More, provides business owners and families in the community long lasting memories with creativity, and economical support through event coordination, planning, and custom decorating.
Sharon Washington - TWO Research Group, is a research and design firm that will provide a unique type of market research for businesses, known as ethnographic user experience research.