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2017 Winners

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

Houston (November 17, 2017) – 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 Friday, November 17, 2017.
Deidre Mathis - Wanderlust Houston
Wanderlust Houston is a boutique hostel with private and shared accommodations that is an ideal launchpad for millennial travelers eager to explore Houston’s myriad of nightlife options, festivals, and sporting events. Much more than a place to sleep, Wanderlust Houston is a social experience!
Megan Eddings - Accel Lifestyle
Accel Lifestyle is the first socially conscious fashionable fitness apparel company for people who sweat. From fiber to finished garment, everything is sourced and made in the USA. 
Henry Keculah - 4.0 GPA
4.0 GPA is an Education Consultant Firm that was created with an ambitious goal in mind: to give every student the opportunity to graduate from a four-year university, regardless of her or his race, financial status or zip code.
Matthew Tessler - Beat Wines
Beat Wines is in the business of selling wine while educating the consumer. The market entails residents in the Houston metropolitan area that want to have a more engaging shopping experience. Beat Wines serves as a local independent wine shop.
Jonathan Avila - Core Simulations
Core simulations is an early-stage digital healthcare company that utilizes VR (Virtual Reality) to improve patient compliance and lower re-admittance rates for physical therapy clinics. The software is capable of collecting and interpreting positional data in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the patient’s treatment.
Kuan Zhao - Lotus Box 
Lotus-Box is an online retail platform that sells authentic frozen Asian cuisines.  Lotus-Box will procure, produce, warehouse and distributes specialty Asian food to sell in its online marketplace and ship products directly to customers’ doorsteps.