Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply?

The first step to apply is to process your Eligibility. This quick form will determine which track you are eligible to participate in. Once you are provided your designated track, you will access the actual application for the Competition or Educational Pathway. The application must be fully completed before submitting, or it will not be accepted. To see a live demonstration of the application process, click here.

How do I know if my application is accepted?

Once your application has been accepted, your profile status will read Orientation Stage. At this stage, you will be able to access the list of Orientation dates and links to register for the upcoming Liftoff Houston Workshops.

I do not live within the City of Houston limits; can I still participate?

If your address does not fall within any of the city districts, you are ineligible to participate in the competition. However, you are eligible to participate in the Educational Pathway (LHEP). The LHEP track was designed as a parallel track to the Liftoff Houston Start Up Business Plan Competition; full access to attend the workshops and meet with the mentors. The LHEP track participants will submit a business plan; however, they will not be eligible to become a finalist. Upon completion, they will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate of completion from the Liftoff Houston Start Up Business Plan Competition can be used for the Houston Community College Business Plan Competition, as a prerequisite for their program for qualifying applicants.

To check your residential or commercial city limit status, click here.

I do not have a Library Card, what do I do?

As noted in the application, a Library Card is required to participate in the Liftoff Houston Start Up Business Plan Competition. If you do not enter your card number, your application will not be accepted to move forward in either program track. If you owe any library fees to the Houston Public Library, please take care of these items before the competition begins.

To obtain a Library Card go to [INSERT LINK].

I do not have my verification document(s); will this disqualify my application?

If you do not upload your verification documents, you will not be able to participate in the Competition or the Educational Pathway. These documents will be fact-checked and can eliminate you from the competition at any stage.

I filled out the application, but I haven’t progressed to the Orientation stage. What is wrong?

There are a variety of issues that could be taking place, but the most common are:

  • You have only completed the Eligibility form.
  • Your application is incomplete.

Check your application and update as needed. To see a live demonstration of the application process, click here.


Do I have to attend Orientation once I complete my application?

Yes, Orientation is mandatory for all participants. This is where we will discuss all the program requirements, eligibility rules, competition rules, timelines, etc., and an opportunity for interested participants to ask any questions they have before the competition begins.

Do I have to attend ALL Orientation sessions?

No, you do not need to attend all Orientation sessions, only one (1). Register for one session and complete your attendance check-in to progress your profile in the competition. If you do not see a status update for your portal profile stating you are in the Workshop Stage, your submission has not been entered correctly. Please review and submit again.


What systems and platforms are used and required during the Liftoff Houston Startup Business Plan Competition?

This program uses the following: Microsoft Teams, Liftoff Houston, Portal, Eventbrite, Constant Contact, and Menti Meter. More may be added at the discretion of the Liftoff Houston Team.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is the video streaming platform that we use to conduct meetings for Liftoff Houston. All participants are required to download and access the Microsoft Teams app to their laptops to participate in the meetings. Accessing the workshops via laptop is the best solution to ensure you have full access and capabilities to participate and execute the required steps during the workshops. Download Microsoft Teams, here.

What is the Liftoff Houston Portal?

The Liftoff Houston Portal is the online system we use to manage the entire process of the Liftoff Houston Competition via This system tracks the status of all participants from start to finish of the program. Each participant will have a profile that is created with their application and will serve as their personal checkpoint during the competition year.

The Liftoff Houston Portal will serve as the database and primary resource for the competition. Please make sure you make a note of your login credentials to ensure you do not have login issues. If you are having any issues with your profile, please send an email to

What is Eventbrite?

For participants to register for the workshops, we use Eventbrite. This is our event management tool that we use to process registrations for not only Liftoff Houston participants but also the general public of Greater Houston. This allows registrations from not only participants but also other entrepreneurs who are looking to gain insight into entrepreneurship who may not qualify for the competition or have an interest to participate in the educational pathway.

What is Constant Contact?

Constant Contact is a marketing tool that is also used to communicate with participants including emails, surveys, and other communication tools.


How do I request a mentor?

All mentors are provided by SCORE. To request a mentor, simply fill out the online form and follow the directions below. Once you have sent your request, a mentor will be provided to you and contact you via email.

How do I get credit for meeting with my mentor?

To receive credit for your meetings, your mentor will have to fill out the Mentor Check-In Form via the link provided by their organization’s liaison. The hard copy form that we have previously used is no longer a valid option; this form submission process has been updated to complement the virtual format of the competition and mentor meetings.

When do I need to complete my Mentor Prep Form?

Your Mentor Prep Form should be completed in advance of your mentor meeting. This information can be used to ensure you are prepared to meet with your mentor and dive into your business plans and processes.


Why isn’t my password working?

Check the password that you originally used to create your user profile for the Liftoff Houston Portal. Please be sure to document your login information in a safe place so that you do not lose access to your account.

You do have the option to reset your password if needed.

*Once your account is created, an email will be sent to your email address to verify the account is valid.

Why isn’t my email working?

Check the email address that you originally used to create your user profile for the Liftoff Houston Portal. Once your email is used to create an account, it cannot be changed/updated. Please be sure to document your login information and place it in a safe place so that you do not lose access to your account.

*Once your account is created, an email will be sent to your email address to verify the account is valid.


What is the process for the competition?

The main flow of the competition is listed below. 




  • Competition Application | Educational Pathway Application



  • Mandatory Workshops
  • Optional Specialized Workshops

                SCORE Mentor Meetings

  • Meeting 1
  • Meeting 2

                Capital One Mentor Meetings

  • Meeting 1

                Business Plan Submission

                Business Plan Review

                Finalist Selection

                Finalist Pitch Day Prep Promotions           

Pitch Day

Funds Allocation

How do I know if I am a finalist?

After submitting your business plans, they will be reviewed by our team of selected Reviewers. Once the scoring has been completed, the Liftoff Houston Team will determine the finalists based on the numerical scores. A second verification process will take place to verify finalists’ application information.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced live after the Pitch Day presentations.


What do participants need to do during each Workshop?

During each workshop, participants must log in on time and process their attendance. The attendance process has three parts due to the virtual format of the program. Attendance is required to become a finalist in the competition. See the attendance format below:

               QR Code/ Link Check-In:

                               Code Word

                QR Code/ Link Check-Out:

                                Code Word

                Liftoff Houston Portal Password:

                                Alphabetical code, to be entered in ALL CAPS

Will the Workshop recordings be provided during the competition?

Once the workshop deadline has closed, all workshop recordings will be posted in the resources page within the Liftoff Houston portal. 


When is Pitch Day?

Pitch Day will take place on Saturday, November 18th at 10am.