Houston TX supports start up companies through various programs such as the 2021 Liftoff Houston Business Plan Competition, where participants undergo a series of free courses that guide them through the learning process of how to put together a successful business plan. Winners are give $10,000 each to use towards their business.
For the first time in history 3 incredible Women Win The 2021 Houston LiftOff Competition.
Meet the winners!
Meet Winner Clara Orlean, Founder of ClaraTech, LLC
Mission: To empower and educate Older Adults through modern technology that will keep them safe, connected, and independent.
What inspired you to start your business: In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, my mother-in-law reached out for help with Zoom, as all her previously in-person social meetings transitioned to virtual meetings. My mother-in-law was so grateful for this help. She told me that her friends also needed help with their technology needs and didn’t have anyone to turn to. Before I knew it, I was helping friends and family with technology during my lunch breaks and in the evenings while working full-time at my corporate job. I saw the very rapid and uncontrollable dependence on technology that we all had to figure out quickly. There was such a need for technology education and support that wasn’t currently being offered, and I knew I could create a solution.
Three Tech Tips from Clara Orlean: 1. Tech should make your life easier and better. If it is causing you frustration or making your life more difficult, maybe you haven’t found the right solution for you. Explore other options or enlist a pro to help solve any tech issues you are experiencing. 2. Make sure you are backing up your digital data. You will sleep easier knowing that your data is safe and backed up, no matter what happens to your devices. 3. Take time to clean up your digital clutter. Doing this periodically will ensure that you don’t run out of storage on your devices or get to a point where you can’t find the things you need. Unsubscribe to emails you no longer want to receive, delete unwanted photos and files, and organize the digital files you need.
What advice would you give to young women? Be confident, and believe in yourself. Confidence is a skill that comes with practice. In situations when I am feeling uncomfortable or unconfident, I have found that it really helps to act like I am confident. Over prepare, stand tall, hold your head high, and speak with surety! Feeling unconfident is a good thing, it means you are challenging yourself! Once you step out of your comfort zone, you will see that you can achieve much more than you ever dreamed of.
Meet Winner: Alina Kravchenko, Founder of Better Way Body, LLC
Mission: To create innovative fitness products that empower women to look and feel more healthy fit and confident!
What inspired you to start your business: My deep and unconditional love for people. I yearn so much to help humans in as many ways as I can while I am alive. Being a busy working mom, I have a first-hand understanding of what women in our generation go through. We are expected to have a career, take care of our children and homes, which often leaves us with very little free time and energy to take care of ourselves. Slowly over time our health and confidence deteriorate. But I believe that we can have it all, we just have to create new and better ways of staying fit. Even if it means a quick five-minute workout in the morning and another one in the evening is enough to maintain our health that will make us feel more healthy fit and confident. The majority of the fitness industry is ruled by men that mostly focus on creating fitness equipment for gyms and heavy lifters. There is a huge market gap for the need for more innovative fitness products specifically for women.
It fills my heart with great joy to be able to create products for women like myself, my sister, my friends, my mom, and yes even my grandmother. I believe that the best exercises are the ones that you can do from ages 10-100 that build and maintain your health for longevity, not to just make you look amazing but to make you feel amazing! Because when you look and feel great life is just more awesome. My invention the TonerBum Glute Toning Weight Dumbbell is one of my first US Utility Patented products that exist under the Better Way Body, with the mission to create and launch more innovative fitness innovations that empower women.
What advice would you give young women? My advice would be to, let your natural beauty shine! You don’t have to have fake nails, fake hair, fake lashes, fake tan, or thick amounts of makeup to look beautiful. Instead, focus on taking care of your skin from the inside out so it glows without the need for a lot of makeup. Get plenty of rest, exercise, drink clean water, make the majority of what you eat fresh fruits and veggies. Don't use soap to wash your face it messes with the pH balance, wear sunscreen, and focus on exercises that you can do from ages 10-100! I see so many women damaging their lower back, hip, and knee joints while lifting heavy weights just to build their glute muscles. You can get amazing results by practicing yoga, walking, jogging on soft pavement, working using lighter weights like the TonerBum that is more gentle on your joints. Remember health is wealth, so be gentle and loving to your body.
Meet Winner: Krystle Hodge, Founder of SafetyKay, LLC
Mission: To decrease preventable child accident and fatality rates by teaching children critical safety skills.
Website: safetykay.com Follow: @safetykay
What inspired you to start your business: Last year I founded SafetyKay LLC which focuses on promoting safety awareness to young children by teaching them critical safety skills through engaging products and services. Working for years in the Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) with adults to promote safe work environments, I recognize how important setting the strong foundation in safety at an early stage influences accident prevention and improves performance. Most accidents I have seen were caused in places where safety was not a priority or there was a lack of knowledge incident prevention. I believe it is important to start early – with children. Every year millions of children are hospitalized and thousands of child fatalities occur due to unintentional injuries. With SafetyKay LLC, my goal is to give children tools and knowledge to exercise healthy behaviors and thus be self-empowered to make the right choices on their own during harmful situations.
Three Safety Tips from Krystle Hodge: 1. Create a family emergency escape plan. It is important children know where to go, meet up and who to contact during an emergency. 2. Make a family code word. These words are used to alert parents or guardians when a child feels uncomfortable or as signal of danger. 3. Teach children what to do if they ever got lost. Ensuring a child knows their parent’s full name, understands to stay put and not let anyone take them by practicing “what if’s” is very important. These few tips can help us be proactive in protecting children if a harmful situation were to occur.
What advice would you give to young women? To follow your passion and to have a plan. For me, I am someone what has a lot of ideas but I have been able to have some great mentors along my entrepreneur journey that have guided me. I have learned how to build strategic plans that help me executive on my passions. This is every important for anything you wish to achieve, whether you want to work in the public or private sectors or want to own your own business. Since life is short, I say follow your passion and having a great plan will help you be successful in your journey.