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Applications Open: 2018 StartHereNow Women’s Startup Weekend

HOUSTON — Thanks to the generous support of its sponsors, StartHereNow will be awarding a new $10,000 grand prize for the 2018 StartHereNow Women’s Startup Weekend. Apply by Sept. 16.

Held on Sept. 29 and 30 in Houston, the competition’s mission is to create a collaborative environment where women can bring to life ideas that they are passionate about and build companies that solve big problems.

Startups will build a prototype to enable the launch and growth of their business. Teams are comprised of startup founders, software developers, and women who are interested in learning more about startups and entrepreneurship. Founders submit their ideas and apply to lead a team. Passionate, interested women with diverse backgrounds apply to work on a team and bring an idea to life.

“Thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters, we will be able to award more than $40,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, making this one of the world’s premiere startup competitions for women founders,” said Roy Johnston, co-founder of StartHereNow.

“We are excited that these prizes will help attract highly-scalable, impactful businesses to the competition and also spotlighting the exciting things happening in the Texas startup environment,” added Allison Lami Sawyer, co-founder of StartHereNow.


  • Applications are now open for the competition, both for founders with startup ideas and team participants. Women who are interested in entrepreneurship or exploring startups are encouraged join a team. All backgrounds and ages are welcome. No prior startup or business experience is necessary.
  • StartHereNow is also recruiting software developers to join a team for the weekend. Developers are eligible to win one of two $500 prizes for their work over the weekend.
  • The competition finals will be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 30 at the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Rice University. The finals are open to the public. Tickets cost $35 and include an open bar and light refreshments.
  • Applications for the competition and tickets for the finals are available at www.startherenow.org.
  • Thank you to our sponsors and supporters, including: Silicon Valley Bank, Quorum Software, AECOM, Chevron, OPEN Houston, Rice Alliance, Strahan Cain, Vela Wood, Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The Doerr Institute for New Leaders, KIT, Rebellion Photonics, Madhatter Coalition, Orange River Advisors, Rena O Productions, and the City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity.

About StartHereNow
Now in its third year, StartHereNow is a start-up weekend for women that focuses on early-stage, women-led startups. The competition is part incubator, part pitch-day, brainstorming session, and hackathon and aims to create a collaborative environment for women to build impactful companies. The competition is organized by StartHereNow, Inc. a non-profit co-founded by Allison Lami Sawyer and Roy Johnston and located in Houston, TX.

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