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Entrepreneurship 16 May 2019

Houston startup Hamper chosen as winner of Launchpad Contest from BBVA Compass and the Houston Rockets

BBVA Compass and the Houston Rockets have announced Hamper as the winner of the 2019 Launchpad contest, awarding the tech startup $10,000, among other prizes.

In a shift from the contest’s previous two installments, Launchpad focused on Houston-area start-up businesses that needed a financial boost to become digitally innovative. Hamper is a 24/7 on-demand dry cleaning mobile app that picks up and delivers clothes to customers’ doorsteps.

Dudderar: Hamper’s team saw an opportunity and created an innovative service.

“What stood out to us about Hamper was both the uniqueness and convenience of their concept,” said BBVA Compass Texas Regional Executive Jeff Dudderar. “When examining the digital transformation of major industries across the United States, this is the type of industry that people may not realize is ripe for disruption. Hamper’s team saw an opportunity and created an innovative service. We’re a bank that is committed to digital transformation and we see great things in the future from Hamper and their leadership.”

Established in 2015, Hamper sought to solve the effects of Houston’s traffic on everyday errands. Focusing on dry cleaning availability, the company created an app that allows customers to place an order and request a pick-up in only a few steps. The Hamper team then picks up from a home or office and delivers the clothes back at the day and time requested on the initial order.

Their most recent offering has been their Hamper kiosk, which is placed in office buildings throughout Houston to offer employees on-site dry cleaning drop off as an amenity from the convenience of their office. Because the company does not have rent expenses or facility costs of a traditional brick-and-mortar dry cleaning operation, they are able to provide clients with affordable prices.

Sheirr: Hamper captures the spirit of the type of digital innovation this contest was designed to highlight and help foster.

“Hamper captures the spirit of the type of digital innovation this contest was designed to highlight and help foster,” said Rockets Chief Revenue Officer Gretchen Sheirr.  “On behalf of the Rockets, congratulations to Hamper and all of our finalists and a special thanks to our partner, BBVA Compass, for providing this platform to recognize small businesses in the Houston area.”

Previous versions of Launchpad gave small business owners a chance to submit their entries, detailing the nature of their operations and what they would do with their winnings. This year, the contest criteria included judging on how potential candidates would leverage the introduction of new technology to make their businesses more productive.

Ali: Special thanks to BBVA Compass and the Houston Rockets.

“We are immensely honored and grateful to be selected as the winners of the Launchpad Contest,” said Cofounder and CEO, Safir Ali. “Thank you to everyone that voted, and special thanks to BBVA Compass and the Houston Rockets for recognizing and supporting local businesses like ourselves!”

As the winner, Hamper will receive the grand prize of $10,000 and consultations with Rockets and BBVA Compass executives. Company representatives will be presented a check during a future Rockets game.

The contest, which began in February, gave participants the chance to submit their business plan by March 5. After the submission period ended, judging commenced between Rockets and BBVA Compass representatives. After four finalists were then announced, fans had the chance to vote on the winner online.

The conclusion of the contest comes on the heels of BBVA Compass’ Small Business Month announcement, an initiative designed to help small business owners improve their operations. This year’s celebration includes special offers for small business clients and prospects, entrepreneurial contests and small business seminars led by bank employees.

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