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New Launchpad Contest set to open, courtesy of BBVA Compass and the Houston Rockets

- Contest: The contest will focus on Houston-area start-up businesses that need a financial boost to become digitally innovative

- Collaboration: This is the third consecutive year the two organizations have teamed up to present the contest

- Winnings: Fans get final say on winning submission and who gets the $10,000 grand prize

HOUSTON, Feb. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third consecutive year, the Houston Rockets and BBVA Compass will be rolling out their annual small business contest on February 19, beginning a new chapter in their focus to foster entrepreneurship.

BBVA Compass corporate logo (PRNewsFoto/BBVA Compass)

In a shift from the previous two installments, the contest will now focus on Houston-area start-up businesses that need a financial boost to become digitally innovative. The prize remains similar to past contests, with the top business winning a grand prize of $10,000 and consultations with Rockets and BBVA Compass executives.

"BBVA Compass is in a unique position and we want to leverage that to help elevate entrepreneurship through digital capabilities," said BBVA Compass Houston CEO Mark Montgomery. "We are a leader in the financial industry's digital transformation, and have won multiple awards because of our innovative products and services in that realm. We want to create ample opportunities for a rising business through that industry-leading expertise. The Rockets are excellent teammates, and we are excited to unveil this new version of our collaborative contest with them."

In past years, the contest 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 will include judging on how potential candidates would leverage the introduction of new technology to make their businesses more productive.

"We are excited to partner with BBVA again for this annual contest," said Rockets Chief Revenue Officer Gretchen Sheirr.  "They have been best in class in their industry with their digital strategy, so it's fantastic that they will be providing an opportunity for other businesses to thrive in this space. We look forward to reviewing our fans' contest submissions and seeing the great work being done by start-up businesses in our great city."

After the submission period ends on March 5, a judging period will commence between Rockets and BBVA Compass representatives. After four finalists are announced, fans will have a chance to vote on the winner in late March. The winner will be presented a check during a Rockets game in early April.

Companies are encouraged to submit their nominations online at rockets.com/launchpad when the submission period opens on February 19.

Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year

BBVA Compass has had a long history of helping small businesses in the Houston area and throughout its footprint. In addition to the Launchpad Contest, BBVA Compass is also currently teaming up with The Business Journals to present the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest.

The campaign is being held in four markets and is giving entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their innovative business idea for a chance to win up to $60,000. For more information on the contest and how it works, click on any of the links below:

To learn more about BBVA Compass, visit: www.bbvacompass.com

For more news visit: www.bbva.com and newsroom.bbvacompass.com

 About BBVA Group
BBVA (BBVA) is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a strong leadership position in the Spanish market, is the largest financial institution in Mexico, it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States; and it is also the leading shareholder in Garanti, Turkey's biggest bank for market capitalization. Its diversified business is focused on high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. More information about BBVA Group can be found at bbva.com.

About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 645 branches, including 332 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 37 in Colorado and 18 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (6th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 6th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2017. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found under the Investor Relations tab at bbvacompass.com. For more BBVA Compass news, follow @BBVACompassNews on Twitter, visit newsroom.bbvacompass.com, or visit bbva.com.



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