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2019 HYPE Impact Award Start-up Superstar Nominees
October 22nd, 2019
By Melissa Fox

Young professionals from multiple industries throughout the Houston region will be recognized for their contributions to the Houston business community at the third annual HYPE Impact Awards on Thursday, November 14. 

The 2019 HYPE Impact Award nominees in the category of Start-up Superstar are entrepreneurs with businesses or nonprofits that provide a product and service with incredible potential. This award recognizes early-stage startups that have a solid chance of market success and actively display Houston's "can-do" spirit. 

The Partnership's HYPE (Houston Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs) program is honored to announce this year's Impact Award nominees for Start-Up Superstar.

Star Gilani, CEO and Founder / Lead Tour Guide, Best Bites Houston

After a year of planning, securing partnerships and product testing, Star launched Houston Bites and Sites Downtown Food Tour in March of 2019. Since then, Best Bites Houston has serviced over 500 attendees, which consist of both locals and tourists. She currently has over ten restaurant and bar partners and has consistently held a 5-star rating across multiple channels. After the quick success of her first tour, she is on the cusp of launching her 2nd tour in the Historic District. She is also making plans to provide tours in the Heights and Chinatown next year. 

Diedre Mathis, Owner, Wanderstay Hotels, Inc.

Deidre made history in 2018 when Forbes Magazine recognized her as the first African American woman in the United States to open a hostel. After the immediate success of her first Wanderstay location a year ago, she is now making plans for her second location in the fall of 2020. Wanderstay has made a significant impact on the community by creating jobs and giving travelers to Houston a budget-conscious choice that still offers inclusive amenities. 

Marvin Pierre, Executive Director, Eight Million Stories

Marvin transitioned from a career on Wall Street to a philanthropist that is creating sustainable social change for youth in underserved communities in Houston. This passion for change led him to co-found Eight Million Stories, a nonprofit that provides disconnected youth an opportunity to complete their education, obtain occupational skills training, as well as gain access to emotional and behavioral health services.


Learn more about the 2019 nominees in the categories of Business Leader and Emerging Leader.

Click here to purchase your tickets for the 2019 HYPE Impact Awards. 

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