Q2 and Austin FC Announce the 2024 Dream Starter Competition Winner – 29ELEVEN THE SALON

Austin-based startup providing haircare services to people of color to receive $100,000 in funding to accelerate its business and mission

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, 29Eleven The Salon was announced as the winner of the 2024 Austin FC Dream Starter Competition presented by Q2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: QTWO). 29Eleven The Salon will receive $100,000 in funding to accelerate its business and mission as part of the Austin FC Dream Starter business initiative, which supports Austin entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.

“After reviewing several innovative pitches, we’re delighted to announce 29Eleven The Salon as this year’s Dream Starter winner,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “Austin has an amazing and diverse entrepreneurial community, and we’re grateful to Q2 for their help in bringing this initiative to life for a fourth consecutive year.”

29Eleven The Salon provides education and hair care services to address the unique needs of curly and highly textured hair. Historically, cosmetology schools have only provided training focused on straighter hair textures, which results in the surrounding communities being underserved for hair care services.

“It is an honor to be selected as the 2024 Dream Starter Competition winner. This is an amazing opportunity to expand my business,” said 29Eleven Owner Tiffany Wilson. “People of Color spend $8 billion dollars annually on beauty and product services, with $3 billion spent on hair care. This will allow us to reach more people with kinky curls who need healthy hair care.”

“We are proud to support underrepresented local entrepreneurs through the annual Dream Starter Competition in partnership with Austin FC,” said Q2 CEO Matt Flake. “It’s exciting to learn about the diverse businesses the finalists represent here in Central Texas, all of which align so well with our Q2 mission. We look forward to seeing the impacts this year’s winner will make in its communities.”

The Austin FC Dream Starter Competition combines Q2’s mission with Austin FC’s inclusivity through equity community pillar. The aim is to connect underrepresented entrepreneurs with the resources needed to build profitable, high-growth companies. The “Dream Starter” funds will aid 29Eleven The Salon in overcoming financial barriers to achieve success.

In addition to 29Eleven The Salon, the 2024 Dream Starter finalists included Amiguitos Spanish Immersion Academy, The Breastfeeding Success Company, Celzo Agua Fresca, and West China Tea.

29Eleven The Salon, along with the other finalists, participated in a pitch contest on May 23 at Q2 Stadium. A diverse group of representatives from Austin FC, Q2 Holdings, Inc., and the Austin entrepreneurial community evaluated each finalist’s presentation and ultimately selected the winner. 29Eleven The Salon will be honored with a check presentation during halftime at the Austin FC vs. Portland Timbers match on Wednesday, May 29.

Previous Winners


In 2023, SocialNote Co-founder Vanessa Newton, was selected as the Austin FC Dream Starter Competition winner. SocialNote is a one-of-a-kind web application designed for school-based social workers to manage interactions with students and families. Documentation of interactions with students and families is critical but often the last task to be completed because there are so many other needs to tend to. SocialNote aims to provide a platform that removes the stress, dread and burnout of case management so the job feels sustainable, and the professional field of school-based mental health retains high-quality providers.

CDL Changing Lanes Driving School

In 2022, Delbert Crawford, Founder and Owner of CDL Changing Lanes Driving School, was selected as the Austin FC Dream Starter Competition winner. CDL Changing Lanes Driving School teaches individuals from diverse backgrounds how to safely drive a commercial vehicle. The school’s training programs help its students, many of whom are unemployed, gain the skills necessary for jobs driving commercial vehicles, changing the trajectory of their lives.

At Ease Rentals Corporation

In 2021, Anthony Gantt, CEO of At Ease Rentals Corporation, was selected as the inaugural Austin FC Dream Starter Competition winner. At Ease Rentals Corporation is a short-term rental platform helping military and federal employees and their families find government approved, temporary housing with less time and frustration.

About Austin FC

Austin FC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as the League’s 27th club in January 2019. Austin FC officially began competing in MLS in April 2021 and played its first match at home on June 19, 2021, in the new, 100% privately financed, state-of-the-art Q2 Stadium in Austin. In its second year, Austin FC finished the regular season 2nd in the Western Conference, while also making a run to the Western Conference Finals during the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Austin FC also operates Austin FC II, a professional-level development team competing in MLS NEXT Pro which won the league title during its inaugural season in 2023. In addition, Austin FC operates Austin FC Academy which is the fully funded developmental academy representing the highest level of competition for elite youth soccer players in Central Texas, while serving as the exclusive developmental pathway to MLS for the region’s most talented young players. Combined, Austin FC II and Austin FC Academy teams complete the pro player pathway between elite youth soccer (MLS NEXT) all the way to MLS, and allow for players to develop, improve, and move up to Austin FC or Austin FC II.

About Q2 Holdings, Inc.

Q2 is a leading provider of digital transformation solutions for financial services, serving banks, credit unions, alternative finance companies, and fintechs in the U.S. and internationally. Q2 enables its financial institutions and fintech customers to provide comprehensive, data-driven digital engagement solutions for consumers, small businesses and corporate clients. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Q2 has offices worldwide and is publicly traded on the NYSE under the stock symbol QTWO. To learn more, please visit Q2.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and X to stay up to date.


Austin FC Media Contacts
Cameron Koubek

Communications and Media Manager, Austin FC



Gwen Hernandez

Brand Communications Coordinator, Austin FC



Q2 Media Contact
Maria Gari

Senior Marketing Communications Specialist, Q2



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