Home » From dreaming to doing – $125,000 award for next big business plan
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From dreaming to doing – $125,000 award for next big business plan

Are you one of those people who sits back all day, dreaming up business plans and ways to improve your city? If you can turn those dreams into something concrete and pitch it to the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, you could win $125,000 to fund those ambitions. 

The DSF on Tuesday launched its inaugural retail business competition – Calling All Dreamers – and is accepting applications until May 24. The competition is designed to stimulate business development in the city’s core, while providing support to downtown’s next big idea.

The multi-round competition is open to entrepreneurs with a retail business idea looking to open a storefront, according to a press release.

The winner will receive a prize package worth about $125,000, which includes free rent up to a year in a downtown location, startup capital, and business support services. "Community businesses will provide services including advertising, contractor build-out assistance, graphic design, strategic marketing support, legal and accounting services, and more," the release states.

"We want to encourage innovative business owners to launch, operate, and thrive in downtown,” DSP Business Recruitment and Retention Manager Valerie Mamone-Werder stated in the release. “By incentivizing one business we will be creating more jobs, a new passionate business owner, and one more reason for visitors and residents to experience downtown.”

Competition applicants will provide business concepts that will develop into a business plan as the competition progresses. A panel composed of the DSF board and business experts will judge submittals based on creativity, a sound business model, and clarity and passion demonstrated in the application.

Ten to 15 semi-finalists will be selected to further refine their business concept model. A group of three to five finalists will then be selected to do a final business pitch to the panel. The judges will select the entrepreneur with the most viable plan that both fits within downtown’s retail mix and has long-term sustainability potential as the winner.

Rules, eligibility, key dates, and resource information is available at DreamersWelcome.org

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