2015 Calling All Dreamers competition

Since the inaugural Calling All Dreamers competition launched in 2013, the DSF has worked with 82 aspiring entrepreneurs and helped 8 businesses get their start in the urban core including Andy’s Candy Apothecary, The Dailey Method, Ana Apple, Sun & Soil, South, Off the Chain Bike Bus Tours, Metro Juice, and Benjamin’s Shoes.

The application process for the 2015 Calling All Dreamers Competition is now closed.
Check back on April 1 to find out who our Semi-Finalists will be.

What is the Calling all Dreamers competition?

It is a retail business plan competition produced by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation (DSF). Our goal is simple. We want to foster Sacramento’s entrepreneurial spirit and cultivate the next generation of dreamers. We know running a small business isn’t easy. So, we’re here to help. The winner of this competition will have the chance to open a downtown storefront, earn a business start-up package valued at approximately $100,000.

Competition Key Dates (May be subject to change.)

  • February 10: Competition opens
  • March 23: Applications Due by 5:00 PM
  • April 1: Semi-Finalists Announced
  • April 16: Orientation for Semi-Finalists | 8:30-10:30 am
  • April 27: Revised business plans due
  • April 29: Announce Finalists. Public vote opens
  • May 7-8: Sounding Board
  • May 20: Public Vote Ends
  • May 21: Finalist Pitch
  • May 26: Announce Winner
  • July 2: Winner executes lease agreement
  • November 2: Business Opens

How will this competition help me launch my business?

Taking a business from a dream to reality is a complicated task, and the first year is usually the most difficult for small businesses. With that in mind, the business start-up package has been specifically designed to provide the winner with the resources and tools needed to succeed. The DSF with the generous support of our sponsors will help the winning entrepreneur navigate the challenges of that first year in business.

The winner will receive a business start-up package valued at $100,000, which includes a cash prize of $10,000—plus up to six months of free rent, and a suite of business services including:


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