Calling All Dreamers Business Competition Opens April 24

Downtown Sacramento Foundation to accept applications at through May 31

Jordyn Anderson

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (Apr. 23, 2018) – Downtown Sacramento Foundation (DSF) is calling dreamers and aspiring entrepreneurs to take the first step toward small business ownership. Made easier with a business startup package valued at more than $100,000, the 2018 Calling All Dreamers competition winner will have the support and capital needed to open their doors in downtown Sacramento. Applications will be accepted using a new, optimized digital platform at beginning Thursday, April 24, 2018, through 5 p.m. PST, May 31, 2018.

“Since 2013, Calling All Dreamers has helped shape the fabric of downtown,” said Valerie Mamone, Business Development Senior Manager of Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “The five unique winners of the competition have become signature retail outlets in downtown. We can’t wait to work with another inspired group of entrepreneurs ready to take their small business dreams to the next level.”

The Calling All Dreamers competition is open to new startup businesses and existing businesses looking to expand or open a new concept in downtown Sacramento. The Shark Tank-style competition takes applicants through a business development program that calls for extensive planning, market research, proof of financial sustainability and more.

Leading the contestants through the process is a special selection committee formed by DSF, including prominent business and property owners and SCORE volunteers who help refine business concepts and improve business acumen. Ultimately, the committee will select the most unique and viable candidate to receive the prize package to assist the successful launch of their downtown Sacramento storefront. The prize package – valued at more than $100,000 – includes cash and in-kind services from contest sponsors, ranging from marketing and interior design to accounting, legal services and, new this year, the winner will receive support to negotiate leasing terms for a downtown storefront in Downtown Commons (DOCO).

Now in its 6th year, Calling All Dreamers has become an economic engine in downtown Sacramento. To date, the program has vetted nearly 200 applicants; helped to open 18 businesses; created more than 25 full-time and 67 part-time jobs; and, leased nearly 21,000 sq. ft. In just 2017, five new businesses opened, and the competition winner, Milk House Shakes, is scheduled to open in Old Sacramento later this spring.

For more information about the program, complete guidelines, prize package and contest rules, visit Join the conversation on social media using #CallingAllDreamers and #DowntownSac.

PRESS: To coordinate coverage and schedule interviews with past participants or program leads, contact Jordyn Anderson at [email protected] or 707-779-2287.

The 2018 Calling All Dreamers competition is produced by Downtown Sacramento Partnership and made possible by the generous support of the following program sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, City of Sacramento, Wells Fargo, SMUD, Marquee Media and more.

The prize package is made possible with the support of sponsors who continue to be champions for the economic growth of the downtown core: Blanket Marketing Group, MeringCarson, Consolidated Communications, L2J Interiors, SMP Law Corp and more.


About Downtown Sacramento Foundation

Established in 2011, Downtown Sacramento Foundation (DSF) is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 that supports programs that complement Downtown Sacramento Partnership priorities to improve the economic, physical, cultural and social environment in order to foster civic pride. 

About Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Downtown Sacramento Partnership is a nonprofit, property-based improvement district (PBID) that serves as the collective voice for nearly 200 property owners and more than 400 businesses located within its 66-block boundaries in downtown Sacramento. Driven by the mission to build value downtown, the organization serves as the principal advocate, champion, and steward for those who work, live, visit, and do business in downtown. For more information, visit and, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.