Calling All Dreamers: Do you have the next big business idea?
Calling all passionate dreamers: The Downtown Sacramento Foundation’s (DSF) is now accepting business concept proposals for the 2014 Calling All Dreamers competition through March 3.
“If you have ever dreamed of owning a business, this is your chance to make it a reality,” said Valerie Mamone-Werder, Downtown Sacramento Partnership Senior Manager of Business Development. “Through this competition, we are able to open the doors to a wealth of resources for small businesses from legal advice and business coaching to marketing strategy and accounting services.”
Last year, the inaugural business competition attracted 49 aspiring business owners. Andy Paul, first time entrepreneur, was selected as the grand-prize winner. Within 9 months of submitting his business concept, he was able to see his vision come to life when he opened his shop, Andy’s Candy Apothecary, in the ground floor of the 800 J Lofts. The people’s choice winner, The Dailey Method, opened their new downtown studio on February 8 in the 800 J Lofts.
The competition was successful in incubating new entrepreneurs and creating a tangible economic impact for downtown from new jobs to new leasing opportunities. Between the 2 new businesses, the competition created 3 new full-time jobs and 11 part-time positions. It also opened the doors for several contestants to find their own storefront. Finalist Sun & Soil Juice Company will open later this year at 1912 P Street and a restaurant contestant South is expected to open near Southside Park. Two more applicants have signed Letters of Intent for development projects within Downtown.
“The Calling All Dreamers competition provided a tremendous amount of exposure for the 800 J Lofts building,” said Mamone-Werder, “Within 9 months, they were able to fill approximately 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail space and secure 5-year leases with the two winners of the competition. The extra exposure and synergy between tenants also helped them secure a third new tenant with Zipcar last year.”
Calling All Dreamers is made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors who continue to be champions for the economic growth of the Downtown core and the Sacramento region: Sacramento State, College of Business Administration, Surewest – A Consolidated Communications company, SMUD, Vision Launchers, MarketOne Builders, Sacramento Magazine, MeringCarson, Inside Publications, Brown Fink Boyce & Astle, LLP, Inside Publications, Law Office of Kristina M. Reed, and SCORE.