Dreamers Answer the Call: 2014 Business Plan Competition Underway

This February, the Downtown Sacramento Foundation (DSF) sent an open invitation to all dreamers and visionaries to submit their business concepts for a chance to win a business start-up package valued at approximately $135,000, including free rent in a downtown storefront. The word spread fast through the entrepreneurial community and 33 innovative concepts were received.

“Sacramento entrepreneurs impressed us again this year,” said DSP’s Senior Manager of Business Development Valerie Mamone-Werder. “We received an impressive mix of high-quality business concepts that will fit within the urban fabric of the downtown core. We look forward to starting the process of assisting these individuals as they take their business concept dreams and turn them into a reality downtown.”

Many of the concepts embody the farm-to-fork movement, focusing on healthy living, eating, and nutrition. There are several boutique concepts that will offer children’s, maternity, or women’s apparel. Lastly, there is a group of concepts that are innovative in how they deliver their product and experience to the consumer.

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 fifteen 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.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Andy Paul of Andy’s Candy Apothecary, a boutique candy store now open at 1012 9th Street. The People’s Choice award was given to Sandra Lemos and Stacy Armijo of The Dailey Method, a ballet barre fitness studio, now open at 1011 8th street.

For more information about the Calling All Dreamers business plan competition click here or contact Valerie Mamone-Werder at 916.442.8575.