Calling All Dreamers Business Competition Opens April 24

(Apr. 22, 2019) – Calling all dreamers! Submit your big idea in the 7th annual Calling All Dreamers retail business competition for a chance to win a business startup package valued at nearly $100,000 to open a storefront in downtown Sacramento. Applications can be submitted online at beginning Wednesday, April 24, 2019, through 5 p.m. PST, May 31, 2019.

The Downtown Sacramento Foundation is making the first step of small business ownership easier for aspiring entrepreneurs. The competition is designed to make big ideas reality and/or help existing businesses looking to expand or open a new concept in downtown Sacramento. Selected applicants will participate in a business development program that calls for extensive planning, market research, proof of financial sustainability and Shark Tank-style final pitch.

Leading the contestants through the process is a special selection committee formed by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, 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 nearly $100,000 – includes cash and in-kind services from contest sponsors, ranging from marketing and interior design to accounting, legal services and support to negotiate leasing terms for a downtown storefront.

“Calling All Dreamers provides the opportunity and resources for someone ready to open the business of their dreams,” said Valerie Mamone, Business Development Senior Manager of Downtown Sacramento Partnership. ” This is an incredible time to open a business and be a part of our region’s growing urban core and look forward to the unique ideas that will enhance the retail mix of downtown.”

Calling All Dreamers has become an economic multiplier in its first six years. Since 2013, the program has vetted over 200 applicants; helped to open 22 businesses; created more than 28 full-time and 74 part-time jobs; and, leased nearly 25,000 sq. ft.

Successfully incubating new entrepreneurs from past winners Andy’s Candy Apothecary, The Allspicery, Oblivion Comics & Coffee, Milk House Shakes and soon, NEO Escape Rooms, the Calling All Dreamers competition continues to create a tangible economic impact for downtown and the region. The experience gained by participation in the program prepares applicants to open for business as 18 semi- and finalist contestants have, including Blossom Bathhouse (2018), The Kitchen Table (2017), Burly Beverages (2016), Whired Wine (2015), SacTown Bike Bus (2014), Sun & Soil Juice (2013) and more.

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: Download photos, videos and logos here. To coordinate coverage and schedule interviews with past participants or program leads, contact Emilie Cameron at [email protected] or 916-442-8575.

The 2019 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: MeringCarson, L2J Interiors, SMP Law Corp and more.