Calling All Dreamers Business Incubation Program

Applications for the 2024-2025 program open August 1st!

Through the generous support of the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, the Calling All Dreamers business incubation program returns this fall! Applications will be accepted August 1 – 31 and the program will run September 2024 – February 2025. Every year 10 business concepts are chosen by the selection committee from the applicant pool to participate in the program.

During the program, participants are paired with a business mentor who assists them in building out their business plan and financial projections. They attend 10-12 business workshops that focus on a variety of relevant topics including marketing, HR policies, staffing, available storefront properties, team building, financing options, and more.

After several months, the top five concepts are chosen to move forward and are eligible to receive a cash infusion for their business provided they complete the program and sign a lease in the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s district within one year.

View the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Property Based Improvement District (PBID) map here.

Application requirements and materials are listed below:

1. Business Model Concept

Your submittal must include the following components and not exceed 10 pages:

Executive Summary Provide a detailed description of the business concept not to exceed one page. Be clear and concise in providing the vision for your business. Include your mission statement.

 

Business Model What are the products or services that would be delivered or sold? What is or will be the name of the business, and why? What kind of operational requirements will you have? Is this a new, expanded, or relocated business?

 

Financial Plan What resources and assets will be needed (personnel, financing, inventory, equipment, licenses, permits) and what is available? What would the potential prize monies be used for?

 

Management Plan Have you ever managed a business before? What has that experience taught you about this opportunity? What key personnel would your business require? Do you have a plan for the management structure?

 

Marketing Plan Define the target market for the business and your core customer. How will you drive customers to your store? Who is your competition in the downtown district and outside the district that may affect your business? Why will they come to your business as opposed to other similar businesses? How will you get the word out to your customers? Please include any market research.

 

Startup Timeline Outline timeline for startup. What will you need to start your business? Identify schedule and necessary resources to develop the concept (equipment, staffing, build out, permits and licenses).

 

Value Proposition How will the business enhance downtown? Are there any similar businesses downtown? If so, how will your business distinguish itself?

 

2. 60-second video pitch

Your 60-second video is your personal business pitch that gives us a flavor of your brand and business concept. It should showcase your personality and tell a compelling story about why downtown needs your business. Have fun and be creative! The videos may be shared with the public via the Calling All Dreamers website or DSP’s social media channels.

3. Résumés of all business partners

  • All information will be kept confidential, to the extent allowed by law, and is for the use of this business plan competition. We will not provide, sell, or distribute information about your company or your business plan to other parties or third parties. The Selection Committee or DSF Board may require verification of certain information during the review of the proposed business plan. Only complete business plans will be considered, i.e. plans including all of the aforementioned sections.

Questions? Email Andrew LaFrance, Business Development Manager, at [email protected].


Meet the 2023-2024 Calling All Dreamers Winner!

The Dreamland Cinema has won $20,000 cash and a package of in-kind services.

The Dreamland Cinema
The Dreamland Cinema is currently a 26-seat ‘microcinema’ focused on bringing the best in independent, arthouse, international, and cult films to Sacramento. Their plan is to move The Dreamland Cinema into a larger space downtown and expand their food and beverage menus. They also plan to showcase new releases, host movie trivia nights and VHS swaps, set the mood with pre-show DJ sets, and most importantly have more seats!Learn more about The Dreamland Cinema and check out their showtimes by clicking here!

 

This year the Calling All Dreamers Runner-Up wins $10,000 cash!

Ecojoyous
Ecojoyous offers a variety of one-of-a-kind upcycled and handmade artisan goods which are locally sourced with primarily natural and organic ingredients. They also currently offer a mobile refillery for various kitchen, bathroom, and home products and plan to include a refillery in their storefront space. Their goal is to empower, inspire, and help change the way we consume home and body products.Learn more about Ecojoyous by clicking here!

 


The remaining finalists are eligible to receive $5,000 if they lease a downtown storefront by March 1, 2025!

Capital Tuk Tuk
Capital Tuk-Tuk provides tours that feature the best parts of Sacramento. There are several tours to choose from including the Sacramento City Tour, the “Murals of Sacramento” tour, beer and wine tours, and other custom touring options lead by a knowledgeable tour guide.Book your tour with Capital Tuk-Tuk by clicking here!
Nouvelle Healing
Nouvelle Healing represents a new paradigm in the realm of healing. It encompasses holistic approaches that offer solace and support to those grappling with anxiety and depression including Reiki sessions, guided meditations, steams, and sound baths.Book your visit with Nouvelle Healing by clicking here!
Planted Foods
Planted Foods focuses on nutrient-dense foods with healing properties with a twist by making them familiar and tasty. They plan to open a cafe that boasts unique, fresh, and wellness-focused foods.Learn more about Planted Foods by clicking here!

Semi-Finalists included Sour & Soul Baking Co., Baker For Hire, Naan Tikka, and Gondo Fusion.

 


About our Calling All Dreamers program:

Produced by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, Calling All Dreamers is a business incubator boot-camp that brings in industry professionals to mentor entrepreneurs for the chance to open a downtown storefront and earn a coveted business start-up package.

Previous participants of this incubator program — including winners Dipped N Color Splat Studio, Nash & Proper, Neo Escape Rooms, and The Allspicery, and finalists The Teetotalist, Flora & Fauna Provisions, Burnside Coffee, Octopus Peru, Cerealism, Leash & Collar, The Kitchen Table, Pure Soul, Pizza Supreme Being, The Jazzy Bird, Whired Wine Window, and Sun & Soil Juice — have quickly become signature small businesses, inspiring a new class of dreamers to pursue their big idea year after year.


Be a part of the dream

The valuable prize package is made possible due to the generous support of sponsors who continue to be champions for the economic growth of the downtown core.

Partnership opportunities are still available for local businesses able to donate much-needed accounting and marketing support. Businesses interested in helping to make a difference by donating services should contact Andrew LaFrance, Business Development Manager, at [email protected] or 916-442-8575.


2022-2023 Calling All Dreamers Cohort

Dipped N Color Splat Studio, 2023 Calling All Dreamers winner, is now open!

“From coming across a Calling All Dreamers flyer and deciding to take a chance on an idea I had [for my business] to now being in this moment is tremendous… I couldn’t have done it without the huge support of those at the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, SCORE, One Million Cups, my family, friends, and local businesses I met along the way!” Dipped N Color Splat Studio helps families connect and create positive experiences through art with custom pre-sketched canvases, paint kits, and private paint parties. Monet’s mission is to inspire every parent and child to celebrate individuality and diversity so that they are empowered to be their most creative and true selves. You can learn more about Dipped N Color here.

Flora & Fauna Provisions is now open!

Flora & Fauna Provisions is now operating at 980 9th Street (Suite 150) where they serve California-inspired meals made with farm-fresh ingredients from the region. Click here to check out their menu at their website. Follow them on Instagram at @florafaunaprovisions for updated food and beverage specials and exciting events!

Octopus Peru is now open!

Octopus Peru, now open at 980 9th Street (Suite 170), serves fresh fish and vegetarian dishes and has a full bar. The restaurant features two large murals by local Sacramento artists and the menu regularly features new items! Follow them on Instagram at @octopusperusac.

Burnside Coffee Bar opening Fall 2024

Burnside Coffee Bar, where you can sip unique coffees made with the finest ingredients, will be opening at 902 K Street in 2024. Until then, find them at Anchor & Tree Coffee Roasting Co. at 1412 16th Street! Follow them on Instagram at @dontdrinkburnside.

Previous Open Participants

Since 2013, Calling All Dreamers has helped business owners open storefronts downtown and across Sacramento. The program provides participants with a collaborative network of entrepreneurs and mentors, so creative business concepts can thrive as physical …

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