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Here Are 15-Plus Opportunities for Dallas Innovators

Browse our curated selection of contests, nominations, pitches, and grants. Our roundup of programs is for entrepreneurs, corporates, creatives, inventors, educators, and social innovators.

Don't miss this: Deloitte's 2021 Technology Fast 500 Awards has been extended through July 9.

North Texas is a big place, with plenty of opportunities. 

So, we’re constantly on the lookout for contests and competitions, recognition programs, and available grants innovators can apply for. Keep in mind that application information may change at any time, so check the official websites for the latest details. (And be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.)

Information, provided by the organizations, is compiled by Dallas Innovates. Things can change: Confirm all deadlines and information with the organizations.

Know of a deadline coming up? Tell us about it here.


Call for Code Global Challenge

Join the Call for Code Global Challenge and build your skills on industry-leading, open hybrid cloud technologies while being part of a community of 400,000 problem solvers fighting back against the most pressing issues of our time.

By joining the community, you will be registered for the Global Challenge and will receive:

  • A free IBM Cloud account with $200 USD in credits, allowing you to build your skills and kick-start your solution 
  • Call for Code communications so you can receive the latest announcements, events, resources, and more
  • Access to a dedicated Slack workspace where you can find tips from Call for Code mentors to help accelerate app development


When you’re ready to submit your open source solution, visit Go here for more.

WorkSuites’ Free Office Space for Veterans Contest

Are you a veteran and an entrepreneur with your own small business, or do you want to be? WorkSuites is giving away a free Office for a full year to one lucky veteran on August 15. No strings attached.

The company is asking DFW area veteran entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to write an essay explaining how winning an office from WorkSuites could help you start or grow your business and improve your quality of life. The chosen essay will win a free full-service, private office with all the amenities needed to start or run a business.

WorkSuites is an office space and coworking provider serving small businesses and entrepreneurs in DFW for 20 years. There’s 16 locations in DFW to choose from.

The contest runs from July 1 to July 31, 2021 and the winner will be announced on August 15. Two additional finalists are eligible to win a free virtual office or coworking membership. Please send essay entries to [email protected]


Comerica Call-Up Contest

The Texas Rangers and Comerica Bank understand that many businesses continue to experience the effects of the pandemic and they want to help. 

If you’re a woman-owned and/or minority-owned small business within 50 miles of Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers invite you to enter the Comerica Call-Up contest. Similar to the Rally Back contest last year, applicants have the chance to be called-up to an advertising partnership with the Rangers in 2022.

Grand prize (1): A Rangers radio and digital marketing sponsorship for the 2022 MLB season, which includes:

  • Five (5) social media posts on Rangers social media feeds
  • Ten (10) :30 second promotional radio spots during broadcasts of Rangers’ games
  • One (1) half-page program ad in the Rangers 2022 program
  • Four (4) tickets for one (1) 2022 Rangers game
  • A private suite night provided by Comerica Bank
  • Runner-Ups (2): @mentioned on social in final video and four (4) tickets to a 2022 Rangers game.


Find out how to take your small business to the big leagues here.


The United Way Social Innovation Incubator

To further Dallas-based its mission of making a lasting difference in the community, United Way is accepting applications for its Social Innovation Incubator. The Incubator is a partnership between United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Bridge for Billions. Together they have created a leadership development program exclusively for early-stage social ventures that are led and staffed by women or people of color, who are working to implement new and creative solutions to pressing problems facing North Texans in the areas of Education, Income, and Health.

Proudly sponsored by Comerica, the Social Innovation Incubator is an online 12-week program where individuals will develop a validated business plan with a personalized mentorship experience.

Interested in learning more about the program? Go here to register for an information session. 


Tech Titans Awards

Tech Titans, the largest technology trade association in Texas, representing a quarter million employees through its 300+ member companies, has opened its awards program to the public for submissions. The prestigious annual contest recognizes outstanding technology companies and individuals in North Texas who have made contributions during the past year locally, as well as to the technology industry overall.

Companies located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are eligible for submissions. Go here for more.


Bank of America Small Business Impact Awards 

Despite big challenges, many small businesses  thrived in the past year. Bank of America wants to recognize these contributions with the Small Business Impact Awards: an awards program designed to reward four (4) businesses with $10,000.

Small businesses will be chosen in four distinct categories: Innovation Award, Diversity & Inclusion Award, Sustainability Award and Giving Back Award. After all applications are in, a panel of well-respected experts in the small business space, including Kenneth Ebie, inaugural Executive Director & Chief Development Officer of Black Entrepreneurs NYC.

One small business in each category will receive a $10,000 Grand Prize. Three (3) First Prize winners in each category will receive a Mastercard® Digital Doors™ Toolkit subscription at a virtual award ceremony in October 2021.

Go here to learn more about what your small business could win.‎


Dana Juett Residency (DJR) Application – Class of 2022

Created with lifelong philanthropist Dana Juett, the Social Venture Partners Dallas Dana Juett Residency Program (DJR) is designed to empower young business professionals to become successful, life-long philanthropists… to do good better, earlier.

Over the course of 9-months, residents will participate in meaningful workshops, build their philanthropic networks, and engage in an SVPD consulting project with a local social impact organization, all while working side-by-side with SVPD staff and Partners.

If accepted to the program, you and the other residents will meet (in-person) on the second Saturday of each month to build leadership and community-building skills, deepen relationships with your peers, and hear from some of Dallas’ most influential philanthropic leaders. 

The Residency program will consist of eight 4-hour sessions over eight months after the weekend retreat on September 10th, 2021. The program will require 8-10 hours of time per month in addition to a meaningful monthly  financial contribution – which is individually determined by each resident.

If you are a member of the class of 2022 and have applied or are considering applying, you are welcome to join a Happy Hour with staff and DJR Alumni on Monday, August 2 from 5:30-7:30. Register here.


Re-Teck’s “Do Your Part to Save the Planet”

Re-Teck, a global network that repurposes, reuses, and recycles electronic equipment, wants to bring awareness to people around the world on how to help the environment—and you and your family could be the stars of this program. Re-Teck is launching the “Do Your Part to Save the Planet” campaign, a contest for students and families to show how they are helping save the planet. Participants will upload a video that is up to 3 minutes long showing them participating in environmental-friendly activities, from picking up trash, to recycling, to planting a tree, to any other creative thing they can think of. The campaign, created by Re-Teck’s Dallas-based marketing firm The Time Group, provides an engaging and educational opportunity for families to take action in helping preserve our planet.

Video submissions are due by 5 PM, August 15, 2021. All videos must address the contest theme, “Do Your Part to Save the Planet,” and demonstrate something you are doing to better preserve the environment while on vacation or simply staying home for a staycation this summer. Click here for the full contest rules and to fill out the video submission form. Prizes for the contest will include a brand-new iPhone 12, a $500 Visa gift card and an Apple Watch.

Rainwater Charitable Foundation’s Tau Leadership Fellowships

The Rainwater Charitable Foundation, one of the largest independent funders of neurodegenerative disease research, is accepting applications for its 30th Anniversary Rainwater Tau Leadership Fellowships.

The fellowships are open to postdoctoral researchers working in the field of neurodegenerative disease research, with priority given to those specializing in tauopathy. Graduate students pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD will also be considered based on research experience and their contribution to the understanding of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and tauopathy-related diseases. 

The $10,000 fellowships will be earmarked for the purchase of technology; books; or travel and registration for courses or scientific conferences related to continued scientific discovery in tauopathy research. Selection of the Tau Leadership Fellows will be based on the applicant’s research goals and experience alongside a commitment to leadership, mentorship, community engagement, and civic impact outside of the laboratory.

Apply here.


The Charles Bronfman Prize

The Charles Bronfman Prize is now accepting nominations for its 2022 Prize. The $100,000 award is presented each year to an individual or team whose innovative, entrepreneurial, humanitarian work, fueled by Jewish values, has significantly improved the world. An international panel of judges will select the Prize, which will be announced in January 2022.

The Prize was founded as a gift to Charles Bronfman by his children and their spouses as a tribute to the values and innovative spirit that have served as a compass throughout his life. It celebrates the inspiration and impact of humanitarians under 50 whose endeavors inspire future generations.

Go here for details.


Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2022


For more than a decade, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list has celebrated organizations that are transforming industries and shaping society.

With innovation more important than ever this year, Fast Company is looking forward to recognizing the organizations that are moving the world forward.

Here are a few key points and updates for this year’s program:

  • An early-rate ($695/category) is available until Friday, August 20

  • Every company can be entered in as many of the 52 categories as you’d like

  • This year we’ve introduced new categories including Consumer Goods, Current Events, Medical Devices, and Personal Finance

  • Every entry will be seen and evaluated by Fast Company’s editorial staff

  • All honorees will be featured in Fast Company’s March/April issue, as well as on Last year, over 400 companies from around the world made the list

Organizations may apply under 52 categories and must demonstrate how their innovations from the past year have impacted their business, their industry, and the broader culture. Companies and nonprofits of all sizes will be considered. View full category descriptions and application details here.

The Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant 

The Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant program is a partnership between Texas A&M Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Unit to fund strategies that ensure greater knowledge of and access to COVID-19 vaccines by those disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Community-based organizations (CBOs) will be awarded funds to engage their community in proactive COVID-19 vaccine education and outreach activities with the goal of increasing the number of people fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in Texas.

Preventing disparities in the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is important to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of the virus. Reaching high vaccination rates across individuals and communities will be key for achieving broader population immunity through a vaccine. Lower vaccination rates among some groups will leave them at increased risk for infection, particularly as new variants spread.

Priority will be given to applicants who focus on reaching:

  • Communities of color
  • Texans with disabilities
  • Rural communities


Application materials should be submitted by 5:00 PM CDT on Friday, August 20, 2021, via the online portal.


Women-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition

The Beacon State Fund, in partnership with the Governor’s Commission for Women, is hosting a cash-prize competition for women entrepreneurs that will award $7,500 to each of five winners across Texas, with live pitches presented to judges via a regional webinar. 

The Women-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition is open to all business that meet these criteria:

• Your business is at least 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women.
• Your business made $1,000,000 or less in revenue in 2020.
• Your business employed 15 or less in 2020.
• Your business must be registered in the State of Texas, and must have operated for more than 12 months.

The deadline to submit a pitch in North Texas is Sept. 1. Finalists will be selected and notified more than a week before the regional webinar event. They’ll be invited to present a live pitch to judges on the day of the webinar. 

You can learn more and apply for the competition here.


CodeLaunch DFW

Improving Dallas and Code Authority are hosting CodeLaunch DFW on November 17, 2021. CodeLaunch is the seed accelerator event that pairs early stage tech startups with professional software development teams to accelerate their trajectory toward MVP, seed funding, and beyond.

CodeLaunch is an event which exemplifies Improving’s core value alignment with Conscious Capitalism. Sponsors and partners help guide winning startup ventures down the path of success while minimizing their financial risk.

Go here for more.


Capital Factory Ventures Application 

The Capital Factory’s Texas Fund and its partners Beam Angel Network, Seven Seven Six Fund, and Houston’s Golden Seeds are holding the summit. The $100,000 Investment Challenge is dedicated to bolstering diversity in the tech community while making Capital Factory an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and identities. 

All five finalists will receive their own fast track into the Capital Factory portolio, where they can get exposure to potential investors, customers, and employees. They’ll also gain access to the Capital Factory Mentor network as long as Capital Factory is a shareholder. 

All finalists will also get up to $250,000 in total hosting credits from AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and other major hosting providers, and a complimentary Capital Factory coworking membership for their team for six months. 

Think you have what it takes ? Capital Factory encourages you to apply now. The deadline is September 12th. For more info or to apply, go here.


Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards 

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Dallas is hosting the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards (GSEA) local qualifying competition on November 16 at SMU Cox School of Business. 

Eligible students must currently be enrolled as an undergraduate student of a recognized college or university. Additionally, students need to be primarily responsible for the operation of a for-profit (revenue generating) business that has been operating for no less than six (6) consecutive months. The applicant’s business must have a minimum revenue of $500. 

The winner of the Dallas competition will compete at the national level in Miami on February 11, 2016. The winner of the national competition will attend the GSEA Finals in Bangkok to compete with the world’s top student entrepreneurs and have a chance to win over $150,000 in US cash and donated business services.

Go here to apply. 


Elon Musk’s $100M Carbon Removal Prize

XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity—fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history, an extraordinary milestone.‎

This four-year global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans, and sequester it durably and sustainably. To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tonnes removed per year; model their costs at a scale of 1 million tonnes per year; and show a pathway to achieving a scale of gigatonnes per year in future.

The competition will last for 4 years through Earth Day 2025.

Team registration will remain open throughout the prize. The following deadlines apply:

  • Registration for the Student Awards will close October 1, 2021
  • Registration for the Milestone Awards will close December 1, 2021
  • Registration for the Grand Prize will close December 1, 2023



Pitch.Tech Equity-Free Funding

Pitch.Tech is an idea-stage competition hosted by .Tech Domains in association with Startup Grind. The competition invites idea-stage entrepreneurs to submit their pitches and helps them go from zero to one.

Applicants will first compete at their respective chapters to qualify for the grand finals. The winner of the grand finals will win $10,000 in equity-free funding, $100,000+ in startup benefits through Startup Grind membership, and a host of other prizes to help kick-start their entrepreneurial journey.

Apply here.

RepairSmith’s Jump Start

Are you a nonprofit addressing socioeconomic, racial and ethnic inequalities in your community? RepairSmith is here to help keep you moving with our Jump Start initiative.

Jump Start is a community-focused initiative by RepairSmith that aims to remove the financial burden of car repair for nonprofit organizations—allowing delivery of essential services without disruption. Over the next year, RepairSmith will donate $250,000 in free car repair services to organizations who meet Jump Start’s criteria. Each nonprofit is eligible for up to $10,000 in free services to passenger and light duty vehicles.

Go here for more.

talkSTEM’s Her STEMlens

talkSTEM, a Dallas nonprofit that develops future generations of female and underrepresented STEM leaders, is launching “Her STEMlens,” powered by Comerica Bank, a national campaign to showcase a diversity of STEM moments contributed by girls and women from everywhere.

The virtual exhibition kicked off February 11 and will continue through May 31. Every month, the exhibition will be refreshed, showcasing images posted on social media fueled by the #herSTEMlens social media movement. Girls in K-12 classrooms, after school groups, families and more are invited to participate and appreciate STEM mindsets in action conveyed in the exhibition.

To participate, share your #herSTEMlens to be included in the virtual exhibition, which will feature women who are leaders in a wide variety of STEM-integrated professions, women in STEM careers, and young girls. First, post an image to your favorite social media platform. Second, add a question or idea that other girls and women can share. Third, use #herSTEMlens on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook and tag @talkSTEM.

State Farms Ventures

State Farm Ventures is on the hunt for startups and tech companies with disruptive potential. The goal is to help State Farm better innovate to serve customers now and in the future. Pitching ideas to State Farm Ventures can be done on its public website, which contains information on current investments and the key areas the company is interested in, like senior living, home safety, and drones. “Go beyond the impossible” here.

Opportunities for Artists

Don’t Take Pictures, a photography magazine published in print twice-yearly, has compiled a number of awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies that artists can apply for. Go here and filter by what you’re looking for to check it out. Deadlines vary.

National Academy of Inventors

Initiate with leaders from your field and learn from their experiences by becoming a mentee with the National Academy of Inventors. You can get matched with the best mentor for your interests and gain expert advice on patents and filing, research, strategy, commercialization, and more. Go here to find out how to apply.

EnrichHER Funding

EnrichHER provides affordable and non-dilutive capital to revenue-generating U.S. based women-led businesses. You can apply in less than five minutes and get funding in as little as 48 hours.

Check to see if you qualify here.


A new multi-million fund has launched to provide affordable capital to nonprofits and small businesses in the South, including Texas. The Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund, or SOAR, was developed by 13 community development financial institutions, including Liftfund and PeopleFund, to help businesses rebuild from the pandemic. SOAR, which has $50 million in initial commitments from investors. plans to raise $150 million. It’s open for applications for very low-interest loans of up to $100,000 and free business support.

Amazon Black Business Accelerator

Partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Amazon has launched the Black Business Accelerator program. The grant program is aimed at empowering black-owned businesses by remedying “historical manifest imbalances by growing and advancing equity for Black-owned businesses.” 

The opportunity is open to U.S-based Amazon professional seller(s) who sell products on and will provide mentorship, business promotion, and financial assistance for business owners. 

Applications will be open on July 1 for grants up to $10,000 for eligible businesses.

Go here to learn more. 

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