Innovator Alert: Apply Now

Browse our curated selection of opportunities for innovators.

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

So, we’re constantly on the lookout for contests and competitions, award ceremonies, and available grants our 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.


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.


Building Solutions for Brighter Futures

Building Solutions, a national real estate advisor for facility assessments and capital projects, has put out an open call for PreK-12 schools in DFW to nominate their school buildings for the “Building Solutions for Brighter Futures” education equity program.

As part of the initiative, the company will donate 3,000 hours to 30 different schools in the North Texas area. An allocation of that time will be focused on facility equity assessments of participating prekindergarten to 12th-grade schools to help identify critical deficiencies in their facilities and operating practices that impact health and learning.

The program is open to all school types, including public, charter, private, and parochial. The building nominated must be at least 10 years old, used for educational activities for students in prekindergarten to 12th grade, and in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Up to 30 schools that meet the qualifications will be accepted into the program.

Go here for the nomination form.


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses 

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a program for small businesses that links learning to action. Through the program, participants gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing and employee management that can immediately be put into action—for free.

In addition, they receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will help their business recover, pivot and/or grow.

Find out how to:

  • Create and execute a growth plan
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities
  • Understand financial statements
  • Hire, retain and lead employees
  • Negotiate successfully


To date, more than 10,000 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. and become part of a national peer network supporting the small business community.

Go here to apply.

Go here to learn more.


Eco-Art Competition 

Inspire others to become good stewards of the planet through your artwork, and raise awareness about the environmental issues important to you and move others to take action through EarthX’s Eco-Art Competition. The competition is open to ages 5-22. Artwork can either be 2-D or 3-D using any medium to address the theme: No Time to Waste. An Impact Essay of no more than 300 words is also required. The purpose of this essay is to describe how the artistic representation embodies the theme of the competition. Learn more here.


CPRIT Grants

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has released three requests for applications (RFAs) for product development grants available to cancer-focused, Texas-based companies (and those cancer-focused companies willing to relocate to Texas):

Fall 2021 Product Development RFAs include:

  • Texas Company Product Development Research Awards (TXCO)
  • Company Relocation Product Development Research Awards (RELCO)
  • Seed Awards for Product Development Research (SEED)


The application period for the TXCO, RELCO and SEED funding opportunities is December 2, 2020, through January 27, 2021. 

All proposals must be submitted through CPRIT’s online grant application system.


Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

Cisco is committed to positively impacting 1 billion people by 2025. As part of its work, the company seeks to inspire and empower a generation of global problem solvers who will not only survive—but drive and thrive—in an increasingly digital economy.

The fifth annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. $1,000,000 in prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems.

Go here to submit a solution.


Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest

Designed to inspire creativity, the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest invites kids to imagine their ideal vehicle and put pen (or crayon or paint) to paper. The intent is to spread the idea that “the dreams that you imagine have the power to change your future.”

The contest was first launched in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, and encouraged children from around the world to participate. Since, as many as 6.2 million kids have gotten involved, according to Toyota.

Today, the contest is held on a national and regional basis. Some 90 countries now hold their own rendition with the same rules, but different submission periods. This year marks the tenth annual Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest. It opens today, November 16, and closes January 31, 2021.

Learn more here.


Congress for the New Urbanism’s 2021 Charter Awards

CNU’s Charter Awards recognize outstanding achievements in architecture, landscape and urban design, and planning worldwide. 

Applicants can submit a project on the CNU website at A focus of the jury this year will be on projects that support the public realm. Charter Awards recognize projects at three scales:

  • The Region: Metropolis, City, and Town
  • Neighborhood, District, and Corridor
  • Block, Street, and Building


Projects that celebrate an active public realm, embody a wide range of the Charter of the New Urbanism principles, and are currently built or being implemented are strongly encouraged to apply. Student projects are also encouraged to apply.

CNU has a limited number of need-based application scholarships available for the 2021 Charter Awards. If you have been economically impacted by the pandemic and are interested in submitting a project, please contact Avery Kelly at [email protected]


Lone Star Film Festival

The 15th annual Lone Star Film Festival is the premier film festival held in the thirteenth largest city in the nation, Fort Worth. In-person screenings, Film Talks, and parties will return in 2021. Submissions are encouraged to be in the form of narrative feature-length films (90-120 minutes recommended), documentary feature-length films (60-120 minutes recommended), and narrative and documentary short-length films (under 59 minutes recommended). International films are also welcome but must either be in English or have English subtitles.

Films must be available for screening during the festival from November 4-7, 2021. Go here for more.

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