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.


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.


Fast Company’s Next Big Things In Tech

Fast Company is introducing a new recognition program that will highlight technology breakthroughs that promise to help define the future of the industries they serve. The publication is looking for products, services, features, research, and other technological efforts that are on their way to having a positive impact for consumers, businesses, or society at large in the next five years.

Entries from around the world, from any type of company or industry—including small-but-vital projects as well as large industry-shifting advances—are encouraged to apply. Award-worthy applications will showcase new, groundbreaking technology or reveal a completely innovative application for existing tech.

Applications will be judged on relevancy, ingenuity, and current and potential cultural and business impact. Go here for more.

Connect Commercial Real Estate’s 2021 Next Generation Awards

Do you know a young person in the real estate business who stands out because of his or her talent, drive and innovation? Do you have a rising star in your midst?

Consider nominating him or her for one of Connect Commercial Real Estate’s 2021 Next Generation Awards. Connect CRE will consider candidates in all sectors of commercial estate—from leasing to development, finance and architecture. The team will evaluate candidates based on both their excellence on the job and their leadership in the community 

Candidates must be 35 or younger as of Dec. 31, 2021. Go here to make a nomination.


D CEO’s Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards

Now more than ever, D CEO and Communities Foundation of Texas are proud to honor professionals and organizations in the nonprofit world that make a positive and efficient impact on the community, while celebrating the efforts of corporations and business leaders who support and collaborate with local nonprofits.

Make your nonprofit nominations here, and remember that organizations can be nominated in more than one category, but separate entries need to be made.


Kubota’s Hometown Proud Grant Program

Kubota Tractor Corporation today announced a first-ever community revitalization grant program, “Hometown Proud,” and is calling on all cities, towns, municipalities and nonprofits to submit an application for a chance to win $100,000 in funding and use of Kubota equipment to refresh, refurbish or revitalize a public space.

The application process is open now through April 27, 2021, and any community project—from parks, playgrounds, and baseball fields to rodeo and community arenas, and more—will be considered. Five finalists will be selected and put to public vote in May; the community project with the highest combined score from points and votes will be awarded the grant during summer 2021. Go here to enter.


The J.M. Kaplan Fund’s 2021 J.M.K. Innovation Prize

Applications are now open for The J.M. Kaplan Fund’s 2021 J.M.K. Innovation Prize. Now in its fourth cycle, the prize seeks to identify, support, and elevate innovators who are spearheading transformative early-stage projects in the fields of social justice, the environment, and heritage conservation. 

Ten applicants will receive a cash award of $150,000 over three years, plus $25,000 in technical assistance funds, for a total award of $175,000. Awardees also receive guidance through the fund and its resource network, including twice-yearly convenings with their prize cohort and tools and training that can help turn innovative ideas into life-changing social impacts.

Applications are due by April 30, open to projects in:

  • Social Justice: Buttressing democracy, voter education, and reforms to the criminal justice and immigration systems.
  • The Environment: Slowing the pace of climate change and mitigating climate impacts.
  • Heritage Conservation: Conserving the places that communities care about most.


Inc. 5000

Submit your company as one of America’s fastest-growing businesses—and a potential honoree for the 2021 Inc. 5000 list.

Appearing on the Inc. 5000 is one of the highest honors a growing private business can receive. Launch your company into greater success with nationwide recognition as well as coverage from Inc.

The Inc. 5000 represents nearly 40 years of exceptional American growth stories and entrepreneurs have remained the key benchmark for entrepreneurial success. Beyond recruiting, employee morale, and marketing boosts, all honorees also receive a permanent and dedicated company profile on, as well as potential editorial coverage in Inc. Magazine.

Go here to apply.


The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program

10,000 Small Businesses give entrepreneurs access to practical business education, covering negotiations, marketing, financial acumen, and more. In addition, you will receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take your business to the next level.

Dallas College is one of twenty sites nationally to offer this best-in-class program designed by Babson College, the nation’s leading entrepreneurship school. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business-Dallas College site is now taking  applications for its Fall cohort (September 2021).
If you are selected, you will receive a full scholarship to participate at no cost to you. 

Apply online to take advantage of the opportunity to grow your business.


Business Council for the Arts’ Obelisk Awards

In times of crisis it’s more important than ever to recognize the champions of arts and culture in North Texas. Effective leadership is a crucial component to the continued viability of North Texas nonprofit organizations from large to small. Join Business Council for the Arts in celebrating the businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals whose contributions to the arts are making a powerful and positive impact in North Texas.  

One organization may make multiple nominations in various categories here.


Texas Pride Impact Funds 2021 Grants Program

The Board of Directors of Texas Pride Impact Funds has announced the organization’s 2021 Grants Program for Texas-based nonprofits that provide support and services to the state’s LGBTQ+ community. The grants allow TPIF to help eligible organizations that have missions aligning with TPIF’s goal to secure the future for LGBTQ+ Texans.

The program will leverage TPIF’s philanthropic investments and partnerships to support organizations addressing critical needs, finding solutions to our communities’ most pressing challenges, fostering creativity, power building, and promoting resilience for a more just and inclusive Texas. Go here for more.

TiE Women’s Global Pitch Competition

Are you an early or late-stage female startup founder? Would you like to pitch on a global stage to VCs, angel investors and have access to more than $100,000 in equity-free prize money? Apply for TiE’s pitch competition.

The mission of TiE Women is to embrace, engage and empower women entrepreneurs across the globe—irrespective of the size of their enterprise, origin, standing or background.

Go here to apply.


D CEO’s Dallas 500

The editors of D CEO are once again seeking to profile the most influential North Texas executives in more than 60 business categories. Our sister publication has begun preliminary work on the 2022 edition of The Dallas 500, which will be released in November.

The Dallas 500 includes profiles of leaders, well known and under the radar, who make the regional economy tick. Selections are made by editors after hundreds of personal interviews, and months of research.

The deadline to make suggestions is June 30. Submit your ideas here, and read more about the Dallas 500 here.


Mouser’s Create the Future Design Contest

Mouser Electronics has announce its sponsorship of the 19th Create the Future Design Contest, a global challenge to engineers and innovators around the world to design the next great thing. Mouser, which has sponsored the contest for several years, is joined again by Intel and Analog Devices, Inc. as co-sponsors.

The Create the Future Design Contest brings attention to product designs that enhance humanity, improve quality of healthcare or help to provide sustainable solutions. Previous grand prize-winning entries include a small, self-contained device for organ and limb transport and an economical rapid screening device to prevent food-borne illness.

The grand prize winner will receive worldwide recognition and a cash prize of $25,000 for an innovative product that benefits society and the economy. Previous contests have produced more than 15,000 design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students in more than 100 countries. Go here for more.


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.


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.

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