Apply Now: 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.

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.


DEADLINE: DECEMBER 15

HerGenius Pitch Competition

Join HERGenius and Impact Ventures as they promote female entrepreneurs and women-led tech start ups during International Women’s Day. This event features a virtual “shark-tank” pitch competition with live audience Q&A and live networking for attendees.

To qualify for the pitch competition, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Located in Dallas or surrounding counties
  • At least 51% owned and operated by a woman.
  • Must have at least 2 years of operating history
  • Must have annual revenues at least $100k
  • Must be the following Business Types: Consumer Product or Goods, Brick and Mortar Retail, Tech or Tech-enabled

 

Invitations to pitch will be sent Jan. 3. Pitch coaching starts Jan. 12. Finalists will pitch in an elimination round Feb. 9 and the top three competitors pitch live on March 8.

Go here to apply.


DEADLINE: DECEMBER 27

Cowtown Angels

Be considered for next funding cycle.

Based in Fort Worth, Cowtown Angels is an angel network that connects entrepreneurs seeking early-stage funding with local investors in an environment that accelerates growth and rewards strategic risk-taking. Cowtown Angels is a program of TechFW, a nonprofit organization created to encourage the development of the local business community by helping regional entrepreneurs commercialize innovative technology, and is a member of the Angel Capital Association and the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks.

Go here for more.


DEADLINE: JANUARY 22

Texan by Nature: 2022 Conservation Wranglers Accelerator 

The accelerator program catalyzes Texan-led conservation projects in the state. Selected projects are science-based and demonstrate a positive Return on Conservation for people, prosperity, and natural resources. Texan by Nature selects up to six Conservation Wrangler projects to support via program management, strategic planning, marketing messaging, metrics capture and analysis, professional content production, and partnership development— “whatever is needed to accelerate the project,” the group says.

The group looks for projects that are beneficial to the quality of life, as well as economic growth, and natural resources. Projects can take on many forms with a focus on any natural resource such as wildlife, land, and water and any Texas geography from urban to rural. Are you eligible? Review this quiz before applying.

Go here for more information.


DEADLINE: JANUARY 26

CPRIT’s Three Product Development Research Funding Opportunities

Go here for details.

Seed Awards for Product Development Research

This award mechanism seeks to support early-stage “startup” companies in the development of innovative products, services, and infrastructure with significant potential impact on cancer patient care.

The proposed project must further the development of new products for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer; must establish infrastructure that is critical to the development of a robust cancer biotech industry; or must fill a treatment or research gap. Company applicants must be headquartered in Texas or be willing to relocate to Texas upon receipt of award.

Texas Company Product Development Awards

This award mechanism seeks to support early-stage “startup” and established companies in the development of innovative products, services, and infrastructure with significant potential impact on cancer patient care.

The proposed project must further the development of new products for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer; must establish infrastructure that is critical to the development of a robust cancer biotech industry; or must fill a treatment or research gap. Companies must be headquartered in Texas.

Company Relocation Product Development Awards

This award mechanism seeks to support early stage “startup” and established companies in the development of innovative products and services with significant potential impact on cancer patient care. The proposed project must further the development of new products or services for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer; must foster a robust biotechnology industry ecosystem; or must fulfill a critical unmet need in cancer patient care. Companies must relocate to Texas upon receipt of award.


DEADLINE: JANUARY 31

Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest

Unpack the art supplies, unbuckle imaginations and kickstart the freewheeling designs of what your kids think cars should look like in the future. Then, enter their artworks in the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest. Submissions created by youth, ages 4-15, are accepted online or by mail.

It’s easy to enter. Kids create an original drawing by hand using digital tools, crayons, color pencils, ink pens, markers or paint (acrylic or watercolor). With the assistance of an adult, they complete an entry form, which is submitted with the drawing (the original, if sent by mail; an image, if using the online form). Details—with official rules, artwork guidelines, and entry forms—are available here.

The top three winners in each age group receive awards (gold, silver, and bronze) with cash prizes.


OTHER OPPORTUNITIES: 

Homeland Security Startup Studio 2022

The Homeland Security Startup Studio is designed to identify, accelerate and deliver commercial applications of technologies from US laboratories and research centers to raise awareness of the Department of Homeland Security’s mission. The innovative program will form teams of entrepreneurs and match them with ground-breaking technologies to assess their commercialization potential.

Entrepreneurs will work hand-in-hand with lab scientists and inventors, and explore forming companies around those technologies to solve the real-world homeland security problems of government and commercial customers. FedTech is currently recruiting diverse applicants who are ready to continue their entrepreneurship journey or take a step into the world of entrepreneurship, without the initial risk of leaving their day job, pay any fee, or giving up any equity.

Go here to apply.

Flash Funds through PeopleFund

PeopleFund offers Flash Funds up to $25,000 so you can get a boost for your business right when you need it most. With low interest rates and fees, you don’t have to worry about a price for speed.

With their streamlined process and quick turnaround, you’ll get the capital you need in a flash.

Click here to access the easy-to-use online loan application.

CPRIT Funding

CPRIT offers several funding opportunities for promising cancer research, product development, and prevention programs. All funding opportunities are announced through formal Requests for Applications (RFAs) and applications must be submitted through the online application receipt system.

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.

SOAR Fund

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 Amazon.com 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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