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.

Texas Healthcare Challenge 2021

TXHCC Hackathons are weekend-long events that bring professionals and students alike together to tackle some of the healthcare industry’s biggest pain points. For this hackathon, Health Wildcatters will be using a virtual platform to engage and connect with other people, forming teams and finding solutions to big problems in healthcare. Some introductory activity will begin the week of March 1.

The application can be found 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.


2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators

Fast Company is now accepting applications for its third annual Best Workplaces for Innovators list, which celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business.

New this year: For the first time ever, Fast Company is introducing categories offering additional chances for recognition. While every application submitted will be considered for the annual Best Workplaces for Innovators list, you may also choose to apply to any of these new categories, increasing your chances of being recognized by Fast Company. Multiple honorees will be named in each category.

Go here to apply.


Southwest Airlines’ Storytellers On The Rise Writing Contest

Southwest Airlines Co. continues to mark its 50th Anniversary year by coming together with Wattpad, a global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories and leading social storytelling platform, for the Southwest: Storytellers On The Rise Writing Contest, which celebrates what’s been at the heart of the carrier’s values since its founding: kindness.

This contest calls upon aspiring and avid writers to share fiction or nonfiction stories of kindness rooted in travel. Now through Feb. 28, 2021, U.S.-based writers can submit short stories via the Southwest profile on Wattpad for a chance to win the writing contest. The winning author will receive a once-in-a-lifetime writing mentorship opportunity with Beth Reekles, the author behind the global YA sensation and film franchise The Kissing Booth from Netflix and Komixx Entertainment, alongside additional prizes to help their writing career take off.

Apply here.


Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program

Qualifying Plano ISD sophomores and juniors can apply now through March 1 for the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program. Presented by Capital One, the competitive “learn-and-earn” program connects students from Plano’s award-winning and nationally recognized school district with some of the area’s top corporations and nonprofits. The eight-week paid internship program—offering remote and on-site placements, or a combination of both—runs June 7-July 30 (although some start dates are flexible). Students earn a minimum of $10 per hour working 20-40 hours per week. Only the first 400 applications will be accepted, so students are encouraged to apply early to avoid being waitlisted.

Apply here.


AT&T’s Black Future Makers

This Black History Month, AT&T Dream in Black presents the return of Black Future Makers, a future-forward celebration of inspirational people in the culture. Throughout the month of February, a new group of Black Future Makers will be revealed every week. The honorees range from Grammy-award-winning music artists and media executives to independent filmmakers and even a medical physicist.

AT&T says the ideal Future Maker is someone who is making history today, giving back to their community, and pursuing their dreams. These Future Makers are shaping the now, the new and the next for the culture.

For a chance to be honored as a Dream in Black Future Maker, consumers can post a video highlighting what they are doing in their communities or fields to make a positive impact using the #DreamInBlack and #ATTFutureMaker hashtags and tagging @ATT. Consumers are also able to nominate other members of the community for consideration for the honor using the same process. Ten lucky winners will be selected as part of the 2021 class of Black Future Makers and will win $10,000. Winners will be announced monthly beginning in March.


FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

FedEx Corp. has launched its ninth annual Small Business Grant Contest, which offers grants and services to 12 U.S. small businesses, distributing a collective prize pool of more than $250,000. Winners also receive FedEx Office print and business services credit to help support their small business.

New this year, all 100 finalists will receive access to one-on-one financial coaching provided by Accion Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit small business lender, to help them overcome business challenges they are facing and access additional resources to support their success. They will also receive attendance to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City’s National Conference, as well as access to up to three webinars on the ICIC platform, and mentor matching with SCORE, a nonprofit providing education and mentorship to entrepreneurs.

To enter, participants must visit and enter their business information (including their FedEx shipping account number), write a short profile about their business, and upload up to four photos of their business or product, including their logo.

Public voting will take place from March 10-24 to help narrow down the applicant pool from which the Top 100 will be chosen. 


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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