Austin, Texas – Austin FC and Q2 Holdings Inc., Official Community Partner of Austin FC, announced today the activation of the Austin FC Dream Starter Competition, an annual business initiative allowing Austinites from underrepresented groups to demonstrate ingenuity and compete for one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000 USD) in “Dream Starter” funds to jumpstart and/or accelerate their entrepreneurial venture. In collaboration with DivInc, an Austin-based nonprofit, the first annual Austin FC Dream Starter entrepreneurial venture presented by Q2 will open the online application process to eligible entities on Tuesday, May 11. The selected winning venture will be announced at Austin FC’s inaugural home match on June 19 at the Q2 Stadium.
“The Austin FC Dream Starter Competition is representative of Q2 and Austin FC’s ongoing work to build a more inclusive and equitable city,” commented Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “The start-up spirit is central to Austin and Austin FC, and our Club is proud to partner with Q2 and DivInc to support a deserving Austin-based underrepresented entrepreneur.”
“At Q2, we are passionate about our mission – to build strong and diverse communities by strengthening their financial institutions,” said Matt Flake, CEO, Q2. “And just like the financial institutions and fintech companies we serve who provide access to life-changing banking and lending services to their diverse communities, we are excited to partner with Austin FC and DivInc to empower underrepresented entrepreneurs in Austin and help them turn their dreams into reality.”
"DivInc is super excited and extremely proud to partner with Austin FC and Q2 because this is a continuation of their intentional focus in building inclusive communities in Austin,” added Preston L. James II, DivInc Co-Founder and CEO. “We pride ourselves in being leaders for diversity, equity and inclusion within the innovation ecosystem and "Dream Starter" is just another shining example of how we can come together to create a transformative impact within the community. We're getting it done, together. This is what this is all about!"
Austin FC and Q2 will run the Austin FC Dream Starter competition annually. Applications for the inaugural competition open on Tuesday, May 11 and close at midnight on Tuesday, May 18. In addition to the one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000 USD) in “Dream Starter” funds, the winning entity will also receive various marketing benefits at Q2 Stadium during an Austin FC regular season MLS match to further promote their initiative.
From the applicant group, five (5) finalists will be selected to participate in a Pitch Contest on June 10 at Q2 Stadium. The Pitch Contest, held at the Q2 Field Club in Q2 Stadium, will consist of a panel presentation. Each finalist presentation will be evaluated by a diverse selection of representatives from Austin FC, Q2 Holdings Inc., DivInc and other executives from the Austin entrepreneurial community. The inaugural Austin FC Dream Starter winner will be announced to the public and honored with a check presentation during halftime at the Austin FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes match presented by Q2 on June 19.
Q2’s mission to build strong and diverse communities by strengthening their financial institutions aligns with Austin FC’s inclusivity through equity community pillar. In collaboration with DivInc and its aim to connect underrepresented entrepreneurs with the resources needed to build profitable, high-growth companies, the Austin FC Dream Starter funds will aid Austinites in overcoming financial barriers to attain entrepreneurial success. For a complete list of terms and rules about the Austin FC Dream Starter Competition, click here.