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Austin FC and Q2 Holdings Inc. announced today the launch of the 2022 Austin FC Dream Starter Competition, presented by Q2, in collaboration with DivInc, an Austin-based nonprofit. The second annual business initiative invites Austin entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups to apply and compete for $100,000 in “Dream Starter” funds to accelerate their entrepreneurial venture.

The 2022 Austin FC Dream Starter Competition kicked off on April 6 with a private networking event at Q2 Stadium to celebrate the second annual competition. The online application is now open to eligible entities. The selected winning venture will be announced on Saturday, June 25.

“It’s an honor for us to partner with Q2 and DivInc on the second annual Austin FC Dream Starter Competition,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “Collectively, Austin FC and Q2 are committed to building an inclusive community while honoring the start-up spirit that is central to both Austin and Austin FC.”

“We are proud to partner with Austin FC, in collaboration with DivInc, to help move the needle forward for underrepresented entrepreneurs in Austin,” said Matt Flake, CEO of Q2. “At Q2, our mission is to build strong and diverse communities by strengthening their financial institutions, and the Austin FC Dream Starter Competition is one example of how we are able to make a lasting impact in Central Texas. We are excited to once again support this important initiative, which will help an Austin entrepreneur turn dreams into success.”

“DivInc is committed to supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs in our communities, and we know that gaining access to financial capital remains one of the biggest hurdles for Black and Latinx founders,” said DivInc CEO Preston James. “We are proud to partner with the Austin FC and Q2 to support the 2022 Austin FC Dream Starter Competition because we know this funding will provide critical capital to help take one lucky startup to the next stage.”

Applications for the annual competition are now open, and will close at midnight on Wednesday, April 27.

From the initial applicant group, five (5) finalists will be selected and notified on Friday, May 27, to participate in a Pitch Contest on Thursday, June 9, at Q2 Stadium. Each finalist’s presentation will be evaluated by a diverse group of representatives from Austin FC, Q2 Holdings Inc., DivInc and other executives from the Austin entrepreneurial community. The Austin FC Dream Starter Competition winner will be announced to the public and honored with a check presentation during halftime at the Austin FC vs. FC Dallas match on Saturday, June 25.

In 2021, Anthony Gantt, CEO of At Ease Rentals Corporation, was selected as the inaugural Austin FC Dream Starter Competition winner. At Ease Rentals Corporation is a short-term rental platform helping military and federal employees and their families find government approved, temporary housing with less time and frustration.

The Austin FC Dream Starter Competition combines Q2’s mission to build strong and diverse communities by strengthening their financial institutions 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 “Dream Starter” funds will aid a Central Texas entrepreneur in overcoming financial barriers to achieve success. Click here for a complete list of terms and conditions and to apply for the 2022 Austin FC Dream Starter Competition.