Changing Lanes CDL Driving school was today announced as the winner of the 2022 Austin FC Dream Starter Competition Presented by Q2 Holdings Inc., in collaboration with DivInc. Changing Lanes will receive $100,000 in funding to accelerate its entrepreneurial ventures as part of the Austin FC Dream Starter business initiative, which aims to fund Austin entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups.
“We’re honored to announce Changing Lanes CDL Driving School as this year’s Dream Starter winner,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “This competition showcased Austin’s amazing entrepreneurial community once again, and we’d like to thank Q2 and DivInc for their help in making it possible.”
Founded by Delbert Crawford in Austin, Texas, Changing Lanes CDL Driving School teaches individuals from diverse backgrounds how to safely drive a commercial vehicle. The school's training programs helps its students, many of whom are unemployed, gain the skills necessary for jobs driving commercial vehicles, changing the trajectory of their lives.
The $100,000 in Dream Starter funds will allow Changing Lanes to purchase an additional truck needed for commercial vehicle driver’s training, and empower them to offer more scholarships and extend additional training opportunities to more students.
“I am honored to be recipient of this award,” said Crawford. “This represents all the hard work, people believing in me, investing in me, and encouraging me when I doubted and second guessed myself and my dream. Hard work does pay off.”
The other 2022 Dream Starter finalists included were Swella, a standardized system within salons that utilizes robotics to automate the process of hair braiding; Mach1 Services, a fully automated and digitized dispatch platform for emergency roadside assistance; Paradigm Robotics, LLC, introducing the FireBot, the world’s first, high-temperature thermally-insulated, wirelessly controlled, obstacle-climbing, unmanned robot that can be deployed into burning buildings; and Independent Identity, an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) day program for adults with autism/IDD who exhibit challenging behavior.
Changing Lanes, along with the other finalists, participated in a pitch contest on June 8 at Q2 Stadium, where a diverse group of representatives from Austin FC, Q2 Holdings Inc., and other executives from the Austin entrepreneurial community evaluated each finalist’s presentation. As the winner, Changing Lanes will be honored with a check presentation during halftime at the Austin FC vs. FC Dallas match on Saturday, June 25.
"On behalf of the Q2 team, I’m excited to congratulate Mr. Crawford and Changing Lanes on winning this year’s Dream Starter competition,” said Q2 CEO Matt Flake. “Their story is a perfect example of why we started this initiative: they’re founded right here in Austin and are doing work that has a direct impact on our community. We’re tremendously proud to partner with Austin FC in bringing the Dream Starter competition to life and look forward to continuing to work together to improve our Austin entrepreneurial scene.”
Click here to learn more about Changing Lanes CDL Driving School.