Create Here Business Plan Competition- Now Accepting Applications!

Posted by Rocio Andrade


We’re calling the creators, the big thinkers, the innovators.

Do you dream of running your own business? Would you be more willing to take the plunge if you had everything you need to make sure you succeed? We thought so. That’s why we are hosting the Create Here Business Plan Competition. Share your idea for a new restaurant or retail business in downtown Fresno and you could win a start-up prize package worth over $100,000 to help you on your way. Applications accepted after July 1st.  Do not miss out on this opportunity!  Prize package includes:

  • 1 year free rent in a selected storefront space (Civic Center Square)*
  • $10,000 cash prize to help with startup costs (Downtown Fresno Partnership)
  • Laptop and 1 year IT support (Central Valley IT Solutions)
  • 1 year trash collection services (Mid Valley Disposal)
  • Free business bank account with online banking, starter checks, business debit card, 1 day business financial and leadership training workshop, and more (Central Valley Community Bank)
  • Mentorship with a SCORE mentor (Central Valley SCORE)
  • 1 year membership to the Fresno Chamber of Commerce (Fresno Chamber of Commerce)
  • $24,000 television media package including production  and airing of tv commercial and appearances on Central Valley Today (KSEE24)
  • Makeup services for filming the tv commercial (The Loft Salon)
  • Complete marketing and branding services including logo design, website design and 6 months maintenance with SEO, post card design, Social media set up and custom graphics with 3 months maintenance, 2 hours of social media training, menu design (if winner is a restaurant), and business card design (Luxe Creative Strategies)
  • Advertising after the Grand Opening (The Business Journal)
  • Professional coaching on how to conduct media appearances (Collins PR)
  • $10,000 custom build-out of the storefront space (Viking Construction)
  • Flooring options for retails space (Innovation Commercial Flooring)

*Civic Center Square has offered 6 amazing locations for the winner to choose from

The following criteria will be applied to determine the winner:

  • Improvement to downtown retail mix
  • Applicant’s experience + investment
  • Ability to engage the public
  • Site selection
  • Job creation
  • 60 second pitch video
  • Create Here Business Plan

During the application process and the selection of finalists, competitors will be able to participate in a series of workshops, trainings and events to help them prepare their business plans, hone their entrepreneurial skills and network with one another and the community.

Create Here Timeline

March 26             Competition Announcement

July 1                     Applications Open

August 14            Applications Close

October 19          Winner Announced

Don’t miss out on the upcoming Create Here events:

Create Here Meet & Greet

Tuesday, July 7th – 5:30pm-6:30pm, Peeve’s Public Market, 1243 Fulton Mall

Meet our staff and learn about the business plan competition. Ask questions, meet other applicants, and talk with current downtown business owners to get the skinny on what it takes to succeed. Refreshments provided. RSVP to Rocio Andrade at

Storefront Tours

Tuesday, July 21th 5:30pm-6:30pm, Meet at Umi Sushi, 2321 Kern Street

Check out your new digs! The Create Here winner can choose from one of 6 properties and we’re going to visit all of them! You’ll be able to see what space works best for you. RSVP to Rocio Andrade at



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