The Dallas Entrepreneur Center and Comerica Bank Announce Second Annual North Texas Business Pitch Contest

This Year's Contest is Focused Exclusively on Women and Minority-Owned Business Entrants - $50,000 Prize to Winner

Jul 15, 2015, 08:00 ET from Comerica Bank

DALLAS, July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Entrepreneur Center ("The DEC") and Comerica Bank announced today the launch of the second annual North Texas business pitch contest. This year's contest is focused exclusively on women and minority-owned business entrants. Comerica Bank will again be the presenting sponsor, providing the full prize amount of $50,000 for the winning business pitch as well as in-kind support to further The DEC's efforts to help entrepreneurs in North Texas.

The DEC begins accepting applications for the contest today, July 15, 2015. Interested entrepreneurs should visit http://comerica.thedec.co/ for more information.

The announcement of the 2015 business pitch contest is made in celebration of the two-year anniversary of The DEC, a 501c3 non-profit organization, established in 2013 to provide a business support structure for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial hopefuls. Since its inception, The DEC has served entrepreneurs across North Texas by providing them education, training, programming, events, collaborative space, access to capital and promotion. With two locations serving North Texas, The DEC provides an entrepreneurial center in the West End of downtown Dallas as well as in Addison, called The Addison TreeHouse, through a partnership with the Town of Addison.

"We are thrilled to partner with The DEC on a second business pitch contest," said Melinda Chausse, Comerica Bank's Executive Director of Business Banking. "Our contest this year shines a bright light on the opportunities and challenges faced by women and minority entrepreneurs, while celebrating diversity in entrepreneurship. We are proud to support the women and minority entrepreneurs who are changing the face of entrepreneurship in America."

"We are really excited to partner with Comerica Bank again this year for The DEC's North Texas business pitch competition," said Trey Bowles, co-founder and CEO of The DEC. "We have seen a great impact in the community as a result of their efforts and contribution last year. I think this new focus around women and minority-run businesses in 2015 will offer a unique perspective that will provide invaluable support and a game-changing opportunity for a well-deserving business in the North Texas community."

The Dallas Entrepreneur Center's "North Texas Business Pitch Contest, Presented by Comerica Bank" will feature online applications, celebrity judges, and a final "Top 4" pitch contest later this year. 

The winner of last year's inaugural business pitch contest was Rollout, Inc., a Dallas-based technology startup whose patent-pending, cloud-based digital drawing management product aims to eliminate the need for architecture, engineering and construction firms to print paper blueprints. In addition to the $50,000 prize, Rollout, Inc. also received in-kind support including six months of free co-working arrangements at The DEC, travel assistance, and technology and cloud computing services.

About The DEC
The DEC is a 501c3 non-profit organization that serves entrepreneurs in North Texas, providing them with training, education, mentorship, promotion and access to capital in order to encourage and equip the entrepreneurial community to start, build and grow their businesses. Facilitating a culture of entrepreneurship and 'giving before you get,' the DEC connects new and old entrepreneurs with a vibrant, collaborative environment. With more than 32,000 people that have gone through its space, with greater than 350 events and more than 175 member companies, The DEC has been able to provide valuable resources and support to a burgeoning startup community. There have been over 1800 office hours from more than 170 mentors and 15+ investment groups offering advice, counsel and funding to startups. Of note: The DEC has created a program called "White Board Sessions" where startups across DFW can come and learn from experienced entrepreneurs and investment professionals.

About Comerica
Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.  To find Comerica on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares. Follow Comerica on Twitter at @ComericaCares.

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SOURCE Comerica Bank