Opportunity Coachella

A city-wide engagement and entrepreneurship competition, intended for the growth of businesses and investments within the City of Coachella & adjacent unincorporated Thermal, Mecca, and North Shore Opportunity Zones

Coachella, CA, USA

Application Closed

Application Deadline


Judging Deadline


Application Deadline


Judging Deadline



The City of Coachella, California is growing strong and open for new businesses. 

The Economic Development Office is pleased to launch Opportunity Coachella to welcome new or expanding businesses to the city and encourage residents to share their vision for a Coachella of the future. We aim to provide more job opportunities and services to residents, alongside financial and technical support for entrepreneurs and business owners. 

Competition open to businesses identified across these priority areas: 
1) clean energy/cleantech 
2) manufacturing/advanced manufacturing
3) recreation
4) lodging 

Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. Clean energy/Cleantech: electric cars, solar panels, or businesses related to solar power, geothermal, wind energy, ocean energy, hydropower, energy storage, energy efficiency, or energy infrastructure

  2. Manufacturing/Advanced Manufacturing: Electric vehicles, robotics/automation, air structures, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, high volume goods, rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing such as 3-D printing, powder-bed laser printing systems, fused deposition modeling, and other processes that create highly complex assemblies from one continuous material, advanced/composite materials manufacturing, laser machine/welding, nanotechnology, network/IT integration, etc

  3. Recreation: sports stadiums, sports teams and leagues, amusement parks, movie theaters, music venues, theatrical companies, dance companies, recreational goods rentals, travel agencies, gaming and fishing preserves, arcades and activity centers, painting and craft classes, paintball, batting cages, and laser tag arenas

  4. Lodging: hotel, motel, resort, inn, farmstay, hostel, camping cabins

Business Prizes:

1st Prize: $5,000
2nd Prize: $3,000
3rd Prize: $2,000
Community Choice Prize: $1,000

Additional resources will be provided by our partners, visit our website for more details: 


APPLICATION INFORMATION: Due to the anticipated number of submissions and limited funding, late application submissions will not be processed or considered. The Challenge does not obligate the City to award a grant agreement. The City reserves the right to waive minor irregularities or request additional information to further clarify or validate information submitted in the application, provided the application, as submitted, substantially complies with the requirements of the Challenge. There is, however, no guarantee that the City will look for information or clarification outside of the submitted written application. Therefore, it is important that all applicants ensure that all sections of their application are complete to avoid the possibility of failing an evaluation phase or having their score reduced for lack of information. 

Applications will be scored as follows:

Experience (up to 40 points): The applicant must demonstrate the business, administrative, financial, oversight, and management expertise to launch or grow a business in one of the designated funding priority categories that their proposed project or program falls under. The City will prioritize applications from for profit entities that can verify at least 6 months prior history and can demonstrate traction across revenue, profit, inventory, waiting lists, team or other indicators of growth or stability. 

Needs Served and Job Creation (up to 30 points): The applicant must describe an organized proposal to relocate, expand, or start a small business in Coachella and adjacent unincorporated areas of Thermal, Mecca, or North Shore in either of the following categories: 

• Clean Energy and Clean Technology

• Manufacturing and Logistics

• Recreation

• Lodging 

The applicant shall describe how their program will serve residents and patrons, why they would be successful, their approach to ensuring long-term sustainability, proposed number of individuals to be served, and anticipated number of jobs to be created. 

Resources (up to 20 points):
The applicant must describe how the City EDA, SBDC, and other city/county resources could be most helpful to their business and outline a timeline for this assistance. This could entail detailing specific needs around permitting, licensing, business incentives, site selection, SBA loans, or business planning. A list of general questions or topics of confusion where assistance is needed would also be acceptable. 

Budget (up to 10 points):
Must outline a reasonable budget that identifies the type and amount of all costs to support the proposed award, including: 1) Itemized program operating budget; 2) Availability and/or potential leveraging of additional funds to support program objectives, including identification of funding sources and status of funding commitment; 3) Description of financial capacity and experience in award compliance. 

The Challenge is open to all individuals and small businesses that live/are located in Coachella or adjacent unincorporated areas of Thermal, Mecca, and North Shore or desire to relocate, expand to, or start a business in the area. 

Individuals must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry, and any individual who joins a team during all phases of the Challenge must be 18 years old at the time that individual joins a team. 

Please note that the following organizations are not eligible to apply: 

  • “Sin businesses” (as defined by Opportunity Zone federal legislation including golf course, country club, massage parlor, racetrack, gambling facility, or liquor stores); 
  • K-12 schools including charter, public or private; college or universities; 
  • libraries; 
  • government entities/agencies; 
  • grant making organizations and charitable trusts; 
  • fraternal organization; churches or religious organizations, 
  • except for specific programs with direct service offered to general public without regard to faith, affiliation, religious belief or practice, and that are provided in a non-discriminatory way that benefits the larger community; 
  • licensed cannabis businesses; 
  • businesses who are under bankruptcy protection

Participation by you constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to these Challenge Rules and the Sponsors’ decision, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Challenge.


The competition application period will be open over a period of 4 weeks. The anticipated timeline is as follows:  

June 7th, 2021; Opportunity Coachella Launch
June 7th - July 6th; Competition Application Dates 
July 6th, 2021 @ 9AM PST; Competition Closes 
July 7th - July 11th; Community Favorite Voting
July 15th; Virtual Judging Event 

The judging panel is expected to consist of the following, but is subject to change: 

The Community Choice Prize of $1,000 will be determined by an open digital poll which will be open for voting during the dates of July 7th - July 11th. 

Please read the full legal disclaimer found here:
Completion of the applications confirms agreement to these terms. 

What an Applicant can Obtain

Business Prizes:
1st Prize: $5,000
2nd Prize: $3,000
3rd Prize: $2,000
Community Choice: $1,000

Additional resources will be provided by our partners, visit our website for more details: 

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