June 10, 2015
One of the coolest parts about entrepreneurial life, to me at least, is the level of support people give to others in the community. I don’t know if that’s something inherently special about entrepreneurs, but it’s absolutely something I see every day in my job – it’s beyond awesome.
So, when I heard that Jennifer Conley – cofounder of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), would be leaving I had to pause for a moment. I half expected people to be upset, but then I read what Danielle Abril, reporter for the Dallas Business Journal, said about it.
She writes: “Trey Bowles, CEO of the DEC, has been nothing but supportive of the move”. And that’s when I remembered who I was dealing with: a community – family almost – of people dedicated to the success of Dallas’ tech ecosystem.
These aren’t people who are in it for the money or the quick exit. Rather, they legitimately care about the future of Dallas and one another. Conley’s move, given that perspective, can only be a good thing for the city and local tech ecosystem, and they all recognize it.
“I’m not leaving the startup community, yet I’m embracing it in a new way. Part of the journey involves taking risks and trusting your gut,” Conley explains. “It also means you have to surround yourself with people who inspire you every day, and I’ve been lucky to be surrounding by amazing people.”
Come June 15 Conley will be starting her new role as VP of Communications for Vinli, a Dallas startup that brings a range of apps to your car. Filling her role at The DEC is Lauren Zeien, Executive Director of Launch DFW and an incredibly adept candidate for the job.
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside the startup community building Launch DFW. I credit this community with cultivating me into the Texas startup culture – despite the fact I still do not own cowboy boots,” says Zeien. “It’s been an absolute amazing ride. I look forward to continuing Jennifer’s mission, with my own twists of course, and not missing a beat to keep the DEC moving and shaking.”
To date the DEC has housed hundreds of entrepreneurs and emerging business ventures across two locations. They’ve also made education, mentorship, and community available to anyone who wants to start a business.
At the end of the day a stronger Dallas tech ecosystem means a stronger DEC, a stronger Vinli, and a stronger entrepreneur in general for the city. Don’t expect Conley to stop innovating around North Texas anytime soon.
“It is with great emotion that I leave the organization I helped build, to join a startup that I believe will shape the future of two enormous industries – auto and technology. It is so fun being part of the startup ecosystem and today I step in to a new role.”
Image Credit: Conley’s Facebook page
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