For the second year in a row, Startup Week is coming to Dallas, TX with Chase for Business as the headline sponsor. Last year brought in about 3,000 registered attendees and they're expecting to double that amount this year. The conference will take place from April 12-16th, and to keep all of those people busy, there will be 230 scheduled speakers, across approximately 20 different venues and covering 15 diverse track themes (up from 11 last year).
This return of Startup Week to the city is evidence of how the city is embracing and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Startups and established companies both play important roles in Dallas’ entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in a statement. “Dallas Startup Week shows just how much our city supports innovation and entrepreneurship by engaging business and community leaders, whether in corporate offices or co-working spaces.”
The city was basically built on entrepreneurship. The Dallas Entrepreneurship Center (DEC) hosts a yearly State of Entrepreneurship that brings together local and national business leaders to celebrate the growth of the Dallas business ecosystem, as well as to recap news, events, and highlights from the previous year.
Over the last couple years, the city has also made the tops of some impressive lists of metro areas that are seeing success in business, employment, and quality of life. In 2014, Forbes ranked Dallas the number 2 city in the country (only behind San Diego) to launch a startup. In the spring of 2015, MarketWatch ranked 100 metro areas on how business-friendly they are, and Dallas came out on top. Finally, in 2015, personal finance site MoneyRates.com named Texas as the best state to make a living because of its healthy wages, manageable taxes, low cost of living, and safe working environments.
There are a few things that make this particular Startup Week very exciting. First off, it is the first-ever Startup Week that will include a Saturday full of programming. Also, every day of Dallas Startup Week will end with a Spotlight Session, consisting of either a speaker or event which will tie all of the tracks together. The 2016 Spotlight Sessions will feature:
- Brad Hunstable, Cofounder & CEO, UStream.tv;
- Dallas New Tech, six 5-minute startup pitches;
- IgniteDFW, 5 minutes, 20 slides, 8 innovators; and a
- Women & Diversity Panel, led by The DEC CEO Trey Bowles.
And to whet your appetite just a little more, here are the programming tracks that will be represented during the conference:
- Family Saturday
- Internet of Things (iOT)
- Real Estate
- Social Entrepreneurship, Startups 101
To help attendees stay refreshed and fully charged, Chase will offer a Startup Week Basecamp in the heart of downtown Dallas (1700 Pacific Avenue) throughout the week. The Basecamp will be available every day from 9 AM to 6 PM. In addition to serving as a lounge and networking spot, there are speakers, panelists, and one-on-one mentor sessions planned. At 4 PM on all days except for Saturday, there will be a Chase Basecamp Happy Hour at the same location.
Dallas is one of 25 cities around the globe hosting Startup Weeks to bring together the innovators, entrepreneurs, business people, and supporters that keep these ecosystems thriving. Chase has agreed to sponsor 8 of them – the cities with the most burgeoning and unique startup ecosystems, of which Dallas is one.
This article is part of a Startup Week content series brought to you by Chase for Business. Startup Week is celebration of entrepreneurs in cities around the globe. Chase for Business is everything a business needs in one place, from expert advice to valuable products and services. The Startup Week tour is almost over, but stay tuned as it winds down with news from Columbus and Detroit.