January 22, 2015
This week Tech Wildcatters, the Dallas based, world’s-best B2B accelerator, announced the first members to join their Corporate Innovation Network. The exclusive network was created by Gabriella Draney, cofounder and Managing Partner, in an effort to better connect the early adopters of corporate America to the most cutting-edge B2B tech startups.
Specifically, Draney has designed the program to bridge the gap between corporations and startups whose products are solving modern day problems. Members are able to present their biggest challenges to startups, who in turn accelerate the process of product-market fit; all members commit to beta testing the product of at least one startup in Tech Wildcatter’s portfolio, annually.
Comerica, Softlayer – an IBM company, GameStop, the Dallas Stars, and Dell’s Digital Business Services were all announced to be part of the network in the press release. There will be ten total companies in the inaugural group, but as of yet Tech Wildcatters has only released the first five.
“We’ve worked closely with large corporations in Dallas, and year after year we were getting more interest about getting involved in the local tech startup scene,” says Draney. “Many of these companies know each other, but they don’t get to work together on innovative stuff.”
This is big for Draney, who recently hired Molly Cain as the new executive director of Tech Wildcatters. As Cain keeps running the day to day operations Draney has in turn been able to focus more of her efforts and energy on the network of affiliated companies and implement the Corporate Innovation Network.
“People might be confused about the fact that I’ve hired an executive director to run Tech Wildcatters,” says Draney. “The reason I did that is because our alumni network has grown and, as the company has grown, it’s necessary that I help keep up the network and help keep them connected.”
To that end Draney will be spending six months working on the alumni program and corporate network. Finding the right executive director fit just means she doesn’t have to worry if things are running well or not, and as she assures me, they are.
“Sit tight and watch me make things even better than they are now,” says Draney.
As the network grows, Tech Wildcatters will be adding new corporate members after the first six months have gone by: they’ll have plenty of lessons learned and tweaks to make the Corporate Innovation Network that much better. Interested companies have until Friday, 1/23/15, to complete an application.
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