March 20, 2015
You could say that everything you need to run a successful B2B startup is located right in Dallas, Texas. After all, it has the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the world, which is precisely why Gabriella Draney Zielke, CEO, founded Tech Wildcatters: the B2B angle was too good to pass up.
It began as a smaller accelerator, before these organizations were called accelerators, aimed specifically at the health tech space. But what once was Health Wildcatters Zielke soon grew into one of Dallas’ premier accelerator programs in Tech Wildcatters.
She’s been able to secure giant corporate partnerships, like the one they formed with the US Department of Homeland Security. With their support, Tech Wildcatters launched their new Emerge Wearables program with the express goal of getting new technologies into the hands of people that Homeland Security work with: namely, first responders like fire fighters, police officers, and EMTs.
Once again, this was an inherent benefit that the city of Dallas offered Zielke and her B2B accelerator. Homeland Security was looking specifically to partner with accelerators who wanted the public-private sector partnership.
Zielke also hired Molly Cain last year as the new Executive Director of Tech Wildcatters. She wanted to spend more time working with portfolio companies and growing the existing accelerator programs like the Corporate Innovation Network.
There were people, right from the start, who told Zielke she wouldn’t be successful on the B2B side of things, and that she should rather opt for consumer verticals. But she knew B2B like the back of her hand, and at the end of the day she didn’t want to do anything she couldn’t be the best in the world at.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Zielke at #SXSW this year to talk more about her dedication, Tech Wildcatters, and what the future holds. Here’s the video:
From now until April 5, 2015, We DC – an initiative organized by the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) – is accepting applications for their Live Free in D.C. competition. The competition will provide two members of your startup team to live and work at no cost in Washington, D.C. for a period up to three months. You can learn more about the Live Free in D.C. competition here.
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