A Baker’s Dozen: Dallas Innovates’ Most Popular Stories of 2020

Let's take a look back on the stories that have grabbed our readers' attention the most this year.

2020 was anything but ordinary. As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world, life (and business) as we know it completely changed.

But that didn’t stop North Texans from proving their resilience. Over the course of COVID, we witnessed pivots, launches, developments, and big ideas. Innovation is alive and well.

As we move into 2021, we’d like to reflect on the stories behind the people and places that grabbed our readers’ attention this year. Our most popular stories certainly demonstrated that sometimes the best inventions are born from the trenches.

Here’s a Baker’s Dozen of the most-read stories on dallasinnovates.com in 2020.

1. Amazon’s Hiring 1,500 at a New Site in Oak Cliff, the First to Open in Texas During the Pandemic

The hiring process for the new fulfillment center took place over eight weeks, starting at the NYLO Hotel in Las Colinas.

[Photo: jetcityimage/iStock]

2. Meet the 2020 Future 50: North Texas Innovators and Disruptors You Need to Know

These Future 50 were featured in last year’s Dallas Innovates Magazine, which debuted in January 2020. No matter which of our six buckets you look at—startup, enterprise, invention, education, innovation, or creative—you’re sure to find leaders capable of disrupting industries, benefiting society, or changing the world.

From left: Trammell S. Crow, Lyndsey Harper, Michael Sorrell, Damir Perge, Farrukh Malik, Nicole Small, Mohamed Elwazer, and Hesam Hosseini. [Photos: Michael Samples]

3. Let’s Raise Our Flag

Last year’s Dallas Innovates 2020: The Magazine showed that a new generation of innovators is taking its place in Dallas-Fort Worth lore, creating the next wave of great companies, services, and ideas.

Front row from left: Joshua King and Tatiana Flores. Back Row: Tatum Lau, Ed Chao, Craig Lewis, Dave Copps, and Arjun Dugal. [Photo: Michael Samples]

4. Power Couple: How Jamie and Melbourne O’Banion Run Two of Dallas’ Fastest-Growing Brands

Jamie’s BeautyBio and Melbourne’s Bestow are two Dallas-based startups in the cosmetic and life insurance industries, respectively. But while they both hold the same job—CEO and co-founder—the power couple, dubbed MOJO, makes it work by operating as a team.

[Photo: Courtesy of the O’Banions]

5. Mark Cuban Foundation Offers Free AI Bootcamps Through Partnerships with Walmart, Elevate, and Headstorm

In its second year, the initiative brought tech programming to 42 underserved DFW students through three virtual sessions.

[Image: Mark Cuban Foundation]

6. The North Texas Fashion Industry is Making Medical Masks Amid Shortages to Fight COVID-19

We spoke with six locals in fashion who faced the coronavirus pandemic head-on by sewing, importing, sourcing, or donating medical masks.

Khanh Nguyen is the founder of Nha Khanh, which sewed medical masks to donate. [Photo: Nha Khanh/Facebook]

7. COVID-19 Response: Jacobs Execs Take Pay Cut to Help Raise $1M, Company Realigns Federal Contracts

The engineering firm also instituted a “maximum remote working environment” for its 55,000 employees worldwide.

Jacobs Demtrious COVID-19

Steve Demetrious is the CEO of Jacobs. [Photo: Jacobs]

8. How Effective is UV Light Technology in Killing COVID-19? Dallas’ Air Pros USA Weighs In

“Although the effect of UV lights for killing the COVID-19 virus is still not known,” Air Pros’ founder says, “installing UV lights is the single best thing a homeowner can do to take pro-active measures to enhance the indoor air quality.”

[Photo: Air Pros]

9. Texas Central Makes $5.9B Deal With Spanish Firm to Develop, Operate High-Speed Rail Line

The contract is the largest ever for a Spanish government-run company outside of Spain. The proposed rail line could be operational by 2026 and would speed passengers between the two cities in roughly 90 minutes.

Texas Central

Texas Central released sketches that envision travel on the high-speed rail system. [Image: Texas Central]

10. Arlington Gets $1.7M to Integrate Autonomous Vehicles into Via Rideshare Program

Arlington was the first city in the nation to convert its entire mass transit operation into what’s called micro-transit. Its new service will include a wheelchair-accessible vehicle and could let UT Arlington students ride for free.

[Image: City of Arlington/YouTube]

11. International Developers: Meet Mehrdad Moayedi From Tehran, Iran

After his successful redo of The Statler Hotel in downtown Dallas, Moayedi is now redeveloping Collin Creek Mall into a mixed-used development in Plano.


[Photo: Mehrdad Moayedi]

12. Meet Night Media: The Dallas Digital Talent Agency Behind Some of the World’s Biggest YouTube Stars

Reed Duchscher and his team at Night Media manage a group of online superstars who collectively get over a billion monthly views.

Night Media, founded and run by Reed Duchscher, calls itself a “multimedia company and collaborative outpost for dreamers and thinkers.” [Photo: Michael Samples]

13. Introducing Dallas College: DCCCD Gets Single Accreditation Approval

Dallas County Community College District is now allowed to unify as a single institution named Dallas College. Dallas College will be the largest college in the state by students served and number of employees.

[Image: DCCCD]

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