Attention all founders, serial entrepreneurs, and those looking to get more involved in the startup community: Capital Factory’s Texas Startups Roadshow is back.
Austin-based Capital Factory, which calls itself the “center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas,” last year unveiled its first-ever three-day, four-night, four-city journey across Texas’ most vibrant startup ecosystems.
The trip was meant to close the gap between funding and opportunity—the largest Texas cities consistently rank as top cities in the U.S. to start a business, hire tech talent, and live, but often only receive as little as 2 percent of VC funding.
So Capital Factory decided to take fifty of the country’s top tech investors on a road trip to showcase that innovation is bigger in Texas.
The first rendition of the event last summer was lauded as a success, but with COVID-19 continuing to rage on, the team made a few adjustments to ensure social distancing. This year’s Texas Startups Roadshow will be virtual and held during Global Entrepreneurship Week from Nov. 17-19.
The Roadshow will take entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators on a virtual ride that spotlights the startup community in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. The focus and schedule at each ‘stop’ depends on location, with keynote speakers from various industries, panels, and networking filling the agenda for each city.
For instance, Austin and San Antonio kick off the event on Nov. 17. Diversity, drones and robotics, consumer packaged goods, and e-commerce are the industries that will be featured, and CACI, a leader in national security missions and government transformations, will offer its support.
On Nov. 18, the event moves on to Houston, with a focus on renewable energy, health tech, space tech. There, the day will end with The Ion Startup Demo Day Finals, which concludes a year-long series of monthly pitch competitions. Four finalists will compete on a virtual stage to win the grand cash prize.
Dallas concludes the event on Nov. 19 with a day of sports tech, financial tech, real estate, prop tech, and enterprise architecture.
For that leg, Capital Factory is exclusively featuring the UT Dallas Big Idea Competition (BIC) and hosting Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavs owner and ‘Shark,’ as the keynote speaker.
The BIC, hosted annually by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, gives students the opportunity to develop and pitch their most innovative business ideas. Launched in 2007, it has quickly become one of North Texas’s largest university startup competitions. But this year, the BIC will be virtual for the first time and presented by the University of Texas at Dallas, UT Southwestern, and Lyda Hill Philanthropies.
The goal throughout the Roadshow is the same, though: Put Texas on the map as a place for out-of-state investors to do business.
“Texas is home to four of the largest and fastest growing cities in the U.S. that are also some of the most innovative and creative technology hubs. For the past decade, both talent and business have been moving to Texas, but COVID-19 has unleashed the floodgates like never before,” Capital Factory Founder and CEO Joshua Baer said in a statement. “Come find out what is special about each city, and meet the people you need to know to get dealflow.”
Baer and his team encourage investors with their eye on Texas to attend (or those based here who are looking for like-minded individuals), along with local seed-stage tech and consumer startups. Ticket holders can already expect to hear from entrepreneurs who have raised the biggest funding rounds, meet super-connectors they need to know, learn about startups that are fundraising, and generate valuable professional relationships.
What Capital Factory calls Epic Office Hours will be a continuous feature throughout the event. Think of it like virtual speed dating: The best entrepreneurs in each city get a chance to rotate between local and national investors in their industries that Capital Factory matched them with.
The networking arm of the Roadshow will also match participants to investors, mentors, or founders for one-on-one rotating 5-minute video chats.
More speakers and startups will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are available now for $99 for the Texas Startups Roadshow here.
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