Dallas Digital Intent: A Mix of Large Companies, Startups

Digital Intent


Chicago-based Digital Intent, which recently made its first major expansion to Dallas, offers its so-called innovation in a box to companies of all sizes and types — from the Chicago Tribune to Kindred Healthcare, to startups.

The goal is to help companies conceptualize, design, build, and grow new digital products.

In many ways, Digital Intent bridges the gap between scrappy startups and Fortune 500 companies understanding that the two desperately need each other.

“You can take some of the capabilities and resources of a corporation and the approaches of a more nimble startup,” said Joe Dwyer, a partner with Digital Intent. “You have a chance to transform even the largest company.”

“You can take some of the capabilities and resources of a corporation and the approaches of a more nimble startup.” 

Joe Dwyer

Digital Intent chose Dallas for its first large-scale expansion because there’s a perfect balance of large companies and healthy, robust startups.


Since opening the office in October, the firm has been busy talking with several high-profile North Texas businesses, though it can’t announce anything yet.

“The hope long-term is that we can make Dallas into a hub and serve those corporations,” said Sean Johnson, a partner with Digital Intent. “We help them from a product strategy perspective to leverage technology, exploit new channels.”

But while it talks to those companies, Digital Intent hasn’t forgotten its roots — you’ll find them operating out of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center in the West End of downtown Dallas. Johnson has known Trey Bowles, founder and CEO of the DEC, for several years.

“It seems like [the startup community has] become a lot more vibrant in the last few years,” Johnson said. “I think Trey and the DEC should take a lot of credit for what they’ve done to increase the startup footprint there.”

Digital Intent also has a separate early stage fund called Founder’s Equity that’s already invested in seven companies. And there’s an investment in North Texas that’s being negotiated now.

“Ultimately, being able to get more investment dollars following is going to be essential,” he said. “We’re hoping that’s the first of many.”

Digital Intent is hiring engineers and digital marketing specialists now for the Dallas office.

Some clients hire Digital Intent for the whole journey from concept to launch while others hire the company to help improve an existing product.

The Chicago Tribune hired Digital Intent to help with its digital transition, improving online advertising, creating new products, and branding.

“We’ve been working with them for nine months to identify opportunities to navigate that transition,” Johnson said. “You know that print subscription revenue is trending in a certain direction. They see the writing on the wall that things are moving digital. How can you leverage the relationship and the brand?”

Digital Intent helped Kindred Healthcare integrate technology at all of its 150 facilities.

“There’s lot of demand for employee workforce tools, helping make remote teams more effective.” 
Sean Johnson

It works both in the Internet of Things and the software realm. The firm developed an augmented reality to help sales teams show what a product will look like in a real environment.

“There’s lot of demand for employee workforce tools, helping make remote teams more effective,” Johnson said.

In addition to Dallas, Digital Intent has smaller satellite locations in Columbus, Ohio, and Denver, Colorado.

The goal is to continue expanding throughout the central and Midwest ares of the United States, Johnson said.

For a daily dose of what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth innovation, subscribe to our Dallas Innovates e-newsletter.

R E A D   N E X T