From SaaS to Coding to Social Impact, See What Awaits You at Dallas Startup Week

Dallas Startup Week is only days away. In addition to three big summits, the DEC Network's flagship week-long event will offer sessions on 21 different "tracks." From social impact to startup funding to esports and emerging tech, here's a look at what the week holds in store.

Let the countdown begin—Dallas Startup Week is just days away.

The DEC Network’s flagship event, powered by Capital One, kicks off August 7 and runs through August 11, both virtually and in person at SMU’s Cox School of business.

The event brings together innovative leaders across sectors to support the growth and success of the startup community, creating the potential for partnerships and new opportunities, event directors say.

Billed as “5 Days, 100+ Events, 200+ Speakers,” this marks the eighth year for Dallas Startup Week, North Texas’ largest event focused on driving entrepreneurial success, economic impact, and innovation.

In addition to three summits—Disrupt Dallas, Women of Innovation, and Corporate Startup Innovation—this year’s DEC Network-hosted festivities will include numerous tracks with smaller, more targeted focuses.

From social impact to startup funding to esports and emerging tech

Dallas Startup Week says its industry tracks are at the core of its programming. This year’s week-long event will host 21 different tracks ranging from social impact and startup funding to esports and emerging technology.

Featuring “diverse speakers that are igniting change that will advance North Texas into the future,” the industry tracks will include panel discussions, presentations, and fireside chats on specific topics.

While most individual track events will take place in person across various rooms at SMU’s Cox School of Business, some events will be held online on the Brushfire platform.

Here’s a look at the individual tracks and the events they’ll hold throughout the week, with descriptions provided by The DEC.

Industry Tracks

AI, Automation & Quantum presented by Accenture

Track Captains: Anna Jarman, Bill Cockerill, and Wendy Howell

The AI & Automation track explores current trends and innovation, investment in AI and the future of AI, featuring a mix of panels and sessions from industry experts and veterans. The track includes sessions such as: AI in Process Intelligence; AI in the Enterprise, Today & Tomorrow; and Quantum Computing & AI.

Arts & Entertainment

Track Captains: Katie Polansky and Lauren Keuning

Create your place in the arts and entertainment through the A&E track. You’ll learn how to leverage storytelling, rise up in the social markets, translate your artistry to corporate, and more.


Whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop with a website or a cutting-edge startup using AI technology, all entrepreneurs can learn a thing or two in the coding track. Learn everything from design thinking to how to find the right technical team.

Cybersecurity presented by Electric

It is imperative for every startup and small business to think about how they are protecting their own information and data, as well as their customers’ data. Join us at the cybersecurity track, brought to you by Dell, to learn everything from basics to the advanced practices.

Defense Innovation

This track includes defense innovation in regard to tech, ecosystem stakeholders and more. Learn how the Department of Defense is innovating.

Emerging Technologies presented by Dell for Startups

Raising capital, learning the metaverse, gaming, and more. Join us for the emerging technologies track to hear about the newest trends in technology.


The education track brings you entrepreneurial sessions designed by staff and faculty from local colleges with a focus on entrepreneurship. Sessions will highlight entrepreneurialism and the collegiate experience.

Franchising presented by GPM

Track Captain: Carlos White

What’s the first step to becoming a franchise? How do I strategize as an emerging business? How do I grow as a business owner? All these questions and more will be answered at the franchising track sessions.

Gaming & Esports sponsored by Vela Wood

Track Captain: Erica Molett

Get your game on with the gaming and esports track. This track will have panelists from major game brands, discuss women innovating in gaming and esports, take a look at the logistics of live gaming events, and more.

Healthcare sponsored by C1 Innovation Labs

Track Captain: Lindsey Settles

Navigate the journey of health are startup during the healthcare track, through sessions in the basics of startups in health care, fundraising, law, and more.

Legal sponsored by Holland & Knight

Track Captain: Jessica Vittorio

Stay updated on legal practices through the legal track. Sessions in this track include legislative updates, entity basics, and other basic practices in legal.


This track will bring experts in to talk through leadership and how to lead your company to success. The track will also provide tangible ways for you to grow as a leader.


Track Captain: Michelle Rider

The marketing track is the perfect place for marketers of any skill level to up their game. In this track, we will explore marketing techniques that will take your business to the next level through interactive workshops, learning how to utilize algorithms to your advantage, shift narratives, and more.


The retail track will help you stay up to date with the most current retail trends and issues. This track will contain session in the styles of panels and fireside chats.

SaaS (Software-as-a-service)

Track Captain: Natalie Luneva

The SaaS track features local SaaS company founders and software industry experts who share their knowledge with their fellow software entrepreneurs in Dallas. Entrepreneurs at every level who are building SaaS, platform, marketplace, fintech, and other software-powered businesses will benefit and make useful connections.

Startup Funding

This track covers early-stage funding, funding alternatives to venture capital, inclusive investing, and mor. Hear from investors and advisors to learn the best funding practices.

Social Impact

Learn how to utilize your business for good through the social impact track. This track explores how your business can create an impact on your community, how to foster change within your workplace, work together for positive change, and more.


Track Captain: Mike Wilkes

The veteran track will highlight veterans making a difference in the DFW entrepreneurial space. This track will feature veteran entrepreneurs as speakers and will highlight ways to kick-start your veteran-owned business with funding, resources, and more.

For a breakdown on what sessions are being held in each industry track each day, check out a full schedule here.

Countdown to Dallas Startup Week

For information on the summits to be held during the week, click the links on the summit titles below:

Disrupt Dallas Summit

Women of Innovation Summit

Corporate Startup Innovation Summit

For more information on Dallas Startup Weeks as a whole or to register, go here.

Dallas Innovates is a media sponsor of Dallas Startup Week and a DEC Network partner organization.

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