Grammy-Winning Rapper and Entrepreneur ‘Killer Mike’ to Speak at The DEC Network’s State of Entrepreneurship Event

The DEC Network, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, is gearing up for its 2023 State of Entrepreneurship event—the first-ever in Frisco. Dubbed 'the Super Bowl for Entrepreneurs' in North Texas, the annual gathering brings together game-changing startups and innovative business leaders.

The entrepreneurial community in North Texas is gearing up for what’s been called the “Super Bowl for Entrepreneurs” by The DEC Network’s founder and chairman, Trey Bowles.

The DEC Network will host the 2023 State of Entrepreneurship on March 29 in Frisco with a special guest appearance by Grammy Award-winning rapper and entrepreneur, Mike Render, better known as ‘Killer Mike.’

Beyond his music career, ‘Killer Mike’ is also an accomplished entrepreneur, co-founding multiple businesses, including a barbershop, a record label, and a digital media company. And he’s a believer in the power of entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and create opportunities for individuals and communities.

The annual event—hosted for the first time in Frisco at the FC Dallas National Soccer Hall of Fame—will feature keynote addresses from Bowles, who is now managing director of Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth, along with entrepreneur Jasmin Brand, and Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney.

The speakers will share their experiences and insights on the current and future state of entrepreneurship in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

The DEC Network marks a 10-year anniversary

The DEC Network itself is marking a decade of supporting entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem in North Texas. The nonprofit, a leading resource for entrepreneurs and startups, will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the annual event in innovative style.

Bill Chinn

DEC Network CEO Bill Chinn says attendees can expect discussions on the current and future state of entrepreneurship in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Plus, the DEC Network will announce its community-nominated and voted-on awards for Startup Evangelist of the Year, Student Entrepreneur, Rising Entrepreneur, Investor of the Year, Corporate Supporter of the Year— and new this year, BIPOC Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.

The event underscores The DEC Networks’ overall mission to help entrepreneurs start, build, and grow their businesses, Chinn says. The annual gathering is, in particular, a “great opportunity for entrepreneurs and business leaders to connect, share ideas, and learn from some of the best and brightest minds in the industry.”

Bank of America Dallas President, Jennifer Chandler, echoes the organization’s commitment to helping entrepreneurs realize their biggest dreams.

“Entrepreneurs are the heart of our business environment,” she said in a statement. “We join the DEC Network in its mission to invest in the entrepreneurial community, and The State of Entrepreneurship is a great opportunity to keep our pulse on the latest trends and find inspiration from some of our most innovative colleagues.”

Other speakers at State of Entrepreneurship 2023 include (clockwise from left) Evelyn Solorzano, Jeff Cheney, Carlos White, Veronica Torres Hazley, Tarsha Hearns, Trey Bowles, Jasmin Brand, and Rocko. [Photos: The DEC Network]

Hints of a “big announcement”

The DEC Network also teased an exciting announcement for attendees at the State of Entrepreneurship event, hinting at a major update on Dallas Startup Week.


The 2023 State of Entrepreneurship event hosted by The DEC Network will take place on March 29th, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the FC Dallas National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas.

To register, go here, and to vote for the awards, go here.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • The DEC Network, in partnership with Charles Schwab, is putting out a call for founders of color to apply for its BIG IDEA DALLAS cohort by May 16. It calls the seven-week program a "pre-step" in a founder's journey.

  • The DEC Network—a non-profit driving innovation and economic impact by helping entrepreneurs start, build, and grow their businesses—is presenting its State of Entrepreneurship event on March 29 at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco. Only a few days remain for you to get your awards votes in. You can can go here to see the awards categories, get a link to submit your votes, and find out how to register for the March 29th event.

  • Tarsha Hearns, the former director of LiftFund DFW, has been hired by The DEC Network as its senior director of the Southern Dallas ecosystem. “I really see this role being a face of the small business community in the southern sector, being someone who is going to be a voice, an advocate, and ensure that entrepreneurs get access to the resources that they need,” Hearns told Dallas Innovates.

  • From experiences for people to products for bulldogs, six founders in The DEC’s “Your Level Up” cohort competed for the top three spots, which came with cash prizes—and a chance to make an impression on other founders and potential investors.  Each founder had five minutes and could use up to 10 slides to achieve three objectives: talk about themselves, give an overview of their team, and share their financial projections.   One of the people in the audience at the Entrepreneur Center in Red Bird was Freddie Harris, who started Giza Printing in Deep Ellum. He says The DEC Network, which…

  • The DEC Network wants to help women take their tech game to the next level in a male-dominated industry. The 2023 WomenXTech Summit, a one-day, in-person summit for women, will be held Feb. 8 at Smart Business Concepts’ headquarters in Dallas. The event is designed to bring women tech entrepreneurs together to spread their ideas on how to succeed and support each other in the technology industry, the DEC Network said. Smart Business Concepts, as the presenting sponsor, is committed to supporting women and minority-owned businesses and being a leader in the finance industry. And WomenXTech aligns perfectly with their…