MassChallenge Adds VP of Texas Strategy to Support Innovation and Entrepreneurial Growth

In Michelle Williams' previous role as executive director for The Dallas Entrepreneur Center's southern sector initiative, she helped build and launch The DEC @ Redbird. She brings more than 15 years of thought leadership in social impact and innovation to her new role at MassChallenge.

MassChallenge, a Boston-based global network for innovators, has appointed Michelle Williams as its new vice president of Texas Strategy.

With more than 15 years of thought leadership in social impact and innovation, Williams brings extensive experience in assisting corporate and nonprofit organizations with defining, executing, and implementing their impact, philanthropic, and equity-centered goals, MassChallenge said.

“Michelle’s passion for social impact and innovation, combined with her extensive experience and understanding of the Texas ecosystem, perfectly aligns with our mission,” Damon Cox, head of Next Practice at MassChallenge, said in a statement. “Her commitment to empowering communities will undoubtedly drive positive change in our Texas operations and beyond.”

Aiming to foster innovation by furthering impact on Texas startups

As the VP of Texas strategy, Williams will leverage her expertise to further the organization’s impact in supporting startups and fostering innovation. MassChallenge said it already has supported over 4,400 startups since its inception in 2009. With offices in Boston and Dallas and operations in 18 other countries, MassChallenge said it’s ready to continue its growth and expand its footprint in the North Texas region under Williams’ strategic leadership.

Williams was named one of the Top Innovators Reshaping Texas by Texas Monthly magazine and has made a career committed to sharing resources, best practices, and knowledge with underrepresented and rural communities across Texas.

MassChallenge said her strategic vision and dedication to fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems will be instrumental in advancing its commitment to accelerating high-impact startups who are driving solutions in critical challenge areas such as climate, dual use, biotechnology, advancements in healthcare and health equity, and more.

Williams’ background includes serving as a consultant for Dallas area universities and extends to Comerica Bank, where she advised on their BusinessHQ program plan, and the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, where she revitalized their strategic plan and fundraising strategy. She also supported the strategy and execution for Good Soil, the entrepreneurial ecosystem of TD Jakes Enterprises.

MassChallenge said that in her previous role as executive director for The Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s (The DEC Network) southern sector initiative, Williams helped build and launch the DEC @ Redbird, successfully fundraised more than $2.5 million, and launched a cross-sector initiative funded by JPMC to bridge the North Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem.

That initiative facilitated collaboration among area universities, various cities across the metroplex, and over 60 business service organizations, MassChallenge said.

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