Mayor Johnson Partners With The DEC on a New Startup Package for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneurs and small business owners can apply now to receive discounted and free services—from Amazon, IBM, Google, Dell, Microsoft, and more—to go toward cloud services, software, tech consulting, training and education, inbound marketing, networking, events, and accelerators.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is continuing to boost small business owners and entrepreneurs who are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Johnson announced this week that he’s partnering with The DEC Network—Dallas’ authoritative source for entrepreneurship—to create the Mayor’s Startup Package. It was unveiled at the height of Dallas Startup Week, The DEC’s annual flagship event dedicated to connecting and boosting the local startup ecosystem, presented by Capital One.

The package offers an array of discounted and free services to help Dallas entrepreneurs succeed. It provides more than $500,000 of in-kind offerings—discounts and pro-bono services from companies like Amazon, IBM, Google, Dell, and Microsoft. They can be designated for cost savings on cloud services, software, tech consulting, training and education, inbound marketing, networking, events, and accelerators.

The Mayor and DEC hope the services will help start, build, or grow a business.

“A city of opportunity”

“Dallas is a city of opportunity, and entrepreneurship and innovation are part of our city’s DNA,” Mayor Johnson said in a statement. “Risk-takers and business pioneers are the keys to our goal of becoming an internationally recognized hub for entrepreneurs. The Mayor’s Startup Package can help take their work to the next level and provide the critical support that our startups need most.”

The genesis of the Mayor’s Startup Package comes from the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a 15-member group formed to analyze specific actions that governmental agencies, higher education institutions, and private sector partners can implement to improve Dallas’ startup community.

The move underscores Johnson’s commitment to making startups and entrepreneurs a mayoral priority. 

The Task Force was co-chaired by Trey Bowles, the co-founder and executive chairman of the DEC Network, and Mandy Price, the CEO and co-founder of Kanarys. The rest of the members can be found here.

Report released in May

In May, the group released its official report detailing recommendations for how Dallas can attract, retain, and grow startup companies—including measures to develop and support women and underrepresented entrepreneurs in North Texas. The City Council then adopted the findings as part of its new comprehensive economic development policy.

Overall, the Task Force found that we have the opportunity to be an internationally recognized hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. “And we should be,” the mayor says. “When people talk about innovation, I want Dallas to be in the same conversation with Silicon Valley, with New York, with Austin.”

Mayor Johnson said this new initiative will send a signal to all innovators—locally and nationwide—that Dallas is “open for business.”

Applications for the Mayor’s Startup Package are available here.

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