Are you an innovator or entrepreneur looking to get more connected with the local scene? Get ready—one of the biggest events for movers and shakers in the local startup and business world is almost here.
The DEC Network’s flagship event—Dallas Startup Week—kicks off on August 7 and runs through August 11. The multi-day event, sponsored by Capital One, will be in person at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business and virtual on Brushfire.
The event brings together innovative leaders across sectors to support the growth and success of the startup community—and creates the potential for partnerships, said Lisa Tran, SMU Cox Managing Director of Corporate Engagement & Strategic Partnerships.
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. This year’s DEC Network-hosted festivities include three summits, each targeted at specific groups. In anticipation, The DEC has unveiled details for one of those three: the Disrupt Dallas summit.
Disrupting the scene
Highlighting the “champions who are disrupting the entrepreneurial ecosystem and talent pipeline,” the Disrupt Dallas summit will provide education and programming from local entrepreneurs of color on how to help support and grow a business.
Sponsored by Regions Bank, Disrupt Dallas will take place in person at SMU Cox School of Business’ Collins Center and online at Brushfire on August 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Overall, Regions Bank says the event “brings together the local ecosystem to exchange ideas and make connections so that small businesses can accelerate their growth.”
Here’s what to look forward to at the summit:
Disrupt Dallas Summit
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Coffee Networking sponsored by PJ’s Coffee 9:30 a.m.: Welcome to Disrupt Dallas
Kicking things off are emcees Brittany Willis and Lubbock Smith III.
Willis is a franchise owner of PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans and a small business coach at Protege to Pro.
Smith is director of community development and Vista outreach at Vista Bank; co-founder of Camp Exposure; director of strategic partnerships and Leadership at Builtin Realty Group; and owner of Lubbock Smith III, LLC, a fitness and consulting business.
“This topic is important because entrepreneurs are known to disrupt what we know as normal and make things better than it was before,” said Smith.
Vista Bank is ‘The Entrepreneurs’ Bank,’ he says, making it important to be a part of Dallas Startup Week in support of our entrepreneurs in the region.
“Disrupt Dallas also allows for more disruptive entrepreneurs to learn, share, and develop transformative relationships within the startup ecosystem, for businesses and business owners to thrive while changing the ‘business as usual’ narrative,” said Smith.
10:00 am Opening Keynote
Terrence Maiden is the CEO of real estate development and investment firm Russell Glen Company and chairman of the board at the Maiden Foundation.
11:00 a.m.: Disrupting Media Panel
- Brittani Hunter, CEO and founder at Mogul Millennial
- Taylor Crumpton, online arts editor at D Magazine
- Bryson “Boon” Paul, journalist
- Kristin Diaz, news anchor at NewsRadio 1080 KRLD
- G. Graham (Moderator) – entrepreneur, CEO and founder at COSIGN Magazine
12:00 pm Fundraising Panel
- Brian Marshall, BCL of Texas
- Regions Bank (speaker TBD)
- Tarsha Hearns (Moderator), senior director at The DEC Network
1:00 p.m.: Female Pioneers—The Ultimate Disruption
- Brittany Willis, franchise owner at PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans and small business coach at Protege to Pro
- Deja Ard, CEO at Spectrum of Love
- Marty McDonald, CEO at Boss Women Media
- Alyson Rae Lawson, multi-unit franchisee and motivational speaker
3:00 p.m.: Closing Keynote—Danyel Surrency Jones
Danyel Surrency Jones is the co-founder and CEO at POWERHANDZ Inc., a sports and fitness product tech platform that designs innovative solutions for athletic training and rehabilitation.
But wait, there’s more…
Directly following the Disrupt Dallas summit is the Dallas leg of the annual Dell for Startups pitch competition. Eight startups from various industries are set to compete for a collective $25,000 in prizes. Winners will move on to the next round of pitches for the chance at $40,000 in prizes.
The event will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the SMU Cox School of Business’ Collins Center Crum Auditorium.
Countdown to Dallas Startup Week
How to register
Dallas Startup Week is free. For more information or to register, go here.
Be sure to sign up for the Dallas Innovates newsletter to get our updates throughout the week.
Dallas Innovates is a media sponsor of Dallas Startup Week and a DEC Network partner organization. Quincy Preston, Kevin Cummings, and Leslie Barker contributed to this report.
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