Investors and startups came together this week to learn and share new prospects in North Texas concerning the investment climate and its talent pool.
Richardson-based Tech Titans hosted the forum Tuesday, which began with a panel discussing North Texas’ investment climate and wrapped with pitches from startups. The privately held Tech Titans Venture Forum included representatives from Frontier Capital, GuideCap Partners, Mercury Fund, and Teakwood Capital. Glenn Singleton, an attorney at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, moderated the panel.
“I think those companies have grown up here and that has led to the good talent pool that is here.”
“We’re seeing large enterprises that have probably been here for a long time and I think that is what probably has fed the Dallas ecosystem.” Seth Harward, partner at Frontier Capital, said. “I think those companies have grown up here and that has led to the good talent pool that is here.”
Following up on the same question Aziz Gilani, a partner at Mercury Fund, agreed to say that “Dallas is much better than Austin” in regards to the talent pool and that “talent needs more capital in order to see more success stories.”
The panelists all conceded that there is a trend of angel room investors coming in to take on those seed round investments and they are able to focus on investing in markets like Dallas, which they said are tier two markets from a capital perspective.
Tech Titans is a North Texas technology association that represents more than 250,000 employees through its 300 member partnerships. It collaborates with a wide range of companies from startups to Fortune 500s.
Tuesday’s forum was meant to bridge conversations between investors and startups, which Tech Titans hopes will lead to Series A or B, multi-million-dollar investments down the road.
“This event showed me some companies that were not on my startup radar, even though I spend a good amount of time at The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, so I tip my hat to Glenn.” Gilani said, “He threw out a wide enough net to present startups that we don’t typically see.”
The presenting startups came from seasoned backgrounds being either Tech Titans Awards finalists and winners or Fast Tech-listed companies that have revenue approaching $1 million.
Both the investors and company representatives agreed that in order to have a symbiotic relationship, they need to find alignment with the venture capitalist and startup. Which is exactly what startups aimed to accomplish through their presentations.
NanoMech, a manufacturer of nano-innovations including lubricants, specialty chemicals, and coatings, presented on its advanced technologies and applications over multiple industries.
“The world runs on machines and for every one person there are 10 machines, which makes my business a sweet spot.”
“We make the best robo-lube in the world,” said Jim Phillips, NanoMech chairman of the board and CEO. “The world runs on machines and for every one person there are 10 machines, which makes my business a sweet spot.”
ParkHub is a company trying to change the parking process by “boosting revenue, cutting costs, and wowing guests with fast, reliable, and easy to use technology.”
“Glenn did a fantastic job of linking the money community with startups like myself. All of them, Tech Titans and TeXchange, just a great job,” said George Baker, ParkHub founder and CEO.
“I think the money in Dallas is tight and how we loosen that up is the exit of a startup. Even with such a vibrant community, it can be difficult to get the money infused with startups.”
Here’s a list of the startups that presented:
Evergaze, Inc. (Medical Device)
Nimbix, Inc. (Cloud Computing)
Swirlds, Inc. (Software-Distributed Apps)
Zyston, LLC (Cybersecurity)
Photos by Jewels Clark
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