Two leading organizations for startups in the region—The DEC Network and the North Texas Angel Network (NTAN)—have formalized a strategic partnership that will connect vetted entrepreneurs looking for funding with angel investors seeking quality deals.
The deal is a culmination of a long-discussed collaboration. It’s a strategic and operational partnership that will spur innovation, deal flow, and company launches and exits in North Texas, the organizations say.
“The coming together of the DEC Network and NTAN makes an important partnership that will provide necessary continuity between helping build fundable companies and finding quality deal flow for angel investors,” The DEC Chairman Trey Bowles told Dallas Innovates. “With last year’s 20-year high of more than $1.1B going into early-stage companies in DFW, there has never been a better time for investors to engage in the North Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Bowles says bringing NTAN and The DEC Network together combines two leaders in North Texas with one goal: providing funding for startup companies.
“This aligns exactly with Mayor Johnson’s release of the Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Report reiterating his commitment to helping Dallas to continue to become a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the country,” Bowles said.
Bill Chinn, CEO of The DEC Network, says the partnership with NTAN will open doors to angel funding sources for entrepreneurs, introduce startups to a valuable network, and offer leadership and operational support.
The organizations will continue to exist as separate entities, but will together work to attract entrepreneurs and angel investors more efficiently and effectively via strategic, revenue, operational, and marketing elements, he notes.
NTAN, an accredited angel investor membership organization, says its individual investors have pumped more than $10M into startups, primarily in North Texas. Notable investments totaling more than $1 million each from NTAN members include Natural Dental Implants, Tella Firma, Ikonopedia, and Vital Arts & Science.
How it works
NTAN identifies and screens applicant, entrepreneur-led companies looking for startup seed or growth capital. Interested members collaborate on due diligence and individually provide capital to selected opportunities. The angel group acts as a facilitator and does not provide investment advice to members.
“NTAN exists to present quality, early-stage investment opportunities to our membership and to nurture active angel investing in our region overall,” says NTAN Board Co-Chair Chris Wilkes said in a statement. “By aligning with The DEC Network, we’ll more rapidly tap into opportunities and increase our visibility,”
Wilkes, who is also a member of The DEC Network board, sees the potential for leveraging The DEC’s operational excellence. It “allows our members to increase focus on evaluating and investing in strong founders and ideas vs. running day-to-day operational roles.”
Will Akins has been named NTAN Director of Operations.
TTAN merged with NTAN
Earlier this year, the Tyler Texas Angel Network (TTAN) merged its organization into NTAN. It was a significant move in the pandemic, as deal flow was facilitated by a move to virtual presentation formats that could better enable shared opportunities across North Texas and beyond. The DEC Network intends to continue with meeting formats in a hybrid manner to provide the most flexibility to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and investors.
The DEC is an innovation hub for founders that has helped start, build, and grow businesses since 2013.
Quincy Preston contributed to this report.
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