The DEC Network Ventures West for Fort Worth Entrepreneurship Center

The Fort Worth Local Development Corp. approved $500,000 over two years to create the Fort Worth Entrepreneurship Center. The center will be operated by The DEC Network in the city's Near Southside neighborhood, according to the Fort Worth Report.

The DEC Network, long noted for its entrepreneurial work in Dallas, is heading west to Fort Worth where it will operate a new center aimed at helping support small business owners and startups.

According to the Fort Worth Report, The Fort Worth Local Development Corp. approved $500,000 over two years to create the Fort Worth Entrepreneurship Center, which will be operated by The DEC Network beginning in August. 

The center will be tentatively located at 400 Bryan Ave. in the Near Southside, the same building as Roots Coffee.

News comes as The DEC Network prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary

The news comes as The DEC Network is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary, and as it works on the construction of its newest innovation hub in Dallas, the RedBird Innovation Center.

According to the Fort Worth Report, the city of Fort Worth has struggled to create businesses when compared to the state’s other large cities, lagging behind Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio in the number of businesses created.

But Fort Worth is working to change that stat. The city received recognition earlier this month from WalletHub as a great place to start a business, ranking as the top city in Texas and No. 9 out of the 100 best U.S. cities, based on business environment, access to resources, and business costs.

Trey Bowles helps spur the initiative

Trey Bowles, co-founder and former CEO of the DEC Network, told the Fort Worth Report that he shared with the city how the organization had set up centers in the past. Bowles sits on the city of Fort Worth’s entrepreneurship and innovation committee and is a chairman emeritus at The DEC Network.

“I felt like it was important and I’ve been able to build this in different cities and see it be really, really helpful. And the city of Fort Worth wanted to do it,” said Bowles, who will be a paying tenant of the new center as managing director of the Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth Accelerator.

According to the DEC Network, the Fort Worth Entrepreneurship Center will host workshops, events, pitch competitions, and a network of mentors to assist people who come to the center.

Read more in the Fort Worth Report.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • Entrepreneurs and industry leaders benefit from the city's business-friendly approach.

  • Slated to be built in Fort Worth's Historic Southside neighborhood, the planned $70 million museum will get the city funding once the balance for the project has been raised. Designed by the New York office of Denmark-based Bjarke Ingels Group, the building will house the museum on its second level, with a business incubator, restaurant, 250-seat amphitheater, and storefronts at ground level. “Literally and figuratively, it was designed to be a beacon of light in an area that has been dark for a very long time,” says Jarred Howard, principal of the project's developer.

  • Rhithm, a Dallas social-emotional learning and mental health startup, raised $4 million in a seed round last year for its emoji-based bio-social assessments app, which is now used by over 2,400 schools in 29 states, according to the company. One district that adopted the app is Fort Worth ISD—and it recently announced a change in how the app will be used.

  • A new marketing campaign from Visit Fort Worth is called "The Unexpected City"—and a very unexpected voice is at the heart of it: legendary Hollywood actor Jimmy Stewart. Stewart passed away in Beverly Hills back in 1997. So how could a 2023 ad campaign snag the voice of an actor who's been gone for decades? Well, doggone it, hold your horses and you'll find out.