The DEC@Redbird Offers BIG iDEA DALLAS Program for Black Founders

The DEC's Demetra Brown

The DEC@Redbird, an entrepreneurial hub for Southern Dallas, wants to help local Black founders launch the next big idea in business. So it’s offering BIG iDEA DALLAS, an intensive seven-week program to help propel them from an idea to “a successful, market-validated business concept.”

The free virtual program kicks off Thursday, September 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. and will run for seven consecutive Thursday evenings. 

The DEC@Redbird is part of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s DEC Network, a nonprofit catalyst for entrepreneurs since 2013. 

A deep dive into innovation

A collage of images from The DEC@Redbird’s website [Photos: The DEC@Redbird]

Participants in the BIG iDEA program will take a deep dive into the innovation process through market research and competitive analysis.

According to Demetra Brown, senior director of The DEC Network, the sessions will be an interactive blend of lectures, group discussions, and whiteboarding—with topics including feasibility, legal structure, team formation, financial analysis, market demand, and more.

Participants will also receive counsel from successful business leaders, who will help the emerging entrepreneurs turn their ideas into thoroughly validated business concepts.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have amazing support from the board of directors at The DEC Network as well as from our extensive network of mentors,” Brown told Dallas Innovates. “As we finalize the participants, we’ll tailor the participating business leaders to help suit the needs of our entrepreneurial class,” 

Of course, once you have a great business concept, you’ve got to be able to pitch it to investors. And BIG iDEA participants will have the chance to do just that.

Pitching to investors on Demo Day

So far, Brown says early applicants have included founders with concepts based around IT/digital and social assistance.

Once the program wraps up, they and the other participants will get to pitch their business at the in-person BIG iDEA DALLAS Demo Day on October 28—with an audience of Dallas-based investors on hand to see it. (The DEC is monitoring COVID restrictions and will update the event as needed.)

The Demo Day’s first-place winner will hold the title of BIG iDEA DALLAS champion and will secure up to $3,500 in funding.

Every participant who completes the program will be given a $250 microgrant as well.

After completing the program, participants will continue to benefit from it—with access to mentorship, a DEC@Redbird membership, and exclusive networking events at The DEC@Redbird.

Applications to BIG iDEA DALLAS are open now through Sept. 10 by clicking here.

For more info, visit The DEC@Redbird here.

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