2023 Business Trends: Dallas Innovators Look to the Future to Stay Ahead of the Game

Dallas-Fort Worth’s business innovators focus on the future and the present. From analyzing data for proactive problem-solving and devising plans for working smarter to plotting the best ways to capitalize on emerging trends, these leaders know the importance of looking forward to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s what they had to say about trends in their respective industries.

CEO, Pickup

PICKUP, a last-mile same-day delivery solution for top retailers like HomeGoods, BigLots!, and buybuyBABY, operates in more than 90 cities offering “a seamless delivery” to boost its partner brands.

On trends in last-mile delivery: Customers are growing their online shopping habits and want their products delivered directly to them regardless of where the warehouse or storefront is located. Customers have also grown accustomed to immediate gratification when shopping online and want their products delivered where and when they want it. This has increased the importance of retailers offering same-day and scheduled deliveries. Retailers that are looking to meet that demand must partner with a trusted last-mile delivery provider that will serve as an extension of their brand.

Fellow and Director of IOTLab, Texas Instruments

Lu is a key player at Kilby Labs, the research and development arm of Texas Instruments, where, she says, “We are laser-focused on the next era of semiconductor technologies.”

On applications beyond semiconductors: Texas Instruments and Kilby Labs research centers have been and will continue to initiate new projects in the medical, health, and wellness industry by developing and applying sensing, processing, and connectivity ICs—both analog and digital to enable more applications. One of the projects we are currently working on is a smart analog sensing interface. Once finalized, it will more effectively and efficiently sense and analyze air quality to detect risks to human health. It will also be used in fire alarms and other safety devices.

Founder and CEO, AmplifiAI

Minter’s AI-driven “performance enablement” platform supports employee-centric organizations across industries. With clients on every continent, “except Antarctica,”Minter has seen an increase in job complexity: AI and automation can help. 

On AI/ML solutions: Workers are expected to master complex interactions while keeping customer experience and satisfaction at all-time highs. Layer on the challenges that come with workforce retention issues, a hybrid work environment, longer ramp times for new hires, and the overload of data caused by having a complex tech stack that doesn’t necessarily talk to each other, and the digital work environment has become a difficult place to easily find success. We’re seeing even more organizations leverage AI to enable frontline leaders to work smarter, help drive a better employee experience through fun and hybrid-team connectivity, and enablement of their teams to improve results.

EVP, Strategic Development and Innovation, Hillwood

Laughlin is a leader in the Alliance Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ), where Hillwood tests the latest tech like drones and self-driving trucks to help drive the future of logistics.

On trends in the supply chain/logistics industry: The present macroeconomic influences (labor shortages, consumer expectations, outdated manual and analog processes, globalized sourcing, and continuing supply chain disruptions) are forcing businesses to evolve their supply chain to be more resilient and reliable. With technology and data services making their way into all elements of the supply chain, we believe the largest impact will be realized in intermodal and seaports first, with a really close follow-up into the warehouse and distribution facilities. Leading trends will be in 1) connected and digitized freight solutions, 2) data integration platforms, 3) increasing customer demands for visibility, and 4) supporting network and connectivity infrastructure.

CEO, Causelabs

CauseLabs creates website designs and apps for nonprofits and social impact businesses. In 2023, it’s offering packages high on accessibility that take the hassle out of launching and maintaining websites.

On AI content generators: AI is adding new functionality that could be added to future websites. There are AI automated translators, AI content generators for both short- and long-form content, AI image recognition, AI music generators, AI realistic and artistic image generators like DALL·E 2, and more. This is going to change our access to artistic media and fresh content, but it may also result in messy sites and inaccurate data initially. It’s a phase of tech evolution that we’ll need to work through.

CEO and Co-Founder, CareSignal—a Lightbeam Company

CareSignal pioneered deviceless remote patient monitoring to improve care for underserved and high-risk patients. In 2021, CareSignal was acquired by Lightbeam Health Solutions to enhance its population health management platform.

On the use of AI in improving patient outcomes: AI plays a critical role in scaling the capacity and efficiency of healthcare providers by using proactive predictions and prescriptive problem-solving to meet individual patients’ needs. Much of the clinical value of AI comes from its ability to pull in broad characteristics for every patient, including types of subclinical and environmental attributes that aren’t accessible to clinicians and are so rarely considered in care plans. We now recommend “next best actions” and provide deep insights based not only on clinical relevance, but also the socioeconomic and behavioral features of a patient.

Founder and President, Texas Blockchain Council

The Texas Blockchain Council aims to make Texas a leader in blockchain innovation. In the last year, the organization tripled the number of member companies, and news went viral that the council donated Bitcoin mining machines to the City of Fort Worth, making it the first U.S. city to mine its own Bitcoin.

On finding a balance in regulating cryptocurrencies: The trend of additional regulatory attention to the bitcoin, blockchain, and crypto industries is likely to continue in 2023. This asset class is growing in adoption and importance, which means that policymakers are finding that they need to have an opinion about it whether that is one of light-touch regulation that favors innovation or heavy-handed regulation that favors pushing the industry offshore.

Founder and CEO, Gig Wage

Dallas-based fintech Gig Wage is here to help. Not just the workers, but employers too.

“A war for 1099 talent is driving innovation and services towards gig workers,” says Craig J. Lewis. More folks are doing gig work for one main reason, the founder of Dallas-based fintech Gig Wage says: People can make what they need. “Our data show earnings rising,” Lewis says. Because of that, “there’s a financial social safety of services forming, like healthcare, credit, tax tools, and more for workers.” Lewis also notes an increase in gig workers getting incorporated and operating as businesses. The founder, who expects to have more than a million contractors on his 1099 payroll and payments platform by the end of 2023, partnered with Commonwealth and GreenDot on a study of the special needs of gig workers. His platform also lets firms track and manage their independent workforces. Lewis is focused on a path to profitability for the startup, which tripled its revenue from the start of 2022 as of early fall.

CEO, Drive Shack

Golf-related entertainment company Drive Shack Inc. launched its grown-up minigolf Puttery brand in 2021 in The Colony. DSI recently delisted from the NYSE to focus on growth and reduce costs and distractions.

On creating unique concepts in sports entertainment: People—specifically adults—are craving nostalgia with a twist. We see this in remakes of classic movies, elevated comfort food, and fresh takes on things we used to do as kids. Competitive socializing concepts are popping up across the nation.… DSI has been a leader in capitalizing on this trend. When creating the brand concept for Puttery, we wanted to revive the classic game of minigolf with an adults-only atmosphere and a luxurious aesthetic. We designed courses that are just difficult enough to keep the game interesting and flushed with fun details perfect for today’s social media culture.

A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2023.

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