After years working as a research analyst for Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch and then as the founder and CEO of investment platform Global Silicon Valley, Michael Moe says he’s developed a “skill set” around putting on conferences. Now he’s bringing that knack to Dallas, where 500 people are expected to attend the inaugural SMU+GSV Mission Summit later this month at Southern Methodist University.
The SMU conference will be modeled on the annual ASU+GSV Summit, which focuses on digital learning and workforce skills. Co-founded by Moe in 2010, that collaboration with Arizona State University has been called “the Davos of Education,” attracting 7,000 attendees as well as speakers including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Howard Schultz, Condoleezza Rice, and Sandra Day O’Connor.
The Dallas summit, scheduled for May 22-24, has a different purpose: accelerating Moe’s corporate Mission Movement, which contends that there’s a “growing tidal wave” of businesses combining “the ambition of a for-profit with the heart of a nonprofit.”
Moe wrote a book about the trend, titled “The Mission Corporation,” in 2021.
Today’s entrepreneurs, especially younger ones, want to “feel like what they’re doing is actually helping the world evolve,” he says. “So, having a purpose to what they’re doing is critical. But profit is also important, because that’s how you sustain it, and that’s how you scale and make an impact.”
Recruiting the best entrepreneurs
Moe’s partner in the upcoming conference is serial entrepreneur Mike Hoque, CEO of Dallas-based investment firm Hoque Global.
Says Moe: “We’re brothers from a different mother.”
The two met before Moe relocated to Dallas from Silicon Valley in 2021. (California had changed, Moe says, and Dallas felt like where “the future” will be.)
Further bolstering their relationship, GSV recently moved its headquarters from Northern California to Dallas and took a space in downtown’s historic Adolphus Tower, which Hoque acquired in 2015 and then renovated.
Moe and Hoque are collaborating on a ‘major innovation district’ in Dallas’ Cedars neighborhood
During an interview at Hoque Global’s office in Comerica Tower, Moe and Hoque explained how they’ve begun working together on Hoque’s SoGood mixed-use development in the Cedars neighborhood, south of Interstate 30. One of several complex real estate projects Hoque has undertaken, the development will become a “major innovation district,” Hoque says, with a first-phase building anchored by the GSV Innovation Center for innovators and entrepreneurs.
“We’re going to recruit the best entrepreneurs and bring them to the district,” Moe says, adding that the Mission Summit is a “fundamental component of how we’re going to get people to understand what we’re doing.”
SMU+GSV Mission Summit: Speaker lineup, pitch competition
The Dallas conference, to be held at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center, with a reception at the George W. Bush Presidential Library, will present a wide range of speakers. They include Clark Hunt, chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs; former Dallas Fed president and CEO Rob Kaplan; Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt; Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell; Jennifer Chandler, managing director, Bank of America; and Stimuli Founder and CEO Taylor Shead.
The Mission Summit will also feature a dozen finalists in the Texas Cup, a pitch competition for college-age entrepreneurs presented by GSV.
With a career that’s “been about connecting the dots,” Moe is convinced the Dallas conference can catalyze the Mission Movement, just as he says the ASU summit jump-started the ed-tech sector.
“I believe Dallas is really the perfect place to be the hub of this mission movement, which is a global movement,” he says.
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