SMU Students Tap into the Dallas Entrepreneur Scene

Eduardo Leon,  Trent Mervine, and John Echols met at SMU, and the three of them enrolled in the first ever “Accelerate Your Startup” class with Trey Bowles, CEO and co-founder of the DEC, this last semester.

iron triangle distributionTheir startup idea was born from their passion for Texas craft beer. They realized the need for a craft beer distributor in the Dallas area, and from there, came up with the idea for Iron Triangle Distribution. “The Iron Triangle motto is ‘Tapping Texas.’ We want to help breweries in the area that have room for growth, and who want to tell their story,” said Trent, a Finance major.

Going through the class helped the team determine what their business strategy would look like, any legal hoops that they would need to jump through, and if their idea was, indeed, viable. “Working with the advisors on what kind of TABC regulations we would need to be aware of was so helpful,” said John, Iron Triangle’s beer connoisseur.

They finished the class and received (like their other classmates) $5,000 in funding for their startup. The funds were granted from the Meadows School of Arts and Lyle School of Engineering.

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Eduardo and Trent, at the DEC

In addition to the grant, the students were given a free membership at the DEC for this summer. That includes, of course, all of the support, resources, and mentoring that the DEC has to offer.

“Being a part of an accelerator program with mentors such as Trey Bowles, who are extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and about getting us younger people attracted to entrepreneurship, has been so helpful and motivational,” says Eduardo, Director of Operations for Iron Triangle.

The DEC recruits an impressive number of mentors, available not only to DEC members, but everyone in the startup community. “Each advisor brings expertise and contacts to assist the DEC in engaging and growing the startup ecosystem,” reports the DEC’s website.

We’re excited to see what the Iron Triangle team is able to bring to the world of craft distribution, and how they’re able to grow their business!

“Many friends told me they wish they could do something like Iron Triangle or start some sort of business,” says Eduardo. “Everytime, I just tell them, you can, there’s nothing holding you back! Exposure to a program like this and spreading it throughout campus will make launching one’s own business a lot less daunting.”

Rachel Winstead

Rachel is a freelance writer and works at Soap Hope in downtown Dallas. She hates the term "disrupt," tweets about startups, and appreciates a well-crafted hashtag.