Startups and Entrepreneurs take over the Hilton Anatole for SOE 2015

Last night, more than 800 entrepreneurs, investors, tech nerds, and startup evangelists took over a ballroom at the Hilton Anatole to celebrate the State of Entrepreneurship. Trey Bowles, CEO and Co-Founder of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC), Jonathan Clarke, CEO and Founder of Mend, Nick Kennedy, CEO and Founder of Rise, and Molly Cain, Executive Director of Tech Wildcatters were among the speakers and panelists.

Krista Nightengale-Higbee, Executive Editor of Dallas Innovates, treated guests to a sneak peek of the digital publication which launches next week. In an evening full of huge announcements and big reveals, the biggest surprise was a video message from Russell Simmons, Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications and Co-Founder of Def Jam records, announcing his participation as the keynote speaker for the “Entrepreneurial City” at this year’s Festival of Ideas.

Dozens of startups were present at “Startup Alley”, a tradeshow of sorts for local companies to pitch their products, give demos, and schmooze with investors. An interactive data experience presented by Trey Bowles, put the scope and scale of our entrepreneurial community into perspective by highlighting resources like coworking spaces, media organizations, accelerators, and investment groups that help facilitate the life cycle of startups and entrepreneurship. The interactive experience is live and available to view at

The Launch DFW team was also in attendance and we had the opportunity to chat with several key players in our community. You can check out those interviews in the video below.

Photo credit: Jason Croft 

Raquel Vincent

Raquel Vincent is a Dallas-based creative with a knack for words and inspired creative direction. When she's not working, you can find Raquel hitting a gallery opening, working on her book, or thrifting for unforgettable vintage finds. She loves music festivals, tacos, and her rescue cat Berlioz.