Few cities in the metroplex have the reputation and pride that Denton does when it comes to community. From music and arts, to food and education, this often forgotten corner of the metroplex has also been making quite a name for itself within the DFW startup scene.
Stoke is one of the local businesses helping to put Denton on the map as a place to launch a startup. A coworking space and entrepreneurial hub, Stoke, hopes to make itself the center of the startup ecosystem in Denton.
Previously operating under the management of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, the space is now under new management by Hickory & Rail Ventures. While many folks may not be familiar with Hickory & Rail Ventures, they would more likely recognize its owner Marshall Culpepper, local resident and co-founder of both Kubos and TechMill.
Upon arriving to Stoke, visitors are greeted by an open, friendly space with local artwork adorning the walls. Heather Gregory, executive director and a local entrepreneur herself, sits nearby at her desk with a wealth of information and resources.
While their rented offices are all occupied, there are plenty of desks in their general coworking area still up for grabs along with conference rooms for use by members. Community groups like TechMill and Open Denton also help keep the foot traffic flowing, utilizing the space for meetups and other events.
The space is host to a number of successful local startups, including Flyp, Upventur, FanFair and Shepherd Dog. Several of these startups, including Flyp and Upventur, moved their offices from other locations in the metroplex and now call Denton the home base of their Dallas operations.
Having just hosted a successful open house event at the beginning of February, Stoke has big plans for 2018. Their main focus is on promoting Denton as an entrepreneurial hub to the rest of the DFW metroplex, and they have bigger aspirations as well.
Several members of their team are gearing up to attend SXSW in partnership with the city’s Economic Development office to reach and recruit startups outside of Texas as well. Heading into the summer they’re planning a host of events, including a startup crawl, to show the rest of the metroplex what their city has to offer.
“I am excited for the future of Stoke and our member companies,” Heather Gregory stated. “I love being an advocate for Denton entrepreneurs and want to help our startups gain visibility in Denton and throughout the metroplex. Through our programming we provide resources, education, and access to a network of mentors and investors to help our startups thrive.”