First Timer’s Guide To Dallas Startup Week #DSW18

It’s that time again…

Dallas Startup Week has returned to downtown Dallas and with so many different events, it can be a little overwhelming to know how to get started. If this is your first year to attend, here’s a super easy, super quick guide for one of the city’s biggest startup events of the year.

What is Dallas Startup Week?

Techstars Startup Week Dallas is a 5 day event hosted in Downtown Dallas, dedicated to connecting our rapidly growing startup community with opportunities for mentoring, partnerships, and friendships through common goals, struggles and achievements experienced in the entrepreneur ecosystem. The goal of the event is to increase awareness around our local startup community and the opportunities available to get involved. Check out the official hashtag #DSW18 if you want to get a quick glimpse into the vibe of the event.

How Much Is It?

FREE. Yes, you heard me. All of the sessions are free. Your ticket includes coffee, grub and dranks at the nightly happy hours. Most of the events are free too and for those that are priced, it’s still really affordable. So you have no excuse not to attend.

How Do I Attend?

You’ll need to register so that you can reserve your spot at your preferred events.

Dallas startup week, dallas, launch dew

Which Sessions Should I Attend?

That’s the cool part about #DSW18. There is a little bit of something for everyone. From AI to healthcare to social good and even fashion, there is a diverse offering of topic tracks. My suggestion is to be open to everything. It’s free so this is a great time to explore a topic you may not be that familiar with. Here are some of my picks for the week to get you started:


9AM: Startup Week Kickoff: Insight from Repeat Offenders (Chase Basecamp)

Join me and two of my favorite founders as we kick off Dallas Startup Week with an insightful look into the mind of several key serial entrepreneurs in a panel moderated by The DEC’s Trey Bowles.  We’ll pick their brains on where the ideas come from, how they gain momentum, how they plan their exit, and when they start the cycle over again.

11AM: Reality Beyond the Runway: An In-Depth Discussion on 2018 Trends, Forecasting, and Contemporary Issues Affecting the Industry (Industrious Dallas)

In this “state of the industry” discussion, an elite panel of industry insiders will go beyond the New York Fashion Week catwalks and dish on the top fashion and beauty trends for 2018. In addition to the trends report, forecasting for the future will be addressed, as well as dialogue on contemporary issues impacting the business (i.e. the plus size movement, fast fashion, ethical fashion, diversity amongst brands, decline of retail, etc.).


8AM: #BigDOCC – Dallas Open Coffee Club (Downtown Dallas) (Cafe Momentum)

You wake up every morning, filled with excitement about the technology news of the day. Wouldn’t it be great if you could surround yourself once a week with people just as excited about tech as you are? Imagine a one hour chat, moderated of course, with people that love talking tech because they’re passionate about it? Free coffee too? How this works: You bring yourself, and hopefully a friend. Your friendly moderator, Caitlin Studley, will start the conversation with introductions of any new attendees and then we’ll tackle a few items such as community events (yes, you can promote yours!), jobs (who’s searching/hiring), and then we get into it.

9AM: “So You Want to Do Some Good” (Chase Basecamp)

So you want to do some good and dont know where to start? or You’ve done quite a bit of good and want to do good, better. This panel will be primarily geared towards attendees at the early-mid level in social good. It will feature discussions around entity structure, theory of change, mission, types of entities: non-profit, b-corp, social enterprise, etc. funding cycyles, measuring impact, incubator and accelerator programs, and more.

12PM: Texas-Sized Lunch Session: Uniting Regional Entrepreneurs to become the Most Funded Startup State in the Country  (Chase Basecamp)

Texas has long been the best place in the country to do business and over the past 10 years we have seen explosive entrepreneurial growth in the key cities across Texas, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Dallas (also known as The Texas Triangle). Texas often ups up in the top 5 states for funding for startups in the country. However, what might happen if we combined forces with entrepreneurs, investors, and entrepreneurial support organizations from across the state and worked together to make each of the individual cities benefit from working together. Come hear from some of the leading entrepreneurial ecosystem builders from these 4 major communities across the state to talk bout the importance of collaboration, support, community, and how to raise money and build successful startups.

Featuring Launch’s very own Clarisa Lindenmeyer, hear from Jill Ford about Toyota AI Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute that invests in entrepreneurs from around the world who share its commitment to improving the quality of human life through artificial intelligence, with a focus on autonomous mobility, robotics, data and cloud.

Jill comes to venture capital from her previous role in economic development as the Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the City of Detroit.  She recognizes the importance that enabling technology innovation can play in driving communities forward. An integrative approach between venture capital and economic development can increase access to capital for entrepreneurs and access to valued technology innovations for residents.

5:30PM:  DSW18 Edition: Dallas New Tech featuring Darren Woodson, Founder of CounterFind and Moderator, Frank Gruber (Chase Basecamp)

Hosted by Jason Croft, this event kicks off with a networking happy hour starting at 5:30, followed by the main event: a fireside chat featuring Darren Woodson, Founder of CounterFind at 6:30. This is followed by 4 pitches from local startups which will kick off at 7:30. Come join us and grab tickets here!


9AM: 1 Million Cups – Dallas (Dallas Entrepreneur Center)

11AM:  How to Make Corporations Your Customers – The CIO Panel (Chase Basecamp)

 Corporate CIOs (whether they’re Chief Information Officers or Chief Innovation Officers) are trying to figure out how to more effectively innovate within their companies. But, what does this mean? What does the future really look like for CIOs and the corporatorations they serve? And, most importantnly, how can entrepreneurs and startups be a resource for these corporations?

6PM:  State of Entrepreneurship (Majestic Theater, ticketed event)

Every year there is one night where the entire DFW community is invited to celebrate the funding, exits, launches, and overall wins of the entrepreneurial community. This night, also known as the State of Entrepreneurship has become an essential night in the year for celebrating the growth and success of the entrepreneurial community in DFW over the last year. This event is open to everyone that would like to come and learn more about entrepreneurship in North Texas and will promise to be a night of celebration, fun, a little bit of irreverence and a pretty killer party.


11AM: Tech Trends in Retail 2018 (Zodiac Room, Neiman Marcus)

 REVTECH invites you to attend the 11th semi-annual Tech Trends in Retail event at The Zodiac located in the downtown Neiman Marcus. This year’s plated lunch event will showcase quick pitches by accelerator graduate companies, and feature an opening keynote presentation by Gina Puente. Pitch topics will include New Retail Brands, Concepts, Technologies, and Trends.

1PM: Ask an Investor: Tips from VCs and Funding Providers (Chase Basecamp)

This panel brings together several of the most qualified and experienced investors and funding providers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a discussion on startup funding at all stages and through a variety of avenues. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask the panel their burning funding questions.

2PM: Social Good: The Power of Philanthropists of Color (Chase Basecamp)

 Inside Philanthropy stated “The nation’s ethnic landscape is changing, and by 2050, America will be majority non-white. These demographic shifts have implications for a wide variety of sectors, including philanthropy. Individual contributions constitute the single largest source of philanthropic support in the United States…”What does this mean for one of the nation’s most charitable cities, Dallas? More specifically, how will this shape how people of color engage in philanthropy and are recognized for their often “unsung” contributions to their diverse communities. Join this transformative discussion and leave empowered to invest in the change you desire to see.
Infinite Esports and Entertainment will discuss the modern esports athlete. Attendees get a glimpse into the lifestyle of esports players. Discussion expands to technology & innovation impacting the esports industry.


7:30AM: Dallas Startup Week Women’s Breakfast Presented By Brazen DFW (Chase Basecamp)

Brazen DFW cordially invites you to the Techstars Startup Week Dallas Women’s Breakfast on Friday, April 6th, 2018. The breakfast will include light breakfast bites, “mocktails” and dynamic networking with other leading women in business and tech.

1:30PM: Venture Deal Terms: What You Need to Know About Raising Money

When it comes to early stage venture funding, nobody has seen more deals in North Texas than venture attorneys Ryan Roberts and Kevin Vela. Come listen as two of Texas’ most seasoned startup attorneys talk about how to understand equity rounds and convertible instruments, and what the Texas market looks like for raising capital relative to other ecosystems.
Tweet me when you’re there. Would love to connect IRL.
See the entire schedule HERE.
Bradley Joyce

Bradley is the founder of LAUNCH DFW and an avid proponent/supporter of the DFW Startup Community. Bradley is also the founder of Skyrise, a community, communications and concierge platform for commercial office buildings.