The DEC continues North Texas expansion with official launch of Southern Dallas entrepreneurial center

The Dallas Entrepreneur Center has added one more location to its universe with the grand opening of the DEC @ Redbird on Thursday, Nov. 1, at a party that saw more than 500 attendees enter the 7,300 square foot space on the second floor of Southwest Center Mall. To add to the celebratory mood, DEC leadership and Bank of America, a corporate sponsor for the DEC @ Redbird, announced that the financial institution was giving the DEC $200,000 as an awardee of the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders program. The funds, which “deploy capital and build cross-sector partnerships to advance economic and social progress as part of our [Bank of America] approach to responsible growth,” will be used specifically for the Red Bird location, according to DEC CEO Alyce Alston.

Attendees included members like Matt Houston of MLH Enterprises and Seeds to S.T.E.M., a nonprofit that brings STEM programming to children throughout DFW, as well as Dallas City Councilmen Tennell Atkins – District 8 and Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson. The DEC @ Red Bird is part of a larger redevelopment project, Reimagine Red Bird, whose mission is to bring greater business opportunities and collaborations to southern Dallas.

Several DFW’s leading foundations, organizations, businesses, civic and community leaders, including Hill-Wilkson, PAGE, VARIDESK, and corporate sponsors Bank of America, Comerica, Chase, Capital One and Frost Bank, worked together to bring the DEC @ Red Bird to life. The Dallas Regional Chamber has made The DEC @ Red Bird a key part of their Southern Dallas Task Force to help support economic growth in the southern sector.

The 7,300 square-foot location, brightly lit and fitted with furniture from one of the collaboration’s partners, Varidesk, serves as an innovation hub and features co-working, mentorship and training, and resources for entrepreneurs and business owners. Michelle Williams, executive director of the Red Bird location, and her team offered free co-working for the month of October as a lead up to the November grand opening party. Williams smiled with excitement throughout the festivities and spoke of her appreciation for the support of the Dallas community in getting the doors opened this fall.

Up next for the DEC @ Red Bird: The location will be partnering with UNT-Dallas and Paul Quinn College to provide entrepreneurial programming, support, and education to students and community members.

Veleisa Burrell