Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Dallas, TX


Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and is recognized as a vibrant business ecosystem for female entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Dallas, TX is the country’s 9th most populous city and the hub of the nation’s 4th-largest metropolitan area. Despite being less populous than two other cities in the Lone Star State, Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It’s also one of the best cities for entrepreneurs, ranked 30th in WalletHub’s 2017 list of the best large cities to start a small business and named in Inc.com’s list of great cities for female entrepreneurs. In addition, Dallas ranked 11th in the 2017 Forbes list of “The Best Places for Business and Careers.”

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Dallas’ entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

Hosts weekly talks about the latest news in the entrepreneurial, business, and technology scenes.

Organized by Launch DFW, this event is a way for entrepreneurs to connect and mingle with those who may be able to help them succeed.

A networking group for female entrepreneurs and business owners to connect with one another and advance their careers.

Aims to make networking between entrepreneurs a less stressful experience.

Hosts occasional special events and monthly luncheons tho educate attendees about entrepreneurship.

Aims to help local founders of startups succeed by providing them support and access to resources and education.

Hosts meetups and mixers for business owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals to meet with one another and share resources and referrals.

A women-only group that holds monthly meetings to help real estate entrepreneurs gain knowledge and overcome challenges.

Hosts meetups to help entrepreneurs get on their feet and find success.

This educational event hosts regular informative and networking opportunities.

This branch is part of a large nationwide organization that educates aspiring entrepreneurs.

A nonprofit organization that provides resources and education to female entrepreneurs.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Sponsored by Southern Methodist University, the event honors some of the best startups and entrepreneurs in the Dallas area.

An annual 5-day conference that celebrates entrepreneurship and informs and supports aspiring entrepreneurs.

A conference with a wide variety of female speakers including executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs.

An educational conference organized by one of the premier organizations for female entrepreneurs.


Startup Competitions:

Those with ideas for an app can compete in an extended competition, earning a number of benefits depending on where they finish.

A competition in which alumni of UnitedWay’s Ground Floor accelerator compete for prize money from the judges as well as an audience’s choice award.

A business competition for women and minorities where the winner receives a year of free air travel from sponsor Southwest Airlines.

An annual business idea competition open to all undergraduate and graduate students in every program at the university.


Co-working Spaces:

In addition to a working space, Addison Treehouse provides mentorship and education to its entrepreneur clientele.

Common Desk has 4 locations in the area, all of which offer several membership levels as well as conference rooms and event space available to rent.

DEC provides a wide array of amenities and resources to help their members succeed.

Offers flex desk, dedicated desk, and private office membership levels as well as a free day pass to see if the space is the right fit.

Located in nearby Carrollton, TX, HeadSpace offers several membership deals on a number of levels without long-term contracts.

An office exclusive to members, located in downtown, that provides a number of amenities, local coffee, and bakery pastries.

Located in the Katy Building in downtown, Level Office’s Dallas location offers co-working deals and private offices for teams of varying sizes.

Just a few minutes away from the Airport, Lift Office is a co-working space that also hosts events for members.

NōD is a co-working community located north of the city that offers 24/7 access to free coffee, a lounge area, and a ping pong table.

A co-working space located in the art district that offers several memberships and includes an outdoor courtyard.

Another co-working space with free parking, unlimited coffee, and access to a furnished kitchen.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to 4 WeWork co-working office locations, two of which are within the city limits.


Maker Spaces:

A 4,000 square foot maker space that provides a variety of tools, an electronics lab, and dedicated space to work on large projects and vehicles.

This large maker space provides 24/7 access to a wide array of tools and equipment to its members along with classes and workshops.

A technology-focused maker space located in Plano, TX that offers equipment, classes, and meetups for members.

In addition to co-working space, The Mix also has an artist studio, a sewing lab, a textiles workroom, sound and dance studios, and a fully-furnished commercial kitchen.

Located outside the city in nearby Rockwall, the Rockwall Makerspace provides tools, equipment, classes on how to use them, and 24/7 access for members.



A part-time, two-month program to incubate and advance technology startups.

An incubator that provides entrepreneurs with a number of helpful resources and connections and a 12-Phase Launch Sequence to support them.

This business incubator focuses primarily on providing working space and workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs.

IDEA Works is a Fort Worth-based business incubator that connects entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed.

A non-profit organization in Fort Worth that supports technology startups and entrepreneurs.

A business incubator at UT Dallas that works with students, faculty, and staff who are leading inventions or intellectual properties derived at the university.

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Evolved from Collide Village’s successful accelerator program, CoBuild invests $50-200 thousand in technology-enabled business services and enrolls them in a lengthy program.

An accelerator program headquartered in Dallas for startups in consumer products, retail technology, and sports management industries.

This 12-week accelerator program invests between $30,000 and $380,000 in health-related startups.

Another 12-week program that invests $40,000 in startups that use technology to change the way real estate works.

Invests in early-stage retail technology companies and enters them into their 14-week accelerator program.

An accelerator that utilizes a 5-step process they call “The Gauntlet” to help technology startups.


Colleges / Universities:

The College of Business  offers a 24-hour entrepreneurship program.

SMU’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship offers resources and classes to educate aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Neeley School of Business at TCU includes the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, which offers a variety of programs and honors to students interested in entrepreneurship.

UT Dallas’ Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a number of valuable resources to students and members of the community.


Angel Groups / VCs:

Aims to invest $750,000 to $1 million in technology companies founded in Texas.

A Fort Worth-based venture capital firm that invests in early- and growth-stage companies in the biotech and medical device industries.

Located just down the road from SMU, Blossom Street Ventures invests in companies throughout the United States and Canada in sectors that are traditionally underserved by VCs.

Based in Fort Worth, Cowtown Angels looks to invest in early-stage startups across the state of Texas.

A venture group headquartered in Dallas that invests in early-stage companies across several distinct industries.

Typically invests in early-stage software startups or e-sports opportunities and offers support throughout your company’s growth.

A VC that invests in companies looking to solve problems located in traditionally underserved markets, especially in the southern United States.

This venture capital firm with offices in New York and Dallas invests in early-stage companies using technology to solve business problems.

Located in Dallas, Naya Ventures invests in early-stage companies, primarily those based in the United States and India.

The Dallas-based angel network invests in early-stage companies in any industry.

Co-founded by Ross Perot, Jr., Perot Jain is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology and healthcare industries.

A venture fund that invests in teams with strong leaders and products or services based on unique intellectual property.


Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

The Dallas Business Journal provides updates on business news in Dallas.

The largest network of entrepreneurs in the world has a branch in Dallas that offers a newsletter.

Launch DFW covers entrepreneurship around the Dallas-Fort Worth area and offers both daily and weekly newsletters.

A newsletter that focuses on entrepreneurial and business news around the state of Texas.


Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Dallas not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Washington, D.C.Chattanooga, TennesseePortland, OR

Article by Quinn Pilkey

Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.