In August we released the Texas Startup Manifesto and announced our plans to expand our Accelerator program to include Dallas with a presence at The DEC. After an incredibly warm reception and successful launch we have added dozens of new Dallas mentors to the network, accepted 5 Dallas startups to our Accelerator, and hosted more than 80 office hours sessions. Now we’re putting our money where our mouth is and DivInc is helping to get the word out!
Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in Texas have banded together to give one startup from Dallas with a diverse executive team a $100,000 investment to try and change the world. Any tech or consumer startup in the North Texas area with at least one female or person of color on the executive team can apply on AngelList to pitch at our Funding Day on January 16, the Friday after MLK Day.
We’re fortunate to have two incredible partners to work with on this initiative. DivInc is a pre-accelerator based in Austin that is currently running their third cohort focused on championing diversity in the tech startup ecosystem. The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC) is one of the biggest champions of entrepreneurship in the North Texas startup scene and of diversity in Tech in general.
“I meet black, latino and female entrepreneurs every day who have great ideas and incredible passion but lack access to essential resources to build scalable, high growth businesses. We want to help create an authentic culture of inclusive entrepreneurship within the Texas tech ecosystem” — Preston L. James, II, CEO and Executive Director of DivInc
One of the ways Capital Factory is intentional about attracting entrepreneurs to our network is with investment challenges that focus on particular industry segments, technologies, and geographies. In September we tried an experiment and hosted a challenge around gender and ethnic diversity that was incredibly successful. Not only did it attract applications from teams of diverse entrepreneurs, they were some of the most impressive startups we’ve seen yet! Congratulations to the winner Kiss and Tell who was awarded the $100,000 investment prize!
“$100,000 isn’t all of the money you’ll ever need, but it’s enough for a scrappy team to focus full-time on building a minimum viable product and finding product market fit for about a year. We give you free rent, free hosting, a lot of other free stuff to make that $100,000 last as long as possible,” said Joshua Baer, founder and Executive Director of Capital Factory.
If you’re successful, you’ll validate the business enough to raise $500,000 and then raise a real seed round from a VC.
“Getting the first check is hard enough as it is — it’s even harder in today’s market if you are female. I’m looking forward to backing more diverse teams with women in key leadership positions,” said Jan Ryan, founder of Women@Austin.
The best team that pitches at Funding Day will receive:
- $100,000 cash investment on a SAFE or Convertible Note
- Special access to an A-List of Texas’ top entrepreneurs who add value far beyond the money you received
- 1 year of unlimited co-working at Capital Factory and The DEC
- Access to the Capital Factory Mentor network
- Company formation by startup law firm Kastner & Gravelle
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in free hosting credits from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Softlayer, Microsoft & Rackspace plus many other cloud services you use
This Capital Factory investment challenge is funded by the Capital Factory Partners Fund, a group of the most active mentors and angel investors in our network. To see the complete list of Capital Factory Partners, see the Mentors page of our website.
One thing you should notice right away is that while we have some women and people of color as Mentors and Partners, there certainly aren’t enough! We hope that this challenge will help us to meet new mentors in addition to new entrepreneurs.
We are excited to announce eight new Capital Factory Partners from Dallas that have joined to support this challenge. Thanks for stepping up!
About Capital Factory
Capital Factory is the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas, the number one startup state in the U.S. Last year more than 100,000 entrepreneurs, programmers, and designers gathered day and night, in-person and online for meetups, mentorship, classes, and coworking. We meet the best entrepreneurs in Texas and introduce them to their first investors, employees, mentors, and customers. According to Pitchbook, Capital Factory has been the most active investor in Texas since 2013.
The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC) is a co-working space and 501c3 non-profit created to help entrepreneurs start, build, and grow companies through education, mentorship, and community.