In the next phase of the Texas Startup Manifesto, Capital Factory is working with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center to launch a new center of gravity of entrepreneurs in Uptown Dallas at The Centrum, a newly renovated building that includes existing tenants such as rewardStyle and Salesforce.
Texas Startup Manifesto
Capital Factory has been focused on helping entrepreneurs in the Dallas-Fort Worth region since it launched a partnership with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC) in August of last year when we brought our Accelerator program and the UNION platform to The DEC. In addition to connecting the entrepreneurs, mentors and investors in the two cities online, Capital Factory has been arranging in-person cars, buses and planes to bring entrepreneurs and investors from one city to another.
While we are working to connect the entire Texas startup ecosystem together, our focus is squarely on DFW right now. DFW is a huge market that complements Austin extremely well. There are about 50 Fortune 500 companies in Texas and the half that aren’t oil & gas related are based in DFW. Those are all potential pilot customers and strategic investors for the startup companies. DFW also brings a diverse talent pool and rich base of family office investors who probably don’t get as much credit as they deserve for how active they already are as investors in early-stage businesses.
By creating a physical presence in Dallas, we are reaching out to DFW corporations and family offices to make it easier for them to engage with the startup community. We want to help connect them to the startups in their own backyard and the startups in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
We’re opening a location in Uptown, but we realize that one way that the DFW region is different than Austin is that there are so many different population centers. Being part of The DEC network will help connect our location to the many other DEC locations around Dallas. We’ll continue to look for partnerships in Fort Worth and other locations that The DEC doesn’t have a presence. We can’t do this all by ourselves.
— Mike Rawlings (@Mike_Rawlings) August 8, 2017
In the past six months, Capital Factory has added 50 new mentors from Dallas through The DEC, we’ve coordinated 91 office hours meetings between entrepreneurs and mentors and 7 Dallas startups have joined our Accelerator program.
We’re putting our money where our mouth is. We made direct investments in two Dallas startups and made an introduction between an Austin startup and a Dallas venture capitalist that resulted in another investment. Today we brought more than 30 entrepreneurs and investors from Austin to announce the winner of our $100,000 Dallas Diversity & Inclusion Investment Challenge in partnership with DivInc, The DEC, and Perot Jain.
The New Space
This announcement creates a new center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Dallas with meeting space, classrooms and coworking and most importantly a network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors from the DFW area, from Austin and the rest of Texas, and from all over the world.
Here are some quick stats:
- 26,000 square feet
- Two floors
- 150-seat event space with a stage
- 40-seat classroom
- 22-seat classroom
- Walk-in cooler
- 10 conference rooms
- 13 private offices with 70 desks
- 60 private desks
- Unisex bathroom
- Mother’s room
- Game room with ping-pong and virtual reality
The new space is half coworking and half community space for meetups, classes and large groups. You can see the construction floorplans below. There actually aren’t that many offices or desks so it might not be a bad idea to pick yours out now and lock it in!
Everyone is Included
Capital Factory is committed to ending systemic inequalities and tries to be a diverse and inclusive community. This is one of the places where The DEC and Capital Factory were immediately aligned — The DEC has already been working in this area with their Women’s Summit and outreach into underserved communities. Capital Factory jumps at every opportunity to host programming that attracts women, people of color, veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, and youth programming.
Some specific amenities at this location include a gender-neutral bathroom and a mother’s nursing room. However, it’s more about how people act than the physical place itself. Our Code of Conduct sets expectations for our members and guests.
The Centrum in Uptown
The Centrum is just completing a $25 million renovation that includes a community courtyard, terrace, gym, and other amenities. It’s a mixed-use project with residential, commercial and retail including five restaurants. Other tenants in the building include Salesforce and rewardStyle.
We’ve got the gem of the building. Our two floors are really a standalone building separated by an interior courtyard from the larger structure. This gives us easy access to the courtyard as well as prominent signage on busy Oak Lawn Avenue.
Mexican restaurant Matitos is an old staple in the retail section of the building as well as sushi restaurant Steel. They were recently joined by coffeeshop Mudsmith and Italian restaurant Mille Lire also located within the retail section of the building. In addition to the five restaurants on site, there are dozens of other restaurants within walking distance.
Old Parkland is a 10 minute walk down the road or a 2 minute drive. That’s where a lot of the family offices and private equity in Dallas has offices so that makes it easy for our startups to visit them or for them to attend our events.
Cedar Springs Road is a straight-shot 10-minute drive to Love Field Airport. Investors from Austin and Houston can fly into Dallas for the day and use this location as their home base.
We’re also a 10-minute drive from downtown and The DEC’s West End location.
The DEC Inside
This will be a 9th location in the Dallas area for The DEC, who will be expanding their entrepreneurial programming and mentor network to The Centrum location. All DEC members at other locations will have access to this location for coworking.
“I’m excited to expand the DEC into yet another location where we can continue to support and serve entrepreneurs in North Texas through a great partnership with Austin’s hub for entrepreneurial activity. We are thrilled to have access to beautiful new space for our members to work and to host our events that is in Uptown and that has ample parking.” said Trey Bowles, founder & CEO of The DEC. “This will be just one more great reason why Dallas is continuing to grow to a be leading hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in the country.”
This DEC location will push out introductions and opportunities to the others. Members at Addison Treehouse will be able to book office hours with mentors at The Centrum, in the West End, or in Austin. Other DEC locations include Innovation Hub, San Antonio Entrepreneur Center, Stoke in Denton, Red Bird Mall, UNTDallas, and Paul Quinn College.
This community center will be a physical connection to the Austin, Houston and San Antonio startup scenes. Entrepreneurs and investors from around Texas will be visiting on a weekly basis to connect with opportunities in Dallas. Capital Factory members and our partners around the state will have access to drop-in on any of the other locations.
Through the UNION platform, Capital Factory will connect the Texas startup scene to the rest of the world. UNION connects startup hubs in more than 30 cities around the world using a common website with profiles for each startup and each mentor. This also serves a channel to help connect startups with business development opportunities in large companies and government.
Thanks for the Warm Welcome
Since announcing our partnership with The DEC, we’ve received a warm welcome from many different people and organizations in the Dallas Startup Ecosystem. Here are some of the ones who really stick out (apologies to anyone we missed!)
- Blossom Street Ventures
- Collide Village
- Deep Space VC
- Interlock VC
- Perot Jain
- Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)
- Quadrant Investment Properties
- RISE / Surf Air
- The University of Texas at Dallas
- Vinson & Elkins
- Von Lane
- Ben Lamm
- Bryan Chambers
- Chad Cook
- Chirag Gupta
- Chris Camillo
- Chuck May
- Cindy Revol
- Clayton Floyd
- David Matthews
- David Willox
- Dennis Dayman
- Elaine O’Gorman
- Evan Burfield
- Joe Beard
- Joel Fontenot
- Laura Baldwin
- Mark Bunting
- Mayor Mike Rawlings
- Molly Cain
- Nick Kennedy
- Stephen Hays
- Steve Case
- Steve Guengerich
- Tahir Hussain
- Trey Bowles