If you’ve been in Dallas in the past month, then you’ve probably overheard the words “Dallas Startup Week” at some point, and there’s a good reason for that. Dallas Startup Week happened April 12–16, and over the course of 5 days, it brought together 5,000+ people and hundreds of local businesses in DFW, and this is something to be commended.
So what exactly IS a Startup Week? Glad you asked. Startup Week is a celebration of entrepreneurship in cities around the world. A startup week happens over the course of several days as a free, local conference for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startup gurus, investors, and small businesses comprising a city’s economy.
Dallas hosted its first Startup Week last year in 2015, and roughly 2500 people participated in the week as a whole. Not bad for a first run, huh?
Dallas Startup Week 2016, however, surpassed 2015’s numbers by the end of its very first day. By the end of the week, last year’s numbers were more than doubled. Now that, my friends, is nothing but impressive.
This was all possible because of local businesses and volunteers who were spirited enough to rally behind a new idea and make it happen with excellence. Dallas is quickly gaining ground as one of the top leaders in Texas for startups, and Dallas Startup Week is consistently firming the foundation that Dallas needs to rise up and be one of the world’s top startup leaders.
Over the course of #DSW16, there were 14 different tracks that were created to give everyone an avenue to get involved based on their areas of interest. These tracks included real estate, social entrepreneurship, legal, health, development, arts/music, fashion, gaming, internet of things, startups 101, travel, community, family saturday, and of course design/UX. Whew, what a list! Basically, if you’re interested in anything at all, then there’s something for you at Dallas Startup Week.
The Dallas Startup Week team did an incredible job orchestrating every last detail to make sure that DSW16 would flow seamlessly despite the number of moving parts that comprised it. Local startup leaders like LaunchDFW, Health Wildcatters / Tech Wildcatters, Digital Dallas and many more all rallied behind the week to make sure the events were above par. If you volunteered at all during Dallas Startup Week, then you are a champion, and Dallas commends you for your time, because it most certainly paid off.
The difference between Dallas Startup Week and any other city-wide conference is connectivity. Really and truly, at any given moment of DSW16 you could look up from wherever you happened to be at the moment to see people networking, sharing ideas, expressing excitement over a specific interest or topic, or exchanging business card after business card. This series of events isn’t unusual in Dallas, with the city being the corporate and business-savvy HQ that it is; what made the events particularly special during DSW, however, was the diversity of the demographics participating. The week appeals to startups, sure, but with so many tracks and opportunities to be involved, there were people of all ages, walks of life, and job categories connecting with one another over the course of 5 days.
When a city cares enough about its economy to launch a huge event like Dallas Startup Week, it’s going to see a bountiful harvest of benefits spring up shortly thereafter. Dallasites poured their heart and soul into making DSW15 and DSW16 happen, and because of that, the startup economy in Dallas is booming like never before.
It’s never too soon to start gearing up to be involved with next year’s festivities, so if you’ve never attended, be sure to keep an eye out for release dates, and if you’re hoping to get your business involved, start planning ways to do so now. DSW17 will be here before we know it, and with such a good track record, Dallas Startup Week 2017 has no choice but to be the biggest startup week success yet.