As Cyber Dust is changing how people communicate, the company’s networking events are evolving the way Dallas entrepreneurs connect with and support one another.
“Dallas is booming with innovation,” says Cheri Garcia, president of Cheri Garcia Consulting, who organizes Cyber Dust’s networking events. “The entrepreneur eco-system is growing, but we need to stick together as we grow.”
“Dallas is booming with innovation,” says Cheri Garcia, President of Cheri Garcia Consulting, who organizes Cyber Dust’s networking events. “The entrepreneur eco-system is growing, but we need to stick together as we grow.”
Dallas’ startup scene did just that early — 5 a.m. early — last Thursday. To celebrate National Inventors’ Day, Garcia organized a Cyber Dust networking event that traded the typical business casual cocktail meet-and-greet for trampoline dodgeball, mechanical bulls, and foam pits. Pushing the creative juices to flow even further, those in attendance were encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters from the movie Dodgeball.
“As we get older, we often lose some of our creativity, so I wanted to create an environment that made you feel like a kid again. That’s why I decided to host a networking event at JumpStreet,” Garcia says.
Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park, a family owned business that has locations across the country, including several in Dallas-Fort Worth, also felt the inspiration radiating from the event.
“We’d also like to think of ourselves as ‘innovators,’ as we offer our exciting signature attractions you can only find at Jumpstreet,” says Shawn Kint, Dallas regional director for Jumpstreet. “Like the Dallas innovators [at the event], we believe we do some of our best thinking when we’re having fun and not stressed out about life.”
Created by Mark Cuban and Ryan Ozonian, Cyber Dust is an app that allows a more natural way to communicate. Messages and media sent via Cyber Dust disappear without leaving a trail.
“As an inventor myself, I’m passionate about innovation and creating an awareness of the hard work inventors face behind the success of an invention,” Garcia says.
A Motivated Entrepreneurial Community
While the National Inventors’ Day event sought to stir creativity by making people feel like kids again, it was far from just mere child’s play.
“We had about 50 innovators show up to either showcase their inventions, or support other inventors,” Garcia says. “I was very impressed to see so many people show up at 5 a.m. It was truly a group of the most motivated people in Dallas.”
Among the motivated DFW entrepreneurs up before sunrise to play dodgeball and network was John Anderson, founder of CodeLaunch, an annual accelerator for people and groups with ideas for apps who are seeking seed funding.
“This was the perfect place to find motivated people with ideas and spread the word about our accelerator,” Anderson says. “Almost everyone we spoke with had an app idea of some sort — people usually do, so now it’s up to them to apply! We really hope to see some applications from participants.”
Applications for CodeLaunch’s seed funding competition are open now until June 1st. Interested entrepreneurs need only an idea for an app to apply; though business experience and passion are likely to help people and teams advance toward securing funding.
Several media outlets, investors, and engaged members of Dallas’ startup scene were also present at the National Inventors’ Day event, offering entrepreneurs an invaluable opportunity to share their ideas, startups, and small businesses across the DFW area.
“My favorite memory was seeing the huge smiles on everyone’s faces so early in the morning. I know that most participants haven’t jumped on a trampoline or launched into a foam pit in a long time,” says Garcia. “Our blood was flowing and conversations were awesome and exciting!”
More Creative Networking to Come
Going forward, Cyber Dust plans to continue raising awareness for entrepreneurship in DFW and celebrating how far its startup community has come. And its unique twist on networking events will continue to be a focal point.
“We need to celebrate creativity more often, not just on National Inventors Day,” Garcia says.
On March 3, Cyber Dust is teaming up with VALT, which transforms one’s credit or debit card into a custom black card and provides access to special benefits, to present “Dallas’ Networking Revival.” Sponsored by the law offices of Vela Wood, the event will be held at Nora Restaurant and Bar on Greenville Ave, from 6 to 8 p.m. An after-party with a DJ will follow.
While Cyber Dust’s next event will have entrepreneurs bouncing on the dance floor as opposed to trampolines, the uniquely fun atmosphere of the National Inventors’ Day event is likely to reemerge some in the not too distant future.
“I need to say thank you to Jumpstreet. The staff showed up at 4 a.m. to help me set up and I couldn’t be more grateful. I plan to have more events with them in the future and suggest others to do the same,” Garcia says.
You can follow Cheri Garcia on Cyber Dust at Luminous_Cheri to stay up-to-date on creative networking opportunities by Dust Up Events.
For a daily dose of what’s new, now, and next in Dallas-Fort Worth innovation, subscribe to our Dallas Innovates e-newsletter.