Dallas Startup Week: Kickoff Party Rocks Above Downtown

Dallas Startup Week cocktail party at the Tower Club. Photo by Michael Samples.

OFFICIAL DALLAS STARTUP WEEK COCKTAIL PARTY RECAP AND PHOTO GALLERY


More than 1,500 people packed the Tower Club on the 48th floor of Thanksgiving Tower in downtown Dallas Tuesday night to celebrated the launch of Dallas Startup Week 2016.

“I decided to organize the event once I realized there wasn’t a kickoff launch party,” said Marty Martinez, founder and CEO of Social Revolt, a boutique marketing agency. “I recall last year there being a huge party to wrap up Dallas Startup Week but didn’t remember there being a huge event to kick things off, so I saw an opportunity.”

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Attendees at the kickoff party got a beautiful view of the orange downtown. (Photo by Michael Samples)

A ROUSING PARTY ENDED THE FIRST DAY’S ACTIVITIES

Chase Bank showed its support for the Dallas startup community by serving as the event’s title sponsor.

Martinez also enlisted the support of Tower Club of Dallas, Dallas Startup Week, Social Revolt Marketing, Downtown Dallas Inc, LaunchDFW, Attorney VENUE, and Dallas 48, each of which got behind the event as a supporting sponsor. Full disclosure: Dallas Innovates was a proud supporter for the Dallas Startup Week launch events.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of this community. One reoccurring theme about being in this ecosystem is the collaborative environment and ‘how can I help you?’ mentality. I truly feel that this is what makes Dallas incredibly unique,” Martinez said.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of this community.” – Marty Martinez

Tuesday marked the beginning of the second Dallas Startup Week, and the kickoff party was a rousing conclusion to the first day.

This year’s events are expected to draw upwards of 6,000 attendees, doubling last year’s attendance, as more than 230 speakers give talks across 20 venues. Speakers will cover 14 different topics, including design & UX, IoT & robotics, gaming, and health.

Dallas Startup Week 2016 will conclude on April 16.

“The world should pay attention to the Dallas startup scene because big things are happening here. Entrepreneurs and startups from across the country are flocking to Dallas in droves because of the friendly business climate, access to capital, and budding startup ecosystem,” Martinez said at the party. “Within the next few years, Dallas will be a force to be reckoned with. Take that Austin.”

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A DJ plays music at the kickoff party. (Photo by Thomas Garza Photography)

PARTY ATTENDEES HAD PLENTY TO SAY ABOUT STARTUP SCENE

I caught up with a few of the leaders, emerging leaders, and supporters of the Dallas startup scene who were in attendance, and they had plenty to say about where Dallas has come, and where it’s startup community is headed.

Matt Alexander,  founder, NeedForemost, and Unbranded, said the city of Dallas has grown in its reputation for entrepreneurship.

“People talk about Dallas less as a second-class citizen, instead just allowing the community and the improvements to speak for themselves.” – Matt Alexander

“When I first started to attend startup events in Dallas, there was a constant refrain of people trying to provide justification for the city. It was this sense of trying to prove that Dallas could be a compelling market,” Alexander said. “These days, I think a lot of that subtext goes unspoken. There are great companies, there’s a rapidly-expanding community, and there’s available capital for people with both new and growing ideas.”

Alexander continued: “People talk about Dallas less as a second-class citizen, instead just allowing the community and the improvements to speak for themselves.”

Craig J. Lewis, founder & CEO, Visage Payroll, said the area is a great place to create a company and make it grow.

“Dallas, Texas is big! Startups have a chance to get big fast! My hope is that events like Dallas Startup Week spark the entire community to think about helping startups do just that, get big fast,” he said. “Lawyers, investor, accountants, accelerators, co-work space, bankers, advisors, every person involved, should step back and consider how we can help startups get big fast.”

Let us know why you are excited about the Dallas startup scene using #DallasInnovates and #DSW16.


OFFICIAL DALLAS STARTUP WEEK COCKTAIL PARTY PHOTO GALLERY

Check back throughout the week as we add more photos.

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