Insight into the Dallas Startup Scene: Growing our Company in the USA

It's no secret that the USA is a great place to be if you're launching a startup, but why did we choose the Dallas startup scene?

It’s no secret that the USA is a great place to be if you’re launching a startup, but why did we choose the Dallas startup scene?

Silicon Valley and the Bay Area might be seen as ideal places to launch a startup, but what about all of the other cities across the country?

For everyone who doesn’t know, our CEO Claire Burge has been based in Dallas since October 2016, to take WNDYR to the next level of startup success.

As she settles into life in Dallas- Fort Worth (DFW), we thought it would be interesting to share some of her experiences in a series of upcoming posts. But before we do that, here’s a little bit of background as to why we chose the Dallas startup scene:

Why Did We Choose Dallas?

Claire is no stranger to the West Coast, and spends a considerable amount of time there, meeting regularly with partners and attending SaaS industry events. So why go somewhere else? For one, while the Bay Area startup scene might be the most well-known, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily right for every business.

In an article that Claire wrote for her personal blog, she explains the thinking behind choosing Dallas, including some of the characteristics that she’s realised make a city ideal for growing a business, which include:

  • community
  • a culture where sharing is emphasised and thought leadership is valued
  • education, empowerment and government support of small business development
  • access to mentoring and funding at various stages of business development
  • a society that welcomes, celebrates and embraces foreigners.

Interestingly, these are also the reasons that Claire chose to move to Ireland 8 years ago to start up a number of businesses, including WNDYR. With that in mind, here’s what Claire has to say about her experience of working in Dallas so far:

“There is something here… a pulse, a collection of factors that make this place a little-known secret, which won’t remain that way for much longer. I sense that it too, like my adopted Ireland, will burst into global view and become a destination in its own right. Very soon.”

In addition to characteristics above, there were also two main reasons why we chose Dallas:

  • Dallas’ business environment is more geared towards B2B and longer term investment returns (think oil and gas), which means it’s the ideal place to grow a sustainable business in our chosen market.
  • Time zones were a very important consideration, with team members based in the USA, Europe and South Africa.

Our COO, Tracey Foulkes, had this to add about the importance of time zones and continuity when working in a global team:

“Fragmented timezones leads to the sense that you’re always on. If you are not exceptionally self disciplined with superior time management skill you’ll find yourself feeling guilty about not switching off or visa versa- it’s a real problem. Claire being in Dallas meant that we could work together during my afternoon/her morning. When she is going to bed, I’m just waking up, which also provides another touch point opportunity.”

For a more detailed analysis of why we chose Dallas, be sure to read Claire’s latest post on Medium.

So What’s Going On in Dallas Then?

The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area is hub of business activity, even if urban sprawl means that it can be quite fragmented. This, however, presents a massive opportunity. Many people recognise this and are passionate about making the Dallas startup scene its own kind of success.

Here are some of the many events, resources and community initiatives bringing people together:

  1. Dallas Entrepreneur Centre (DEC):

The DEC is a coworking space and a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs to start, build and grow their business. It’s also Claire’s chosen workplace in Dallas, and where she is getting to meet a variety of other entrepreneurs.

DEC founder Trey Bowles is recognised as one of the most influential people in the startup scene, and is regularly featured on local media like the Texas Standard for his role in developing entrepreneurship in the city. Here’s what he has to say about why entrepreneurs choose Dallas:

“Dallas is a great place for entrepreneurs, not only because it has a business-friendly climate, great access to talent and no state income tax. It is a great place to build a business because we have a history of a can-do entrepreneurial spirit that has yielded more than 25 billionaires (not to mention half billionaires). Most importantly, Dallas has a growing and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem where people work to support each other and help each other succeed.”

The DEC also hosts a number of events, like the upcoming annual get-together: The State of Entrepreneurship 2017.

2. Launch DFW:

Launch DFW was started as a way to bring entrepreneurs in Dallas together, which can often be difficult in such a widespread metroplex. Some of the more popular Launch DFW events are Startup Happy Hour, Coffee Clubs and Ignite DFW.

3. Dallas Startup Week

Dallas Startup Week is an annual event that takes place next week in Dallas, from April 3-7. We’ll be keeping tabs of all the social media feeds to learn more about the variety of startup activity in the city!

Did we miss anything? If you’re an entrepreneur based in Dallas, let us know what resources you’ve felt have/are helping you on your startup journey.

We’ll be expanding on Claire’s experience in Dallas in upcoming posts, but in the meantime, be sure to share your thoughts about Dallas, entrepreneurship and growing a business in the comments below!

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