FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2020
Global Entrepreneurship Week Fort Worth (GEW FW) is joining forces with Dallas Startup Week to educate, inspire and connect the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the larger DFW region. This new effort will share staff, resources and sponsorships to make an even bigger splash with events in 2020 and beyond.
GEW FW founders Texas Wesleyan University and The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) and community partners that help host GEW FW have formally partnered with The DEC Network, organizer of Dallas Startup Week, and their leadership team, volunteer network and other supporting members to continue to grow these local showcases of entrepreneurship in the area. A COVID-delayed, completely virtual Dallas Startup Week will run from Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2020, before the team turns its attention to helping with the third year of GEW FW, which will run from Nov. 16-20, 2020. This new partnership will help both events share staff, resources, speakers, sponsorships, marketing and other resources to help make the DFW startup scene stronger and better connected.
The DEC Network, which has worked since 2013 to provide entrepreneurs in the DFW area with education, mentorship, community and advocacy, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the partnership “We’re thrilled to work with GEW FW to help create synergies with Dallas Startup Week, which is now in its sixth year. We feel like we have a lot to learn from each other. This is definitely going to be a one plus one equals three,” said Bill Chinn, CEO of The DEC Network. “But don’t worry,” added Chinn, “GEW FW will still retain that Fort Worth flair and feel that people have come to expect.”
Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and improve human welfare. For one week each November in locations all around the world, GEW inspires people through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. GEW FW tells the stories of local entrepreneurs, provides a platform for them to connect and engages the general public to help them understand the importance of entrepreneurship in our communities.
In 2019, GEW FW featured 54 in-person and virtual events at 35 locations throughout Tarrant County, attracting over 2,200 participants. “We were totally blown away by the success of GEW in 2019 – it exceeded all of our expectations in every way,” said Marco Johnson, GEW co-lead organizer and Sparkyard Network Builder. “We made a call to our community and they responded in a big way, either by planning events or by participating in them. We’re really excited to welcome The DEC Network to the family and see how their experience can help us add even more value to this year’s event.”
GEW FW organizers are still discussing what the week will look like in the context of current social and economic challenges. No decisions have been made yet, but organizers will keep options open for virtual attendance if public health is still a concern in November. Cameron Cushman, director of Innovation Ecosystems at the UNT Health Science Center, promises that “there will be a strong emphasis on how entrepreneurship can help lift people out of poverty, including in minority and underserved communities, and that is an especially salient conversation to have right now. In a strange way, an economic downturn is really good for entrepreneurship rates. We hope GEW FW can help the next generation of new companies start and grow out of the ashes of our current economic crisis.”
Meghan Wright, Texas Wesleyan University professor of management and co-lead organizer, explains that collaboration is what is needed to help drive entrepreneurship forward in our area. “This partnership links academia, the community, and resources within our region to our local entrepreneurs to help them launch, grow, and get connected. Entrepreneurs have the ideas and the drive to get things done, but it takes the proverbial village to help them be successful. GEW helps build and connect that village.”
Stay tuned to the GEW FW website and social media channels for the latest updates.
What: Global Entrepreneurship Week Fort Worth
When: November 16 – 20, 2020 Where: TBD
About Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week is a collection of tens of thousands of events, activities and competitions each November that inspire millions to explore their potential as an entrepreneur while fostering connections and increasing collaboration within their ecosystems.
Diversity is a driver of innovation and economies suffer if a nation or group of people are underrepresented or face structural barriers – the world needs more entrepreneurs. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 180+ nations since its launch in 2008 with 20,000 partner organizations now serving as GEN’s community-building backbone. In the United States, nearly 5,000 events, activities and competitions are planned across all 50 states by colleges and universities, entrepreneurial support organizations, government agencies, economic development groups and more. Locally, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a simple way to support and connect the Fort Worth/Tarrant County entrepreneurial ecosystem to the wider community of entrepreneurs and business leaders nationally and around the world.
About The DEC Network
The DEC Network is a 501c3 non-profit organization driving innovation and economic impact by helping entrepreneurs start, build, and grow their businesses. Since 2013, it has launched a number of innovation hubs across DFW that provide entrepreneurs with education, mentorship, community and advocacy.
About Texas Wesleyan University
Since 1890, Texas Wesleyan University has been serving the DFW metroplex as the home for a top-tier education. Offering more than 30 majors and more than a dozen graduate programs, with intentionally small classes taught by expert faculty, Texas Wesleyan students are training to be the next generation of movers and shakers in their fields. It’s the definition of “Smaller. Smarter."
HSC trains the health care providers and public health providers of the future, while expanding the frontiers of scientific discovery. In HSC’s six schools, students learn to work in teams and to develop an innovative mindset that prepares them for a rapidly changing health landscape.