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The DEC Network, a 501c3 nonprofit driving innovation and economic impact by helping entrepreneurs start, build and grow their businesses, will host the seventh annual Dallas Startup Week (DSW) powered by Capital One from Aug. 1-5, 2021.


The conference will feature notable speakers and content for aspiring entrepreneurs, established small businesses and corporate allies, and will be held both virtually and in person at Southern Methodist University following all CDC guidelines for social distancing. Dallas Startup Week is recognized as the largest event that drives entrepreneurial success, economic impact and innovation in Dallas-Fort Worth.


“It’s such a great feeling, after the difficult year we’ve all been through, to be able to host Dallas Startup Week in person again, as well as virtually,” said Bill Chinn, CEO of The DEC Network. “We’ve got a great lineup of programming in the works for this year’s event, including incredible speakers, sessions and special events. DSW truly has something to offer for every entrepreneur and small business owner out there, especially in this post-COVID era when entrepreneurs are seeking resources on moving forward in the new normal.”


Dallas Startup Week’s sessions fall into 19 tracks:



  • AI
  • AR/VR
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Blockchain
  • Capital & Funding
  • Coding
  • Cybersecurity
  • Defense Innovation
  • Fashion
  • Gaming & Esports
  • Healthcare
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Personal Development
  • Retail
  • Software as a Service
  • Social Impact
  • Venture
  • Veteran



DSW also offers three summits:

  • Aug. 1 – Disrupt Dallas celebrates the champions that are disrupting the diversity pipeline, entrepreneurial market and landscape, as well as providing expert education and programming for minority business entrepreneurs to help support and grow their business through a combination of speakers, discussions and networking opportunities. Disrupt Dallas will take place in person at SMU and online on Sunday.


  • Aug. 4 – Women of Innovation Summit is a daylong slate of seminars and speakers to recognize, encourage and advance female leaders who have the courage and passion to transform their ideas and ambitions into a reality. Featuring a dynamic group of leading visionaries, the Women of Innovation Summit will celebrate, inspire and connect change-makers across markets and industries to provide all women in business with greater insights and knowledge into the trends and possibilities of the future. The Women of Innovation Summit will be held in person at SMU and online.


  • Aug. 5 – Corporate Startup Innovation Summit leverages and unites the breadth and diversity of DFW’s corporations and dynamic startup ecosystem. The Summit will mobilize these groups by featuring DFW’s best and brightest innovators who will share how their companies are shaping our future – resulting in new ideas, business models, investment trends, connections and opportunities for business growth and acceleration. A decision on whether that program will be held in person or virtually is forthcoming.


DSW will also include the Official Launch Party, a community celebration for all attendees to join and help kick off the event, and Startup Alley, where local small business owners can showcase their businesses in an expo hall format, on Aug. 2. Information on how business owners can apply for a spot at Startup Alley will be made available closer to the event.


“To turbocharge innovation in our region, we must have a healthy ecosystem of corporations, government entities, nonprofits and entrepreneurs working together,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, president, financial services at Capital One. “Through our partnership with The DEC Network, Capital One is proud to support the local entrepreneurs and small businesses that are creating a lasting impact on the places where we live and work.


Registration for the five-day event is now open.  


WHAT:                Dallas Startup Week

WHERE:              Virtually and in person at Southern Methodist University

WHEN:                Aug. 1-5, 2021

PRICE:                 FREE     




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.



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