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, the organizations said in a news release.
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.
The news release said the 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, 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.
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,” Johnson said.
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,” Wright said.
Global Entrepreneurship Week Fort Worth
Nov. 16-20, 2020
– FWBP Staff