As COVID-19 began to spread across the United States last March, The DEC Network decided to postpone its keystone event to August. But even a pandemic can’t stop the folks behind the region’s largest week-long event for entrepreneurs and innovators. The DEC is making its sixth annual Dallas Startup Week completely virtual in consideration of current conditions.
The goal of Dallas Startup Week is to connect and unite startups, founders, corporate and social innovators, investors, and community leaders through the free weeklong event. Last year, more than 10,000 people attended DSW19.
Although the event will now be happening from the comfort of participants’ homes, The DEC still plans to provide a week of virtual learning, mentoring, and networking.
“While we would have loved to do Dallas Startup Week in person, this technology will allow us to have the closest thing possible to a face-to-face event,” Bill Chinn, CEO of The DEC Network, said in a statement. “With the uncertainty of COVID-19, and considering the health and safety of our attendees, we felt our only option was to go virtual, but we promise a robust event with prominent speakers, engaging events and beneficial sessions to help entrepreneurs no matter where in the process they are.”
What to expect
DSW20 will still feature 16 tracks, along with the Women of Innovation Summit, the Corporate Startup Innovation Summit, Disrupt Dallas, and the annual State of Entrepreneurship gathering on Aug. 30 through Sept. 3
Similar to an in-person conference, attendees will be able to virtually go between rooms, network, and browse an expo hall, organizers say. A dedicated social networking channel will also be available during the event for networking during and after special events and sessions.
The curated tracks are led by track captains to provide the right content and speakers for DSW20 with more than 100 sessions on topics including Artificial Intelligence, Arts & Entertainment, Defense Innovation, Fashion, Gaming & Esports, Healthcare, and Social Impact, among plenty of others.
Three popular summits are back for the virtual edition of DSW: Disrupt Dallas, Women of Innovation, and the Corporate Innovation Summit.
Disrupt Dallas will have speakers, discussions, and networking opportunities highlighting minority business owners on Sunday, August 30.
The Women of Innovation Summit will be happening on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and Wednesday, Sept. 2, with sessions and speakers focused on women in business. Speakers include Joni Carswell, Texan by Nature’s CEO, and Jamie O’Banion, BeautyBio’s Founder.
The Corporate Startup Innovation Summit, presented by Capital One, will be about bringing together startups and corporate allies for collaboration and learning on Thursday, Sept. 3.