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Dallas / Fort Worth

DFW’s position as a tech leader began shortly after Word War II, as hundreds of telecoms and engineering companies set up shop in the region. Decades of investment by these now tech giants like Texas Instruments has seeded the region with many engineers and high-tech jobs…which attracts other businesses like AT&T and also creates a steady supply of entrepreneurs and startup talent. The metro area’s remarkable business retention is due in part to a friendly business climate with no state income tax and an active entrepreneurial support scene. Nevertheless, startups face a lack of capital, a sprawling geography that impedes a unified startup community, and flight risk of entrepreneurs relocating in order to find investment. Increasing access to capital will be key to supporting and growing DFW’s startup scene.

In This Market

These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.

Opportunities

  • Has the 6th highest concentration of high tech jobs in the US and is home to 43% of all Texas tech jobs.
  • Pro-business government and no personal or corporate income taxes.
  • Home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and over a dozen multibillion-dollar private companies that offer talent, entrepreneurs with industry insights, and acquisition opportunities.
  • Particular strengths in the energy, transport, IT, retail, consumer packaged goods, and telecoms industries. Startups that tackle these spaces should have an edge.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, with residents creating 19,000 new businesses in the City of Dallas each year.

Risk Factors

  • Lack of startup-oriented capital. While there is tremendous wealth in the region, little is allocated towards entrepreneurs at this time.
  • Limited developer talent. The number of startup-oriented software developers and hackathon activity is smaller than nearby Austin’s, making it harder for startups to recruit.
  • City sprawl. Dallas and sister-city Fort Worth cover a massive geography, making for long commutes and a lower density of entrepreneurs.
  • An inexperienced startup workforce. While there are ample engineers and technology experts in the DFW metro, many lack the experience and versatile skillsets needed for rapid-growth startups.
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