Entrepreneur Trey Bowles on How to Drive Innovation in Dallas

I have been a startup for about two decades as a serial entrepreneur for both commercial and non-commercial businesses. I launched the Southern Methodist University Entrepreneurship Program and co-founded the Dallas Innovation Union, the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center, and, most recently, InnoCity Partners.

Last year, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson appointed me co-chair of the city’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Task Force, which developed guidelines for attracting, retaining, and growing startups. (I encourage you to read the report online.) Our city has been built on innovation – its history is filled with the stories of entrepreneurs, savages and pioneers who made the region what it is today.

To continue to grow, grow and attract the best talent, we must constantly and deliberately dedicate ourselves to our innovators. An environment conducive to the launch and creation of startups will lead to more jobs and a stronger economy.

Provided by: InnoCity partners

Here are five things we need to do to become a city of innovation:

  1. Provide financial support. Mayor Johnson’s task force on innovation and entrepreneurship has recommended launching a “fund fund” that will lead to massive investment in the region. This will lead to exponential job growth and a more robust local economy.
  2. Creating innovation zones. One way to bring much-needed and well-deserved attention to our city is to highlight areas where Dallas is leading by creating a variety of innovation zones. This will demonstrate the variety of innovations we have throughout the market.
  3. Make innovation a private sector priority. Business leaders in Dallas have been a powerful force in North Texas for decades. Leaders of corporate and private companies need to step up and advocate for innovation through investment, resources and other support.
  4. Use the power of education. It is thanks to the combined assets of our educational institutions at all levels of training that we are beginning to see what is possible to attract and develop talent in the region.
  5. Create a “give first” culture. One of the most significant differences between Dallas and other major cities is that we are willing to help others succeed. Deepening the “give first” mentality in Dallas will reveal the city’s true potential.

Trey Bowles is a co-founder of InnoCity Partners and co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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