Dallas startups, did you know that there are a bunch of incubators and accelerator programs available right now?
Whether you are looking for partners, get seed money, or scale-up at a rapid pace, incubators and accelerators are more than equipped to set you up for success in the ways that matter.
Before we begin, it’s important that we make the distinction between an incubator and an accelerator, after all, some Dallas startups use the terms interchangeably when there are differences.
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An incubator is tailored more towards startups during the early stages of business, helping brands turn their ideas into working prototype versions of a product or service. Dallas incubators are more for brands that have already gathered some momentum, giving businesses access to an established network and so much more.
To summarize, incubators are for fleshing out business ideas, and accelerators are for helping startups accelerate growth.
Now that we know the differences between the two, it’s time we looked at examples of the best incubators and accelerators for Dallas startups, starting with a helping hand that you might have heard of already in Tech Wildcatters.
Startups in Dallas, Tech Wildcatters run one of the very best accelerator programs in the city. A program that can provide companies with up to $130,000 in seed funding, which is significantly higher than that offered by other accelerators we’ll be covering.
Tech Wildcatters’ mission is to communicate their strong value system behind every decision they make. Values that come from their team structure and experience in business.
On their website they make sure to outline five key values:
To accompany these value, Tech Wildcatters has also outlined a multi-stage process outlining how they can help startups in Dallas find their feet, so to speak:
- Discovery: Articulate the problem
- Build: Continue customer discovery
- Launch: Launch a beta product
- Grow: Week over week sales growth
- Scale: Gain access to funding for growth
Still not convinced? Check out this testimonial from one of the Dallas startups they helped:
“TW was an amazing experience. It helped AfroLandTV solidify our ground and exposed us to investor relationships. Honing our pitch, understanding our customers and always thinking of scale were the essentials we took from TW. Lastly, the amazing mentor and staff relationships gained is a plus.”
You’ve more than likely guessed it, but Tech Wildcatters specialize in helping tech-based companies, specifically. So if you work in, say, healthcare, you might need to look at another accelerator in Dallas.
Such as Health Wildcatters, a fantastic healthcare accelerator in Dallas!
As the name suggests, Health Wildcatters provide investment and key resources to support healthcare entrepreneurs and healthcare brands in Dallas.
Around 8 to 12 startups join this accelerator annually, participating in an engaging three month program. On the program, Dallas healthcare startups will gain invaluable experience and knowledge. Hundreds of mentors are also on hand to help anyone on this journey.
Since its inception, Health Wildcatters has helped countless Dallas startups raise over $250 million. Applications are always open, so there are multiple opportunities to get involved, and start growing.
Those who are invited onto the accelerator will be welcomed to a 17,000 square foot office space. Here they’ll be able to work and collaborate with others in the industry.
What’s more, Health Wildcatters offers you the opportunities to network, collaborate and innovate in and amongst the healthcare community in North Texas and beyond through their range of events!
Events that take place in its optimized event space. Health Wildcatters runs 60 to 70 events annually, spanning the Pulse Breakfast and Lunch Series, Startup Week Dallas Health Track and many more.
Health Wildcatters do just about everything to help you on your path to success. It goes without saying, but this accelerator program is amust for any aspiring healthcare entrepreneur looking to grow.
Unlike some of the other incubators and accelerator programs in Dallas, CodeLaunch doesn’t have an application process that follows a traditional trajectory.
No, they organize an annual seed accelerator competition, where Dallas startups are given the opportunity to earn funding by competing with other ambitious brands and entrepreneurs! Eventually, an audience selects the winner through votes.
Think of it as a sort of gameshow, just business-focused.
Founded in 2012, Code Launch is a Dallas-based startup incubator and accelerator that focuses on software businesses in particular. They sum up their appeal perfectly on the website:
“CodeLaunch is perfect for first time founders, both technical and non-technical alike.”
In 2021, CodeLaunch began to expand, running its events in various cities across the States. But they started in Dallas, and are likely to continue doing so.
If you get the opportunity to take part in one of these events, do so. It could make a world of difference to your brand!
Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator
This 6 month incubator program is ideal for Dallas startups making their way out in the ever-expanding world of business. It was launched back in February 2019 to support entrepreneurs and early-stage companies in sectors supporting urban and civic transformation.
Known collaborators of the program are a who’s who of notable names, including:
- University of Texas at Dallas
- The DEC Network
- The Dallas Innovation Alliance
Innov8te’s mission is to support and highlight the burgeoning DFW ecosystem of companies. Companies that operate out of the data analytics and visualization, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, blockchain, and virtual reality sectors.
Needless to say, Innov8te has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Dallas as far as innovative startups go. And could help you greatly!
In terms of what is included within the program, Innov8te covers everything from education, to community to mentorship. This is brought about through various stages of the process.
For example, the community aspect of the program is emphasized at any and all events that bring you closer to other like-minded individuals and organizations that could give you a leg-up in terms of growth.
AT&T Aspire Accelerator
The AT&T Aspire Accelerator is another fantastic program fit for aspiring Dallas startups. You see, previous accelerator program participants have been incredibly successful following their participation and graduation from the course.
For example, CommonLit founder Michelle Brown joined the accelerator in 2016 – back when her platform had fewer than 20k users. Now the business serves more than 13m people, which is a massive leap!
Here’s another great example:
The founders of Zoobean experienced 525% growth since graduating from this accelerator back in 2018. The web application and mobile app are licensed by over 1,000 public libraries and schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The program offers mentorships, investment funding of up to $100k, and access to a wide range of experts and resources.
AT&T is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. So it should come as no surprise that its accelerator program is so extensive, and so revered.
Another startup incubator we’d like to direct your attention to has given countless businesses everything they need to get up and get moving.
We’re of course talking about Collide Village.
Collide Village is focused on building, educating and investing in people “to create ventures that provide solutions to real business problems and create value for our investors.”
“Collide Village Program did wonders for me and my startup company. I entered the program with an idea and a lot of energy. CVAP helped put method to the madness and by the end of the program, we had an MVP, knew our customers, and were ready to raise money.”
– Dave Krauss, CEO and Co-Founder of NoiseAware
Its incubator program is a lot different from some of the others available in Dallas. They believe in a hands-on style of learning to help you incubate your company.
This includes learning how to use ‘evidence-based-entrepreneurship’ to create a scalable and relatable business from the ground up. Outside of that, this program will help Dallas startups:
- Utilize design thinking to find desirable solutions to complex problems
- Identify and establish a scalable and repeatable business model
- Eliminate waste and focus on value creation to create a lean brand
The Collide Village incubator program runs for 8 weeks total, with teams participating in various classroom sessions together. Anyone enrolled on this course will need to dedicate 10 to 15 hours of their own time to the program.
Which is nothing for dedicated individuals with big business dreams.
Formerly known as the RevTech Accelerator, RevTech now operates as a venture capital firm investing in concepts and technologies centered around the future of retail.
RevTech no longer operates as an accelerator in name, but the support it provides is very similar. They select talented entrepreneurs and link them with management teams to help startups grow and grow big. This is accomplished through seed funding, mentorship, and strategic connections.
We should mention that while RevTech Ventures are headquartered in Dallas, its investments span the globe. Meaning they’d be more than interested in providing your business the help it needs if, for example, you live in Australia, or England.
Their mentors have over 1,000 years of cumulative experience in the retail industry, which tells you everything you need to know. They’ve also helped startups secure over $250 million in capital.
Are you next up?
The ‘incubator@SMU’ serves as a dedicated workspace for new and aspiring businesses, supporting its members through education, mentorship, and funding.
The great thing about the SMU Incubator is it’s welcome to everyone, regardless of the industry they operate in. You don’t need to be a tech-based company to be involved. You simply need an idea and the drive to bring that idea to life!
Anyone that joins the program is separated into early and late stage tracks. Early stage is meant for the Dallas startups just say starting out. Late stage is the intermediate track, meant for entrepreneurs with slightly more experience.
Every stage of the process leads to something known as ‘Pitch Day’ where members are given the opportunity to secure funding! Upon completing the program, members will receive a mentor, and access to the co-working space for up to a year.
There are multiple membership packages to pick and choose from on top of the incubator program, the most expensive of which is $400 per month. This will grant you access to your very own office.
Paying for the second best option ($200 per month) gives you access to your own desk. And finally, $100 a month will give you access to the co-working space.
Dallas Startups is an entrepreneurial community and business incubator that provides founders with everything they need to succeed. They’re people-focused, meaning they look for creative, driven innovators with high moral and ethical standards above anything else.
That, and ideas/projects that they believe to have potential.
They say it best on their website:
“Our purpose in life is to help entrepreneurs like you.”
Their 12-phase launch sequence is optimized for success, supporting startups from ‘entrance-to-exit.’ Here’s a quick rundown of each phase, for reference:
- A Cool Community
- Corporate Formation
- Financial Organization
- Legal Protection
- Health Insurance
- Capital Raise
- Product Development
- Process Development
- CRM Development
- Sales Pipeline
- Lifetime Support
Corporate standup, legal protection, insurance issuance, capital raise, product development, market penetration, and so much more. You name it, Dallas Startups guides you through it.
Dallas Startups has invested in a number of businesses, some more unique than others, at least from a concept point of view. TrophyHunts, for example, is a brand that allows hunters to customize their hunts right down to the booking of equipment.
Motive is an accelerator out of Dallas focused on technology companies that operate in the real estate sector. Like Dallas Startups, Motive is interested in working with the best teams – teams that go above and beyond to ensure that the business is on the right track.
The Motive mentor network includes experts from industry leaders like Trammell Crow, CBRE, Hillwood, CompStak, ViewTheSpace, DisruptCRE, ManagedByQ, and REthink CRM. All heavy-hitters who are on-hand to help you succeed!
Those that join the program are given up to $40k in investment. Motive has been known to provide follow-up funding for program participants too. So there’s an opportunity here to earn more funding if you need it.
Motive funds an average of 10 startups a year, and is always on the lookout for new and interesting ideas. Ideas that include but are not limited to:
- Energy Efficiency
- Construction Management
- Home Automation
- Smart Grid Technology
- Augmented Reality
From real estate to biotech, we’re switching gears in a pretty big way with our next Dallas accelerator.
LaunchBio is a nonprofit organization that identifies, counsels, and “supports high-growth, high-impact life science and biotechnology companies.” Their mission is to establish and grow an ecosystem of innovation for the benefit of human health and human wellbeing.
LaunchBio provides access to a larger entrepreneurial support community, thus shortening the time for a founder to start and grow a company!
In simple terms:
LaunchBio offers education building a business and establishing key connections, while entrepreneurs focus on the science. Similar to a partner – minus the costs you’d typically associate with an accelerator of this size.
In 2021, LaunchBio joined BioLabs in Pegasus Park, a 23-acree, mixed-use office campus designed to bolster local biotech and innovation in Dallas. A site home to various key players in the North Texas biotech ecosystem.
Dallas is but one of the locations LaunchBio operates out of. Other areas they occupy includes:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Diego
- San Francisco
The LaunchBio website is full of useful resources and helpful information. Head over there to find out more.
SKU DFW is one of many accelerator programs run by SKU – a brand we’ve mentioned before when looking at programs based in Austin.
They specialize in programs that cover various important topics for Dallas startups. This covers everything from brand mission planning, to channel strategy. Which are two areas we know a lot about here at Canny.
While SKU DFW takes place in Dallas, the companies it works with don’t. Meaning you don’t have to be based in the city to take part in the program. You need only offer them something of value.
The great thing about this accelerator is what participants receive at the end once they come to the end of the program. All participating companies receive $20,000, to help boost their business efforts post-program.
There is somewhat of a catch in that this accelerator focused on brands with over $500k in annual revenue. Which does alienate some of the smaller Dallas startups.
This is the only downside to an otherwise stellar accelerator.
The Best Incubators & Accelerators for Dallas Startups
We hope our list of the best incubators and accelerators for Dallas startups helps you in some way. After all, there are quite a few to choose from, and finding the right one for you can be somewhat of an uphill climb.
Again, do keep in mind that incubators and accelerators are completely different from each other when applying to be a part of these programs. It’s easy to mistake one for the other, and we get that. But you can save yourself a lot of time by applying for the right program the first time around.
The length of all the programs we’ve mentioned do vary, which should also be considered ahead of time. Some run for months at a time, others a lot less.
We should mention that program length does not dictate the quality, or lack thereof, of the programs themselves. For example, the SKU DFW program only runs for 8 weeks, and it’s regarded as one of the very best incubators in all of Dallas.
Helping you get set up for success is something we know all too well here at Canny. Through our services, we connect you with your customers in a way your competitors can’t.
If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for you to help your growth, get in touch. A friendly member of the team will be more than happy to help.