Connection Point: 3 Things the DRC is Doing to Grow the Innovation Ecosystem, and How You Can Help

Duane Dankesreiter, Senior Vice President, Research and Innovation

Research shows that innovative economies are more likely to attract companies and talent. The Dallas Region has around 230,000 high-tech workers, ranking us seventh among U.S. metros. The Dallas Regional Chamber is working hard to add to that by recruiting and growing some of the most innovative companies and workers in the world. We have had great success in recent years and have a lot to show for our efforts. We have a collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem. Universities are accelerating their paths to elite Tier One status. Innovative companies are making the Dallas Region a key part of their companies’ growth strategies. But we know we can’t rest on our laurels.

We have to continue to do the things to create and foster a culture of innovation. We want garage inventors in Dallas to have the tools, resources, mentors, and environment that allows them to bring the next great idea to market. We want that reporter for Wired or Fast Company magazine who is writing his or her next story to think of the Dallas Region and to seek out our companies to profile. We want the new MIT or Stanford graduate to consider moving here, because he or she sees this region as a region of opportunity and innovation.

That is why innovation is a key component of the DRC’s economic development pillar in our strategic plan. We are committed to doing the things that will grow the innovation ecosystem in the Dallas Region. We focus our work in three main areas:

Creating Connections

We spend a good amount of our time out in the community, connecting with startups, talking with corporate innovation leaders, meeting with investors, learning about the needs of the community, and making connections where possible. The more we know about our most innovative companies and people, the better we can assist them. We are looking for area innovation leaders and want to talk with them. Reach out to us and let’s find a time to meet.


In addition to the numerous reports and magazines we publish, we have also created Dallas Innovates, an online news site dedicated to telling the stories of innovation across the region. Partnering with D Magazine, the site combines D’s publishing expertise with the DRC mission of bringing economic prosperity to the region. It is about elevating the awareness of our innovative people and companies through the lens of storytelling and journalism. Sign up for the daily newsletter and become a champion for our community of innovators by spreading the message of what’s going on in your circles of influence.

Incubating New Ideas

The DRC has helped launch a number of regional innovation initiatives over the years, including the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and the Texas Research Alliance. In 2018, we partnered with Accenture, SMU, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to create a new regional innovation strategy. This will be our guidepost moving forward and will focus on the core building blocks of an innovation economy: talent, collisions, resources, and impact. We are asking the Dallas community to rally around the recommendations and help us continue to build a hub of creativity, ingenuity, imagination, and high-tech innovation.

One of the best ways to start getting involved in the innovation ecosystem is to attend Dallas Startup Week, April 1-5, 2019. Dallas Startup Week is a free five-day event that impacts and mobilizes more than 8,000 North Texas entrepreneurs and change makers. Go to for more information.