Marcus Hiles On The DFW Innovation Study: A Guide For Growth

A new report on the North Texas city of Dallas came together late last month to analyze and outline the area’s current and future position as a hub for innovation throughout the nation. Through the work of four local organizations including The Dallas Regional Chamber and Accenture, DFW’s economy was researched at length along with focus groups representing the area’s leaders from startups, corporations, academia and social sectors.

Although the popular Texas city has been capturing attention nationwide for its recent record breaking economic and population growth, contributors of the report uncover untapped potential that will set the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex ahead as an innovation leader.

Through five key areas, brand, talent, collisions, resources, and impact; the report seeks to provide analysis on the current state of the city while also identifying the opportunities in the community. Focused on boosting the economy, attracting wealth, and creating jobs; the report’s authors state the importance of using this document for creating awareness and actionable items to address current and future issues and the implementation of necessary change.

One of its best years as a national leader, research uncovered recognizes the city for its strength as the home to a leading network of Fortune 500 companies, universities, charitable organizations and donors. The state’s second largest city also brings a growing entrepreneurial community that has made headlines in recent months. “With the number of supporting startup resources such as cowork spaces, incubators and corporate innovation centers increasing in numbers, the growth of this business network is drawing in attention,” shares DFW based entrepreneur Marcus Hiles. However, despite this positive recognition the new business community of North Texas is also being stunted.

The current lack of investor confidence and early-stage funding is a critical factor limiting the area’s innovation. Recognized earlier this year through AOL co-founder Steve Case’s recent Rise of the Rest Roadtrip tour that brought to light the deficit for funding that is leaving many of today’s highest potential businesses unnoticed. In fact, funding going into the Texas city’s entrepreneurial community makes up only 2% of startup capital seen nationwide.

Education is another area not fully utilized to build the talent pool of the city’s homegrown future workforce. Out of state migration growth, specifically that of new graduates, to the Dallas area is one of the largest in the nation and reflects this growing gap in employment.

The area was also critiqued for its inability to harness the diversity it brings as a national and even global leader across many industries as well as the multiple innovation hubs it has established. “Highlighting local inventions such as the ATM and Texas Instruments’ microchip along with Dallas-based industry pioneers like AT&T – the #10 top producing Fortune 500 company in the country – the city often does not gain the recognition it deserves,” adds Marcus who has been an influential player in the area’s property development industry for nearly three decades.

Rounding out the report was 10 top priority opportunities in an action item list that serve to address the issues and position the city as a national innovation hub. Focused around support from local institutions, entrepreneurs, and a means for growing a stronger talent force; the report continues to emphasize the need for promotion of innovation that is backed by influential individuals and organizations throughout the country. By using this report as a guidebook for growth its authors feel North Texas will soon be a top destination for the future’s workforce, industry accomplishments and investment opportunities.

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