SMU hosts Start-Up Week for small businesses

By Tristan Hallman

Mayor Eric Johnson announced this week that he has partnered with The DEC Network to create the Mayor’s Startup Package, a collection of discounted and free services to help the city’s entrepreneurs succeed.

Photo courtesy of SMU

The Mayor’s Startup Package provides more than $500,000 of in-kind offerings — including discounts and pro-bono services — to help entrepreneurs start, build and grow their businesses. The package includes services from Amazon, IBM, Google, Dell, Microsoft and others.

Businesses will be able to use the Mayor’s Startup Package to save money on cloud services, software, technological consulting, training and education, inbound marketing, networking, events and accelerators.

“Dallas is a city of opportunity, and entrepreneurship and innovation are part of our city’s DNA,” Mayor Johnson said. “Risk takers and business pioneers are the keys to our goal of becoming an internationally recognized hub for entrepreneurs. The Mayor’s Startup Package can help take their work to the next level and provide the critical support that our startups need most.

“I am thrilled to partner with The DEC Network on this effort, and I know it will send a signal to all innovators, locally and across the country, that Dallas is open for business.”

The Mayor’s Startup Package and application can be viewed on 

“The DEC Network is so happy to work with our partners at the City of Dallas and specifically Mayor Johnson to enrich the experience of entrepreneurs by providing necessary resources to help them on their entrepreneurial journey,” said The DEC Network CEO Bill Chinn.

The idea for the Mayor’s Startup Package originated from the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The City Council adopted the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship recommendations in May as part of the city’s new comprehensive economic development policy.

The mayor’s announcement of the Startup Package comes during Dallas Startup Week, which is presented by CapitalOne. The week of more than 150 events and with more than 200 presenters began Monday at Southern Methodist University.