The UT Dallas Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship today announced it has launched a partnership with Capital Factory, one of the most active early-stage tech investors in Texas, to accelerate to market the products and services of ventures founded by UT Dallas students.
An entrepreneurial nerve center, Capital Factory opened offices in Uptown Dallas in mid-2018, and a key element of the partnership is that select UT Dallas student-founders and their teams will be granted co-working memberships there. The partners have agreed to reciprocal program promotion and branding in key locations at both UT Dallas and Capital Factory. The partnership also is expected to result in downtown Dallas becoming an anchor location for UT Dallas entrepreneurship activity.
A grand opening launch of the partnership at Capital Factory-Dallas is scheduled the evening of Tuesday, April 2, during Dallas Startup Week.
“We are thrilled to offer this exciting opportunity to UT Dallas student-founders as an important new extension of the innovation and entrepreneurship programs and facilities that the institute operates,” said Steve Guengerich, executive director of the institute.
Participating startups will receive exclusive access to education, mentorship, networking, programming, products and services. They also will have connections to leading corporations and access to capital channels. And the incubator will offer programs and events open to the larger community.
The partnership with Capital Factory marks the latest in a series of formalized relationships the institute has entered in order to elevate the visibility of UT Dallas in economic development efforts in North Texas and North America. Other new partners include the Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute and the Dallas Innovation Alliance’s Innov8te smart cities incubator, based in the Dallas West End.
“UT Dallas aims to be one of the nation’s best public research universities and one of the great universities of the world. Our research activities not only transform society but also create new inventions that lead to economic development for Texas and the nation,” said Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, vice president for research at UT Dallas. “We are excited about the new opportunities for UT Dallas faculty and students to meet and work with private and public industry innovators, large and small, through each of these partnerships — with Capital Factory, with DIA’s Innovate and with the Blockchain Research Institute.”
Since it opened in Austin, “Capital Factory has had student entrepreneurs from the UT System in our community — adding to the talent pool and energy, and also sourcing some of the companies that we’ve invested in,” said Joshua Baer, Capital Factory founder and CEO. “UT Dallas was one of the first places I visited when I toured Dallas for the first time, and I was impressed. The strength of its student body and faculty — from the business school to engineering to computer science to life sciences — was exceptional, as was its shared entrepreneurial mission. We’ve already invested in more than one UT Dallas alumni company, and I expect to see that number continue to grow.”
“As a finance graduate of the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas and a member of the institute’s Entrepreneurship Council, I’m pleased to see the institute proactively engaging in the Dallas entrepreneur and investor communities through these partnerships,” said Jeff Williams, BS ’87, managing partner of Interlock Partners. “Every business and startup community benefits by having a talented pool of students in its midst. Most importantly, UT Dallas benefits by its students working side by side with experienced entrepreneurs on real-world projects and getting the kind of critically important input on student-led ventures that will prepare them to succeed.”
“Dallas’ urban core is an incredibly important hub of entrepreneurial innovation — from startups to large corporate innovation centers — with a sophisticated and growing range of venture investors choosing to locate there,” said Duane Dankesreiter, senior vice president of research and innovation at the Dallas Regional Chamber. “We are excited to see UT Dallas connecting deeper into the community and becoming an even more active participant in the exciting things happening at Capital Factory.”
UT Dallas students have submitted the first round of applications for Capital Factory membership, and evaluation of student-founders and their teams is underway.
— Jimmie R. Markham