Category Archives: Blog

Why We’re Thankful This Year…

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 As we run full speed into Thanksgiving week and move toward the holidays, it’s the perfect time to look back on the year. More specifically, look back on the year from a human perspective. It’s true we can shout the many wins of our startups, the dollars raised and the customers acquired from the rooftops (and that we surely do often), but it’s ever so important to remember that none of it would be possible without the people that make up our TW Network.
If you’re reading this, you are part of it. 
  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the mentors and investors that make Tech Wildcatters what it is today. It’s your belief in our mission for the last six years, your help in selecting the startups for our program and most importantly, the time that you dedicate to this organization, that truly makes us a top five program in the country. Thank you will never feel like enough, so we’ll just keep building onto this world-famous program to make you proud.
  • Thank you to the startups from the Class of 2015 and EMERGE for making this such an exceptional year. While it’s true entrepreneurship is full of extreme and exciting “ups” with occasional and voluminous “lows,” you taught me (and our team) so much about human character and ambition this year. Only a rare few share the understanding that this journey is a tough one, and your fledgling fight to pursue your businesses was amazing to watch. Thank you for letting us be and to continue to be part of that journey.
  • To our alums. For serving as ambassadors of Tech Wildcatters all over the world, for showing everyone what scaling really looks like, for coming back to HQ and sharing your stories and for giving me a warm welcome when I joined the family…thank you. Regardless of where you and your business are right now, you’re shining examples of hard work and one of the most special and important elements to this organization.
  • To our partners and sponsors. Thank you — truly. The value you bring our startups is unmatched. Without you, our program wouldn’t be as robust as it is. You’re helping to build us as we grow, and you’re helping us be better everyday.
  • To our community, an enormous thanks. For all who recommend our program to potential applicants, for those of you who attended any of our many events and even the hundreds of you who have “liked” just one post on our social media, you’ve helped us spread our message and contributed to helping us bring great startups from around the world and ultimately, great business to the Dallas economy.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Where There Are Startups, There’s Opportunity

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Earlier this year, the team at Tech Wildcatters sat down to determine what might make a great impact to economic growth in the Dallas area. One thought kept coming up — the need to find and place great talent. So we decided to do just that.
For the second time this year, we’ve broken records and held the largest startup career fair in the city. After the Career Fair on October 22, we’ve now invited more than 600 people in our doors to help introduce them to their next potential dream job. Numerous startups and corporations have been introduced to great talent they wouldn’t have found otherwise — and we think that’s success.

The monsoon that passed through Dallas last week didn’t dampen the entrepreneurial spirits of those attending the Downtown Dallas Career Fair. Hundreds of job seekers came through Tech Wildcatters’ doors to network with 22 rapidly growing companies, some of which are based right here in downtown Dallas.

If you stopped by, you saw first hand that the Downtown Dallas Career Fair differs greatly from the typical career fair at a college or university. Not only were large corporations present but also startup companies who’ve just recently graduated from our accelerator. This was a rare opportunity to join the team of a company that could very well be “the next big thing.”

The Downtown Dallas Career Fair is an excellent example of the economic health of downtown Dallas, growing more robust each day. There’s a wealth of skilled individuals looking for work and plenty companies who are ready to snap them up and add to their staff. Our partnership with Downtown Dallas Inc. has allowed us to strengthen our ties to our neighbors downtown, and add fresh faces to the startup ecosystem. Dallas is already known as a real estate and oil hub, and it looks like technology will soon be added to that shortlist.

We’d like to thank our Downtown Dallas Career Fair partners and sponsors: Downtown Dallas Inc., Touch Titans, The Iron YardSMU Continuing and Professional Education, NEED, Research Now, The Dallas Stars, and Brainspace. Without them, hundreds of job-seekers would not have had the opportunity to network with some of Dallas’ hottest companies.

Any questions or want us to send your resume along? Email


Volunteering on 9/11: EFNT, Carry the Load, Equest

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Last Friday, September 11th 2015, the TW Staff had the opportunity and pleasure of partnering with EFNT (Entrepreneurs for North Texas), Carry the Load and Equest to honor U.S. troops past and present. The goal that day was to improve and make the Equest Horse Park facilities more handicap accessible while remembering the troops we’ve lost in conflict.

Equest offers many therapeutic services for veterans and their family through equine assisted activities and events. Carry the Load programs provide an interactive way for Americans to honor, remember and celebrate those lives lost protecting the US and it’s citizens.

We gathered in the main arena and at 8:46am shared in a minute of silence during the time that the first plane struck the North World Trade Center Tower. This was followed by the Marine Corps presenting the colors, and the 400+ volunteers joining together to sing the national anthem and say the pledge of allegiance. As I looked out on the hugely diverse crowd of people, I felt an overwhelming sense of unity and reverence.

Clint Bruce, Co-founder of Carry the Load and former Navy Seal, introduced himself and spoke about his time in the military and why he founded the organization. As he referenced the large cardboard sheets depicting photos and biographies of U.S. solders who have lost their lives, he emphasized that each made the ultimate sacrifice for the U.S. and we must share the responsibility of “carrying the load” of honoring their memories. He said the best way of doing this was joining together to volunteer, and improve the livelihoods of those in our community. He ended by saying “They believed we were worth it. So let’s be worth it.”

After the emotional opening ceremony we split into groups, each designated to a certain work project. Some were building wheelchair-accessble ramps, others were clearing debris from the riding trails. Veterans wearing red shirts, Dallas PD and FD joined in the efforts, and were stopped every few minutes to shake hands with someone thanking them for their service.

For a brief respite from the hot Texas sun, volunteers were welcomed into the stables at Equest to meet the four-legged ambassadors and feed them apple and carrot slices. I attended the “Horsemanship 101” course, which is offered to every new volunteer and participant at Equest. I entered a corral with 20 or so fellow volunteers and learned the ABC’s of horses and the various services and programs Equest offers to the disabled and veterans. This astounding facility and herd of 47 horses is located just 15 minutes from Downtown Dallas!

While the work was physically straining, and the heat relentless, the camaraderie and positivity shared by all served as ample motivation. The amount of work completed in only a few hours was remarkable, and as Freedom Day 2015 came to a close the organizers remarked how all goals and expectations for the day were vastly exceeded.

As for me, I left feeling greatly touched and proud of my community, and reminded of the extraordinary good that can be done when we come together.


How This Dallas Startup (And TW Grad) Built A $100M Company

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— Blog by Laura Reed

Startup accelerator Tech Wildcatters hosted a lively speaker series on Wednesday, August 12 starring their alumni company, FanPrint.

The TW office space downtown quickly began to fill with faces both new and familiar. The socializing began early and seats filled quickly. The speakers and TW executive director Molly Cain took the stage and it was suddenly silent. The spotlighted speakers included founder and CEO TK Stohlman, three time Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl Champion (and VP of Partnerships) Darren Woodson, and advisor and investor Gil Marmol. They were joined with Rachel and Mike, two other important members of the team, to explain the road to their success.

Molly began by asking TK about his humble beginnings and the conversation slowly transitioned into an in depth analysis of the importance of passion for what you do. TK was a member of the Tech Wildcatters 2012 class, and admitted he did not have the concept for FanPrint finalized at the end of the process, but that did not hinder his efforts. FanPrint is an e-commerce platform for passionate sports fans, but selling officially licensed products did not come without its trials.

TK owned the room when he spoke. His passion and energy was contagious. When asked about how to deal with his biggest company let downs, TK responded,

“It’s about relentless perseverance, no matter what happens. We will fight and get the deal no matter what.”

Darren Woodson recognized the intense drive that TK had when they met. Darren was quick to praise TK and the FanPrint team for their hunger for success. Darren said that when he heard about the idea and talked to TK, he instantly knew he was going to be an investor. When Darren spoke, he related his experience with FanPrint to his experience in the NFL. He stressed the significance of perseverance, teamwork, passion, and hard work, and no, he wasn’t talking about football. He recognized the drive that TK had and knew he wouldn’t stop when trials came his way. He said,

“It’s not always the most talented team that wins, but the team that works the hardest is always the best.”

Molly sat next to and (reluctantly and jokingly) shared her microphone with FanPrint investor Gil Marmol. They laughed throughout the series about this, and Gil’s humor shone through his many stories. Gil had wisdom and advice for TK about financials throughout FanPrint’s beginnings. He spoke of TK’s entrepreneurial expertise by saying,

“In the investment community, people have energy, high energy, and then there’s TK.”

(Cue the laughter) Gil also had praise for VP of Licensing, Rachel Duitch. Gil claimed that when Rachel shoots, she doesn’t miss. He talked of how she had gone on all of the ‘non glamorous’ trips to gain licensing deals. Rachel then told a story about how FanPrint landed one of their biggest licenses, the CLC, by using the ‘whatever it takes’ attitude that is their core culture.

The story began with a big ‘No’ from the CLC on recommending FanPrint to colleges, but TK doesn’t take no for an answer. FanPrint’s competitor was the only company being showcased at an upcoming expo in Miami with all of the CLC officials in one place. TK and his FanPrint team just happened to plan a trip to Miami on the same day of this event. When CLC officials got a whiff of what was happening, they agreed to recommend FanPrint as long as they didn’t show up in Miami that weekend. Long story short, the go get ‘em tactic worked and their perseverance, per usual, paid off.

Don’t tell TK that anything is impossible. His words of wisdom throughout the night were all substantial pieces of advice for anyone who wants to be successful. FanPrint didn’t always have big name athlete Darren Woodson to spark networking wildfire. He stressed that if you can make your business model work with smaller names, then you can do so much more when you secure the big ones. He said,

“At the beginning, people don’t have confidence in you. You have to build it up… As a founder, it’s not about the glory, it’s about doing whatever it takes for the team to succeed.”

The ‘Whatever It Takes’ mentality was a theme throughout the night. It was obvious that the determination of the team was what drove the company to its huge accomplishments.

The audience was eager to ask questions near the end. The common thread in the Q&A was simply, “How did this happen?” This was when TK said what every investor is terrified to hear,

“Burn your boats. We’re gonna be a success and there’s no turning back.”

TK sends out an investor update email every Friday for the past three years to keep in touch with those who helped him rise to success. The relentless attitude of TK and his team was apparent throughout the speaker series. The team stressed that you have to hire passionate people, and you can’t teach passion. The wrong people can kill a culture, and the culture at FanPrint is one to be envied. 

As the speaker series drew to an end, the mingling had just begun, as is so with the startup community. Many audience members eagerly walked up to introduce themselves to the speakers before they could even step off of the stage. An energy filled room of entrepreneurs talked with one another and networking ensued. Don’t miss Tech Wildcatters next big event next Thursday, August 20, Demo Day.

Hey, You! Wanna Intern?

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Interns-WantedUPDATE: All intern positions have been filled.

This is a job listing for a fall internship at Tech Wildcatters. Your first task is to read this all the way through. If you like what you’re hearing, email us at and wow us.

Here we go…

At Tech Wildcatters, we put on killer events, execute the nation’s #5 startup program (at least that’s what Inc. Magazine and Forbes tells us) and plug into our world famous network to help ambitious startups become multi-million dollar businesses.

It takes a crazy, hard-working, all-in kind of team to make that stuff happen. Some days we work really late, other days we drive to NASA, sometimes we’re in San Francisco and all the time we’re working together to make sh*t happen in a beautifully chaotic and masterful way. Frankly, that’s how we (and the startups that graduate with us) have become nationally-recognized.

There’s absolutely no way we could make things happen around here with our staff. But there’s even less chance we could do it without another group of VIPs…our interns.

That’s where you come in.


We’re looking for our next batch of interns to join us this fall. We have four positions available.


You’re a self-starter (meaning, you look around you to see what needs to be done), you’re kind of obsessed with learning, you’re curious about startups, you want to learn from a bunch of badasses, you can work in a fast-paced (sometimes ambiguous) environment, you can pivot and work on something else immediately. And you’re fun to be around.


You’re really interested in learning, doing, shadowing, executing stuff like this (but not limited to):

  • Blogging/Video Blogging/Social Media’ing and other communications support.
  • Planning events and helping execute events at TW.
  • Manage your own special “project” (which you’ll select within the first few weeks).
  • Plug into the startup community in Dallas by attending networking events around town.
  • Being curious and helping us problem solve, or come up with something new!
  • Research — really, this could be anything.
  • Supporting TW staff and alum startups with special projects as needed.
  • Project management, planning, curriculum development and other business-related tasks.
  • Typical internship stuff (taking out trash, printing things, yadda yadda…it’s not THAT much)

It’s hard to fully define what you’ll be working on this fall — You’ll get a sneak peek into our 2016 year and get to know everyone in our community. We think it’s a pretty sweet internship. If you agree, send us a note.


Where Are They Now? Prateek, Former TW Intern

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Spotlight by: Christy Torres

Each Tech Wildcatters’ class is accompanied by a group of bright-eyed individuals willing to dedicate hours of their day working as our interns. Coming from all walks of life, each intern brings a unique perspective to the atmosphere at TW.

The Tech Wildcatters’ intern program provides an environment that allows each individual the space to grow professionally, discover what their talents are, and hone in on those new found skills. Using the new platform TW has given them, many of our interns take what they’ve learned and put it to practice in their future endeavors.

We caught up with Prateek, former Class of #Twenty15 intern and current student at the UTD, shortly after he landed in India for what some might call a “summer venture” to hear first-hand how he felt about his experience as a TW intern.

What did you love most about working at TW?

“Meeting people. From the TW staff to the mentors, from investors to the genius brains behind the startups in the Class of 2015, and being a part of the Dallas Startup Ecosystem, I miss every bit of it! I would love to be back and help out in any way I could!”

What lessons learned help with what you’re doing now?

“The whole experience of working at TW was a lesson on its own. It taught me a lot of things, from how entrepreneurs should think, how investors think, how to overcome and pivot from obstacles, from appreciating the help you receive and to help anyone in any way you could. All these things and more really help me at my current job.”

What are you doing now?

“I’m working as an investment analyst at an early-stage investment firm called YourNest Angel Fund. My responsibilities are to look at different deal flows that come through our website and LinkedIn page and  help the Fund manager and Associates with their due diligence. Additionally, I’m also exploring different sectors and spaces to find hot new startups to invest in.”

Any additional comments you would like to add?

“It was a wonderful experience working at TW and I greatly appreciate the things I have learned there! Also, I wish TW the best of luck with their new EMERGE program!”


Quick Pitch Recap: Through Interns, Startups and Pictures

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Quick Pitch was all kinds of amazing this year! And our interns really helped to make the event as great as it was. Deep in the trenches, they helped everything to run smoothly. So who better to recap than two of them? Carolina and Stephanie help us to get an inside look at Quick Pitch 2015.

Heels clicking on the floor, the snapping of camera lens, and groups softly mumbling were some of the sounds you might have heard at our Quick Pitch earlier this February. It was an exhilarating time to hear startup companies pitch their ideas.

But behind the scenes was where the real magic happened…

Our new Office Manager Dom shined as he furiously got everything ready for Quick Pitch. From carrying soda, ice bags and food to organizing and delegating tasks, our very own Hulk made Quick Pitch an enjoyable experience for the companies. Startups were bonding and actively listening over hot tea, others were helping each other to calm their nerves with jokes. Some kept to themselves and softly practiced their pitches in their designated work spaces/corners.

Once the pitches were over, Carolina recalls more than a few sighs of relief.

At the happy hour, some of the groups were like kids on a playground, nervous about who to talk to. But then the booze started flowing, connections were made, and everyone became more comfortable. There were more than a few intense foosball and ping-pong games!

As females, we were inspired watching women officiate a male dominated industry with professionalism and poise. Gabriella, Clarisa, Molly and Maggie were in their element as they led the Quick Pitch event.

Even though we’ve only been here for two weeks, our fellow interns have banded together and formed a unique bond. It was fun to watch some of the startups around us start to develop the same kind of friendships. Once the Tech Wildcatters Class of 2015 officially is set in stone, these relationships will only grow stronger. And it all started with Quick Pitch!

And what about our startup participants?

“We got a chance to meet a lot of the other finalists who all had great ideas, and we’re looking forward to being part of the best Tech Wildcatters class yet!”

“It was great to see everyone involved at Tech Wildcatters doing such a great job; it was inspiring to see their heart and soul.”

“[It was] excellent! We’ve pitched to a few other angel groups and TW was at the top of the list.”

“Awesome! I loved everyone’s no BS attitude. I think it showed a culture of accountability.”

“Thank god for the happy hour.”

Enterprise, Wearables and Data: What We’ve Seen in This Year’s Applications

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It’s always interesting to look into the metrics around our application process.
We don’t release all the stats, but here’s a sneak peak.

Where do people find us and which sites do they apply on?

We accept applications on our website, and Angelist. This year our site and were pretty close. We are a founding member and the US launch partner for f6s, so have been using their platform to drive applications and give away free startup resources for a few years now. Angelist started taking applications a little over a year ago and don’t market them as heavily, which is where I assume the disparity comes from.

As for how people find us, being consistently ranked in the top 10 of accelerators is extremely helpful, as is your everyday google search. We also show up and speak at lots of events throughout the year and of course our favorite are the mentor referred companies. Yes, we’re a little like VC’s in that a trusted referral makes our decision much easier. But we look at and consider each and every application.


What kind of tech are they building?

While we always have a few consumer apps sneak into our applicant pool, most of the companies fit our basic criteria of the majority of their revenue expected from businesses. This means b2b2c is perfectly acceptable.

That’s where we’ve seen a major uptick in wearable and IoT. With successes like Validic, a lot of startups are considering more heavily the use of connected devices in enterprise and government.

Flowing from the hardware connections comes data. Lots of uses of this data, and it really doesn’t matter where it comes from. A person, a machine, the web…all produce data that can lead to information that will ultimately lead to action/outcome. We’re excited about all parts of the information flow, from collection to dissemination to analytics to application.

It’s going to be a great year at Tech Wildcatters!


The Rockstar + The Next Class + The Fortune 500

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Once our team mapped out a plan for 2015, our team didn’t take time to sit around or relax over the holidays…we got down to business.

First, remember how I was on the hunt for a rockstar Program Coordinator? Well, we found her. Meet the amazing Maggie.

Next, Gabriella and I have both been reviewing the hundreds of applications coming in for the program (the deadline has been extended to the 23rd, by the way), meeting teams and I’m keeping Skype in business with calls to founders all over the US and around the world. This being my first time through the process, I’m overwhelmed with the passion I’m hearing from the founders and the ideas they’re bringing to the table. How will we narrow it down to the sweet 16?

Well, behind the scenes, we’ve been meeting with our mentors and have hosted one major review session with our investors to look at the companies applying for Tech Wildcatters. We’ll have another review session once applications close this Friday. We’ll then be reaching out to the finalists and inviting them to Quick Pitch, a private event with our investors here in Dallas on February 3.

The 16 companies selected for the Class of 2015 will receive their formal invitation to join Tech Wildcatters after Quick Pitch.

Today, I’m also excited to share that Tech Wildcatters has launched the first-ever Corporate Innovation Network. This is our answer to the question major corporations bring us often, “How can we work with a startup?” It bridges the gap between early stage companies and the Fortune 500. This is exclusively available to the alums in our network and the companies we select to be part of the Class of 2015.

We’re the first accelerator to be offering a program of this kind, so I encourage you to read more about it and the inaugural corporate partners, here. It’s a game-changer folks.

Told you 2015 was going to be big. Just wait…we’re just getting started.


Introducing Our New Program Coordinator!

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66057_10101178408586700_1014476726_nHi! My name’s Maggie and I’ll be the new Program Coordinator here at TW!

I’m so excited to jump right into my new role and to meet all of you.

How’d you hear about Tech Wildcatters?

A great friend of mine referred me to the job description and I felt like it was written for me.

An organized creative with stellar communication skills? Um, yeah. I’ve got a background in graphic design and copywriting but I love order and efficiency most of all.

When I met Molly and the rest of the TW team, I was even more excited! They’re a killer team that gets stuff done – efficiently and intelligently. They’re well-spoken and fun and I got why people wanted to work with them – for the same reason I wanted to join them. I love the energy! It’s so exciting how that energy mirrors what’s going around our offices – Downtown is exciting and moving. It’s young and growing and energizing.

Man, you really like Downtown!

I’ve lived Downtown for almost seven years – and I’ve been car-free for about five of those. I love walking everywhere and running into familiar faces. Just walking my two dogs can turn into an adventure quickly when I run into somebody I know. The Downtown community is very tight-knit, and it’s just one very cool family.

I’m pumped to be here – and looking forward to my first program starting in March.

I’d also like to introduce the seven interns we’ve hired to help with this year’s program: Michael, Thao, Stephanie, Rui, Jean, Carolina and Prateek. They’re going to be a tremendous help and I know we’ll have fun learning the ropes together!