Following the spirit of learning and networking, the Confer Today team was one of the attendees and vendors during the Dallas Startup Week (DSW 22), which took place August 7 – 11, 2022. The event was sponsored by Capital One and held at the prestigious SMU Cox School of Business. Over five days, there were over 100 events and over 200 guest speakers. The events ranged from “Sales and Marketing for Startups” by Josh Alballero to “Venture Fundraising – Ask a CFO” by Keith Davidson to one of our favorites, “How to Pitch to Get a Yes!” by Wen Zhang. We’ll get into the highly beneficial and informative sessions later.
Official kickoff party:
We kicked things off Sunday with the official kickoff party, which was held at Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research center and hosted by Frisco Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Of course, there were several booths from fellow startups that were in attendance, such as a company called “Wing”. Evidentially, Wing offers drone deliveries which are lightweight small packages directly from businesses to homes in minutes! In addition, the event organizers displayed a lot of pride and attention to detail, as evident in the smallest of details throughout the night. Furthermore, guests were greeted with refreshments and finger foods and they even facilitated free professional headshots! How cool is that! We heard from the president of EDC, Jason Ford, and the Director of Innovation, Jasmin Brand. We were delighted to see the mayor of Frisco, Jeff Cheney as a guest speaker as well. Jeff shared the various efforts the city of Frisco is making to bring in more innovation and support being provided to entrepreneurs. Certainly, as a startup company, we always love hearing about different measures being taken to support the entrepreneurial spirit, especially by our local city officials!
Day 2 – Breakout sessions and Startup Alley:
Our second day at #DSW22 was jam-packed, to say the least – but oh so worth it! For example, there were so many great sessions that our team decided to divide and conquer which sessions we attended. We wanted to make sure we got every bit of the wealth of information being shared. You can read more about all the awesome events and guest speakers here. For instance, we attended several of the breakout sessions, starting with “Sales and Marketing for Startups” by Josh Alballero. The CEO of Ioogo Inc., Josh Alballero, shared in great detail from starting a small tax and accounting company and how he was able to scale it to a multi–million-dollar company it is today. To say this was an inspiring conversation would be an understatement! Surely, it’s always so rewarding and motivating to hear the path and journey a CEO took from idea to execution to success! Undoubtedly, Josh was very candid and relatable and shared funny examples of his early marketing strategies to get to where he is now.
For this reason, one of our biggest takeaways from the conversation is that consistency and patience are key! Because so many of us are eager to get our wonderful ideas out to the masses and all be, anxious at times and want to see immediate results with our efforts. For one thing, being an entrepreneur is hard! Getting your company off the ground and successful is even harder! However, hearing from folks like Josh, who openly shared the good, the bad, and the ugly, really helps us stay motivated with our journey.
Day 2 continued:
We also had the honor to attend “How to Pitch to Get a Yes!” by Wen Zhang. If we were to summarize this session in one word, it would be: WOW! In other words, from start to finish, it was one of the most engaging high-energy sessions we took part in. Wen has an incredible talent for drawing her audience in with positive charisma, extensive knowledge, and extreme professionalism. All traits were displayed during her session. One of our favorite quotes from this session was, “You are one pitch away from changing the world!”. If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will happen. As a result, we’ve thrown that phrase around the office since we returned. Wen continued to display her expertise as she went around the room and called on a few folks to practice their short 30 – 60 second pitches. Indeed it was so neat seeing her lessons in action right before our eyes.
Before we headed to our vendor booth at “Startup Alley”, we attended a pitch competition where various startup companies had a chance to compete for winning prize money from Dell Technologies. Each presenter had three minutes to pitch their company, ending with some rapid-fire questions by the judges. Think of a mini version of the famous TV show Shark Tank! Especially as big fans of the show, this was super cool for us to witness. The pitch competition started with guest speaker Erik Day, Senior Vice President of Small Business at Dell Technologies. Erik gave the audience a walkthrough of his career, from attending college to the present day.
Startup Alley details:
Finally, we ended our inspiring Monday by hosting as one of the 30 vendors at “Startup Alley”. We were excited to be in a room full of other businesses, some already established and others in early stages as fellow startups and everything in between. As a result, we met some fantastic people and made great connections. We want to thank everyone for stopping by our booth and meeting us, and we look forward to maintaining these valuable connections. Lastly, we leave with you a few pictures from #Startup Alley; however, we have a ton more on our various social media platforms. You’ll find daily recaps of each remaining day, along with some great pictures and videos. Be sure to follow us there and watch our team shake things up as we #democratize the #mortgage industry, one happy #customer at a time!
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