The Entrepreneurial City Forum
The Entrepreneurial City Forum seeks to continue building awareness of and support for the city’s entrepreneurial community, with a special emphasis on training and access for minority communities. On March 21st, join us at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center at 6:30 for a forum from Dallas’ leading entrepreneurs.
|March 21st at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center
(311 N Market St, Dallas, TX 75202).
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, with reception at 6:00 pm.
About the Panelists
|MODERATORTrey Bowles is a serial entrepreneur, social capitalist, and educator. Trey cofounded the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), a central location for entrepreneurs to learn how to start, build and grow businesses through training, education, mentorship, promotion, and capital investment. As Co-Founder and CEO, Trey leads strategy, vision, and drives the overall planning and development efforts for the DEC. Trey also works closely with the DEC staff to engage executives, mentors and other valuable experts within the Dallas community and across the country to maintain a strong and robust resource offering for DEC startups/members). Under Bowles’ leadership, the DEC launched a public private partnership called the Dallas Innovation Alliance (with partners like The City of Dallas, IBM, AT&T, Cisco, Schneider Electric, Microsoft, DART, Dallas Regional Chamber, Downtown Dallas Inc. and more) to help design, develop and launch a Smart Cities in Dallas starting in the West End Historic District and moving out across the city in a multi-phased approach. In addition to his work with the DEC, Trey worked closely with the Startup America Partnership, a non-profit organization started by Steve Case and the Kauffman Foundation, leading a team of entrepreneurial experts across the country to help high-growth startups find greater success. Trey also launched the Arts Entrepreneurship Department in the Meadows School of Arts at Southern Methodist University and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor on staff teaching Social Entrepreneurship and an Accelerate Your Startup Class where each team is giving actual investment to help make their business viable. Bowles also cofounded the Mayor’s Star Council with Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas to find a culturally diverse and civically minded group of emerging leaders who want to embrace and engage the City of Dallas as opposed to inheriting the city in 20 years. Trey has also been recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Business Professionals” in Dallas according to the Dallas Business Journal.Trey has spent his career starting and building companies in both the for-profit and non-profit space with an expertise in strategy, operations, and marketing. Bowles has held key leadership roles in the industries of music, entertainment, and disruptive technology including running the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing site, Morpheus. He most recently led the turn-around and sale of Big Jump Media Inc. to Salem Communications (NASDAQ: SALM) in 2010.
Trey lives in Dallas with his wife and two children and is committed to helping build a collaborative ecosystem at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and education within the DFW Metroplex.
|Sejal Desai is the Program Director for Entrepreneurs For North Texas (EFNT), a Program of the Communities Foundation of Texas where she works with small and mid-sized companies to develop philanthropic strategies and enhance their community engagement. Sejal is also the Founder of SevaYatra, a social venture that offers short-term service project opportunities at NGOs in India. Sejal previously worked as a Principal at MHT Partners, a boutique investment bank based in Dallas where she worked on cross-border merger and acquisitions primarily between US and Indian companies. She was also a Co-Founder and Principal of STARTech Early Ventures, a seed stage venture firm, that invested in early stage technology ventures in Texas. She also led various entrepreneurial education and training efforts as CEO of STARTech Foundation, a sister organization of STARTech Early Ventures. In addition to STARTech, Sejal also co-founded and sold a hands-on science education business, Mad Science of Denton County. Prior to her work in the U.S., Sejal served as a manager in the corporate advisory services division for Ernst & Young in Mumbai, India for a few years where she worked on various foreign inward investment projects, valuation as well as due diligence studies. She began her career at D.J. Shukla & Co., where she handled personal taxes and conducted audits for domestic corporations.In her career, she has worked with over 300 entrepreneurs and 35 venture-backed companies and investors. She also has extensive working knowledge of the philanthropic community in India and US. She currently serves on the Board of the DFW South Asian Film Festival, Opportunity Plus and on the Philanthropy Council of North Texas Food Bank. Sejal is a co-founder of the Orchid Giving Circle and serves as the Grant Committee Chair as well. Sejal has previously served on the boards of The Dallas Assembly, thinkIndia Foundation, Texans Credit Union and On-Target Supplies & Logistics Ltd. She also serves on the Leadership Advisory Councils for the American India Foundation’s DFW Chapter and is a graduate of Leadership Richardson.Sejal holds a Masters in Liberal Studies from Southern Methodist University. She has an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and she is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.Sejal lives in Dallas with her husband, Hemang and two children, Mohan and Maya.|
|Championing the social enterprise: Doric Earle has 30+ years experience working as an executive for large corporations, creating small companies, and launching new service concepts. I have the tremendous privilege to use my years of intense international business consulting experience in conjunction with my academic and personal passion, to create and foster an environment to grow social capitalism.He and holds a PhD in Public Affairs, with a focus on Urban Planning from the University of Texas at Dallas. Doric is presently working with Zip Code Connection – building the District Entrepreneur Center, Bertrand Neighborhood Association, Good Faith Impact (solar), UNT D (Legal & urban AG), SMU/Hunt Institute (engineering to end poverty) and others who see the value in investing in South Dallas Fair Park. And youth through Board leadership to BridgeLacrosseDallas.org (who uses lacrosse to broaden the horizons of our community’s youth).Co-leading Dallas Unity Fund to develop a platform for the Fair Park District of Dallas community to invest in revitalization of their own neighborhood (45 parcels of land) (Dallas Festival of Ideas), their way, with a community development fund. We are working on a Small Developers Alliance to aggregate small property holders in to a larger Social Enterprise.
Currently a Dallas resident (originally from Syracuse, NY), his wife is a Dallas County Public Defender, his oldest son is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, and his youngest attends the University of Seattle where he is studying Digital Design. Both sons are Eagle Scouts and while obtaining his PhD, Doric coached each in lacrosse. The 2010 Hillcrest (DISD) Lacrosse team won the State Championship.
Doric was raised by a WWII 10th Mountain Ski Trooper, artist, professor father and architect mother, on a 200 acre nature conservancy, (part of a family of ten children). He was deeply involved in land and water management conservation efforts. Doric has traveled to or lived in over 25 countries, and has observed, grew up with and appreciates vastly different cultures.
|Mark Haidar has been heavily involved in the emerging technology scene, starting his first company at the age of 17. A serial entrepreneur who combines advanced technological skills with astute business knowledge, Haidar created over 42 notable products and led many other technology-based businesses through major growth from inception.By the age of 21, he built the first fully integrated web-based university management system in Lebanon, the first 3D game engine built locally in the Middle East, the first wireless application protocol based internet-to-home remote control system in Lebanon, and won a People’s Choice Award for Best Web Product in the Middle East for transforming municipality records from paper to digital.In 2006, Haidar moved to the U.S. from Lebanon and led the development of a state of the art research and development project for the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC). Shortly after, Mark co-founded Dialexa, a global product-focused technology innovation and development company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In September 2014, Dialexa Labs launched Vinli, the first connected car platform at TechCrunch Disrupt. Mark also serves on the board of directors for Dialexa Labs’ portfolio company Robin.
Mark has numerous journal publications, pending patents, and is a regular speaker at global technology conferences. Most recently Mark founded Peace.Report, an online news aggregator that focuses on current conflicts around the world. It collects news articles that promote peace. Mark also launched LISA (Levant International Startup Association), which helps startups in the Levant region to launch and scale their companies in international markets.
Mark is trilingual and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a master’s degree in Electrical engineering. He has been featured on numerous national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, Dallas Business Journal and more.
|A Texas native, Michelle Williams is a self-proclaimed equity advocate. She currently serves as the Executive Director where she is overseeing southern sector expansion for The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start, build and grow their businesses through education, mentorship and access to an entrepreneurial community. Previous, Michelle worked as Dallas Program Manager for Leadership ISD, a non-profit organization committed to the mission of creating a movement of informed, empowered and engaged citizen-leaders positively influencing educational excellence and equity for all students. Having sat on multiple boards and commissions around both the city and the nation, Michelle is committed to serving her community wherever she is needed and much of her work and passion is fueled by the belief that access to a high-quality education is a civil right issue in a democratic society. In 2013, Michelle had the honor of working with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans: a cross-agency effort aimed at identifying evidence-based practices to improve student achievement. She has been a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Urban League Young Professionals since 2010. She has served in numerous capacities from Youth Conference Chair to Vice-President and newly elected 2016-2018 DFWULYP President. Most recently, Michelle was the honored by Texas State Senator Royce West as a recipient of the Outstanding Texan award by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.|