Upcoming Events

Tudor, McCarry and Rondelli
October 23, 2019
Mentoring every Wednesday at Inspire Park

UNT entrepreneurship and venture specialists offer mentoring sessions weekly in Frisco for entrepreneurs and startup companies in the North Texas region. Mentoring is available from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. every Wednesday at Inspire Park.

IF Talk with Russ Medina
November 13, 2019
Veterans in Entrepreneurship

Russ P. Medina

Executive Director, Texas

NPower Inc.

Russ is the Executive Director for NPower Texas, a nonprofit whose mission is to create pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for young adults, military veterans and veterans’ spouses.  He is responsible for leading the program direction and strategic growth agenda for impact and expansion throughout Texas. This includes engaging and collaborating with Federal, State, Veterans Support Organizations, communities and businesses to support, guide and train veterans and their spouses for careers in technology. 

NPower has impacted over 4,000 young adults, and 1,200 Veterans and Veterans Spouses. Recently, the Governor of Texas cited NPower with a Proclamation for its dedicated Apprenticeship and Workforce efforts.  Additionally, the Texas Workforce Commission awarded NPower the Veterans Employer Support of the Year. Russ was recognized by D CEO as the Outstanding Technology Advocate at the CIO/CTO Awards, and received the Society of Information Management National Technology and STEM Advocate of Year for 2019. 

Russ is a seasoned professional with decades of leadership experience in building and growing technology companies. He has contributed in a variety of roles with startup and fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining NPower, Russ led the development and deployment of 5 technology solutions across a global logistics and mobility company.  These new industry leading mobility solutions were responsible for winning new contracts totaling over $200M with customers such as Microsoft, Comcast, Nike, Amazon, Google,  and several NFL Teams. 

As an entrepreneur, Russ raised $19.9M to fund a startup that built a nationwide broadband network for Northpoint Communications, a former Verizon company. Subsequently, in 2000, the Wall Street Journal recognized the company as Startup of the Year.

In the US Army, Russ was selected by US Special Operations Command to be the career manager for approximately 9.990 officers.  As a Project Manager for Advanced Systems and Research and Development for USSOCOM, Russ launched the initial phase of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and ruggedized deployable media production and communications vehicle. 

Russ is an advocate for other non-profits such as the American Legion, 22Kill, USO, Women Veterans in Technology, SIM, PMI, AUSA, ESGR, Allies in Service, CitySquare, and the United Way.  He is focused on helping veterans and their spouses successfully transition into new civilian careers.

Russ Medina served as both as an enlisted soldier and officer.  He served as an Infantry Commander and he is a qualified Airborne Ranger. He received his commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  Russ and his wife Lorie live in Frisco, TX, and have 5 children and 7 grandchildren.  

 

Trevor Blumenau, CEO of Voodoo Robotics, will also give a live demonstration of Voodoo's Pick To Light devices and Automatic Storage and Retrieval System.

Past Events

Don Tapscott
October 9, 2019
Executive Chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute

What Role Should Universities and Research Institutions Play in the Blockshain and DLT Space

Don Tapscott is recognized as a global leader in the intersection of technology with commerce. Don will discuss what role universities and research institutions play in the block chain and DLT space.

Check out the bio of our upcoming speaker:

Don Tapscott, Executive Chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute, is one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society. He has authored 16 books, including Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, which has been translated into over 25 languages.

Don’s most recent book was authored alongside his son, Alex Tapscott, a globally recognized investor, advisor and speaker on blockchain technology and cryptoassets. Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World was published in May 2016 and is, according to Harvard Business School’s Clay Christensen, “the book, literally, on how to survive and thrive in this next wave of technology-driven disruption.” The paperback version of the book, updated with new material covering recent developments in the blockchain industry, was published in June 2018.

In 2017, Don and Alex co-founded the Blockchain Research Institute, whose 100+ projects are the definitive investigation into blockchain strategy, use-cases, implementation challenges and organizational transformations.

Don is a member of the Order of Canada and is ranked the second-most influential Management Thinker and the top Digital Thinker in the world by Thinkers50. He served as Chancellor (2013-2019) of Trent University in Ontario and is currently an adjunct professor at INSEAD. It is hard to imagine anyone who has been more prolific, profound and influential in explaining today’s technological revolutions and their impact on the world.

 

Trevor Blumenau, CEO of Voodoo Robotics, will also give a live demonstration of Voodoo's Pick To Light devices and Automatic Storage and Retrieval System.

October 9, 2019

USpinX is a one-day event that brings together a dozen Texas universities to share the technologies developed at each institution with companies, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

  • The purpose of USpinX is to provide a collision space for entrepreneurs and industry to connect with multiple universities at once. 
  • The goal is to make it easier to find the inventions, patents and software developed at universities that are ready for commercial success.
  • Universities use licensing as a way to move the inventions and breakthroughs from the lab to products and services offered by companies.
  • It can be difficult for one company alone to find these inventions, especially since there are so many universities across the country performing research.
  • USpinX allows you to meet with the offices that manage these inventions directly in one location, so you can save time and explore what meets your needs without wasting your resources.
  • This unique format allows you to give milestones to the universities if the technology needs further development before it meets your needs, allowing you to impact how research and technology are developed effectively.

Format: Each university will have a table at Inspire Park’s conference hall to allow companies, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to find the types of technologies they are seeking and to contact specific universities.

Each company has the opportunity to have a free table if they would prefer to have universities come to them and discuss different technology areas of interest to the company.

The main room is large and able to accommodate private conversations and networking.  Additionally, conference rooms are available if more confidential space is needed to explore deeper discussions.

After the technology exchange, everyone is invited to stay for the October Inspire Frisco Talk (#IFTalk); a monthly speaker series hosted by Inspire Frisco to provide collisions within the innovation ecosystem in the U.S.’s fastest growing city. The speakers will discuss how technology transfer is best accomplished with universities, ways to make the transaction effective and stories of successes that came out of the universities.

University of North Texas (Host) • University of North Texas Health Science Center • Texas Tech University • University of Texas Arlington • University of Texas Dallas • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center • Texas State University • Southern Methodist University • Texas Christian University • Baylor University • Baylor Scott & White Research Institute • Texas Woman’s University

Cost: Free!

Who should attend?

Companies: Find technologies available for licensing from 12 universities across Texas. Provide feedback for how to make early stage inventions appetizing to your company by achieving research and development milestones.

Entrepreneurs: Develop your next company by spinning technology out of a local university. Texas universities are leaders in research, and USpinX allows you to find cutting edge technologies you can build a new enterprise around that leapfrog the current competitors.

Venture Capitalists: Find the university technologies to build management teams around to disrupt industries.

Danyel Surrency Jones
September 11, 2019
Sports Products: From Concept to E-Commerce Success

If you want to learn how an entrepreneur was able to create a new product in the sports industry and succeed with the biggest e-retailers as a pure e-commerce business, then our next IFTalks is for you. Danyel will discuss how she developed a new product concept with a sports vertical, funded her venture, capitalized on a niche market, and how she was able to use Frisco's sports community, Sports City USA, to her advantage.

Check out her impressive bio below:

Danyel Surrency Jones is a proclaimed "Vision Chaser", creative strategist and philanthropist, with nearly two decades of executive leadership and sales & marketing experience. She is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of POWER HAN DZ Inc., a global designer of innovative products that focuses on human performance, injury recovery and injury prevention in Athletic Training and Rehabilitation markets. In 4 years, its core athletic training products have been sold to consumers in >81 countries, established a digital footprint with millions of youth and professional athletes, skills trainers and professional sports organizations. These milestones have captured the attention of major media outlets like CNBC, Sports Illustrated and Bloomberg Business; positioning POWERHANDZ has one of the most innovative companies in multiple sports verticals, healthcare and technology.

Prior to entrepreneurship, Danyel's professional journey for the past 15 years, included several executive leadership roles in sales and marketing, national accounts, training & development and integrated marketing communications for Philips Medical Systems and Medtronic Surgical Technologies; two multi billion dollar healthcare companies. Danyel's corporate career exposed her to several cross-functional areas, therefore broadening her knowledge base on how to create a sustainable business model.

As CEO of POWERHANDZ, Danyel oversees the strategic execution of all business objectives and US & global sales & marketing strategies. Her diligence, strategic business skills and pursuit for excellence has helped POWERHANDZ create a sustainable business model, expanded its vision into emerging markets, launched creative sales & marketing strategies and achieved globalization. She has the unique ability to develop strategies and best in class execution plans. In addition to her role as CEO, she is also the President of Powerhandz's non-profit entity, The Power To Give Foundation (501c3). Its mission is to provide athletic and academic programs to youth in underserved communities. A portion of every product every product purchased with POWERHANDZ is donated to fulfilling its mission

Danyel is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, obtained a MBA from Florida International University and is a graduate of Wharton School of Business Marketing Leadership Program. She has been featured in several national business publications and served on entrepreneur and leadership panels. Most recently, Danyel was recognized as a Finalist in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year Award and nominated for its Winning Women program. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with the joys of her life, her husband and business partner Darnell Jones and their daughter Hartley Rose and son Harper Jaz.

 

Trevor Blumenau, CEO of Voodoo Robotics, will also give a live demonstration of Voodoo's Pick To Light devices and Automatic Storage and Retrieval System.

 

August 14, 2019
Rising & Raising Entrepreneurs

Frisco supports all ages of entrepreneurs. Unlike most cities across the globe, we have an active entrepreneurial environment in the under 18 age group. These entrepreneurs are supported by Frisco Young Entrepreneur Academy at the Chamber, and Frisco ISD Incubator. Come see an example of two entrepreneurs who are deep in technology and learn how they have been able to grasp the idea of entrepreneurship and technology at such a young age.

 

Check out our speaker portfolios:

Prince Nallamothula is a 9-year-old child prodigy and a young inventor. He won national acclaim for his inventions and is featured on Fox News, NBC Network, local media, and magazines. Prince's recent awards include "The International Paradigm challenge," which is considered to be the Nobel Prize of science for kids, and the "Young Inventors Challenge" - Best Presentation Award from Chicago Toy and Game (CHITAG) fair. He was a guest presenter of Toy of the Year (TOTY) - 2019 awards and the City Mayor gave a proclamation to Prince and declared Jan 15, 2019 as "Prince Nallamothula Day" in Frisco, Tx. Prince has a science YouTube channel where he has a lot of videos on "Quantum Physics" and many other science and environmental projects. Prince recently gave his first TedEx Youth talk & he is one of the finalists of CodeLaunch-VII under Youth Category and will give his pitch on July 31st.

Gouzia Sivarajah is the founder and CEO of SIINNO Technology LLC, and has a passion for helping people in need. She has helped invent the MAVI, a device which helps blind individuals. She is also the cofounder of a nonprofit organization called TYPDA, which aims to donate money to children in need. She was also elected as Vice President of Texas BPA where she is in charge of thousands of members and is also a YEA Alumni. In August, Gouzia will be going into her senior year at Heritage High School.

 

Trevor Blumenau, CEO of Voodoo Robotics, will also give a live demonstration of Voodoo's Pick To Light devices and Automatic Storage and Retreival System

Jason Taylor
July 10, 2019
President and Founder of Code Authority

Jason W. Taylor is the President and Founder of Code Authority Custom Software. Since 2001 Code Authority has created technology products for growing businesses of all sizes including startups. One example is the College Football Playoff. The “CFP” uses specialized custom software built and maintained by Code Authority to securely manage and conduct every Playoff Committee meeting.

Jason is the creator of “CodeLaunch” a new model for seed accelerators, and an annual event that showcases and supports seed funding for tech startups by pairing embryonic stage product ideas with professional software developers and investors. In 2016, Jason was recognized by the Frisco, TX Chamber of Commerce as Entrepreneur of the Year due to the success of CodeLaunch and Code Authority. At CodeLaunch 5 Mayor Jeff Cheney proclaimed August 9, 2017 to be “CodeLaunch Day” in Frisco, TX in recognition of this significant annual event. CodeLaunch 7 is July 31st 2019 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX.

Prior to Code Authority, Jason was a talented Microsoft stack developer beginning his career at Cerner Corp in Kansas City, MO in 1996 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a BBA in MIS in 1995. Jason is an 11 handicap golfer and pretty good with a shotgun during Texas dove season.

CodeLaunch 7 is July 31 at Comerica Center (formerly Dr Pepper Arena) in Frisco, TX. Follow Jason, Code Authority and CodeLaunch via the @CodeAuthority Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram feeds.

Rex Kurzius photo
June 12, 2019
President and Founder of Asset Panda

Rex currently serves as Founder and President of Asset Panda. Asset Panda is a highly configurable asset tracking and management platform that is SaaS based with mobile apps.

In addition, Rex serves on the board and is an investor in several other operating companies. Rex is passionate about entrepreneurship. He is a sought after speaker and donates a significant amount of his time to mentoring entrepreneurs. Rex is also the former President of the Dallas Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization and former Chairman of the North Texas Young Presidents Organization.

His vision has resulted in tremendous growth and recognition for his companies, including:

Company Awards:

  • Inc. 500 - #104 in 2018 #544 in 2014, #25 in 2013, #307 in 2003, #444 in 2004, #490 in 2006
  • Dallas 100 - #85 in 2014, #26 in 2013, #96 in 2003, #61 in 2004, #50 in 2005, #62 in 2006
  • Deloitte Technology Fast 500 - #333 in 2004, #394 in 2005
  • Deloitte Texas Crescent Technology Fast 50 - #23 in 2004, #32 in 2005, #37 in 2006
  • MTBC Tech Titan - #11 for 1yr, #14 for 5yr in 2004, #15 for 5yr in 2005, #12 for 5yr in 2006
  • Hire Power Inc Magazine 2012/13
  • 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year
Hope Shimabuku
May 8, 2019
Director of USPTO
Ms. Shimabuku is a leader in the Texas region. She currently sits on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Texas Law School and is an honorary member and inaugural member of the Barbara M.G. Lynn IP Inn of Court. She is a past chair for the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of Texas, served as past president of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, chaired the Dallas Diversity Task Force, served as a facilitator for the DFW Women in Intellectual Property group and served on the board of the Dallas Bar Association and as a member of the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas – District 6.
Laura Beard profile photo
April 10, 2019
CEO of Sasta and 20-year hospitality veteran

Inspire Frisco is excited to announce the next IF Talk featuring Laura Beard, CEO of Sasta and a 20-year hospitality veteran who has ventured into tech to solve glaring problems within her industry. With her expertise in event production, event management, training and retaining excellent help, she is leveraging technology to make the industry better for everyone involved.

Jordan Williams photo
March 6, 2019
CEO and founder of Captured Dimensions

Jordan Williams is CEO and founder of Captured Dimensions, a firm specializing in 3D scanning of people and objects of all sizes to serve the feature film and video game development industries. In March 2019, he spoke about how he and the Captured Dimensions team worked on dozens of feature films, including Logan, Black Panther, Passengers, John Wick 3, Alita: Battle Angel and Joker. The Captured Dimensions team worked for years to create one of the world’s highest quality human scanning photogrammetry systems and have grown to be a leader in the VFX scanning industry as well as serving a large variety of clients from the medical, retail, fine art, sports and other markets. Jordan is a graduate of Abilene Christian University with degrees in finance and business management.

Dave Gorman photo
February 13, 2019
Entrepreneur and Managing Partner at Step 5 Capital

In February 2019, Dave Gorman, an active entrepreneur and managing partner at Step 5 Capital, spoke about his experience as the co-founder of Clearview Staffing Software, a SaaS company focused on the $15B healthcare staffing industry. As CEO of the company founded in 2000, he helped lead and grow the company to become the market leader. In 2009, he led the company to a successful sale to API Healthcare. Since 2010, Dave has invested in and actively served as a director and/or advisor to a number of early-stage to growth-based companies. Step 5’s primary investment focus is in business to business SaaS and healthcare technology companies.