Angel investing one hand at a time

Last week I attended a small gathering of Dallas based web hackers and start up guys for a friendly game of poker.  The stakes were small and the crowd (most of whom I just met for the first time) was made up of almost all dudes in their mid to late 20’s.  The game was played on an oversized conference table at a local hacker / co-working space in Mockingbird Station.  I busted out early but not before I “invested” a few dollars to the eventual winner’s fund raising efforts.

It was good to meet more smart folks trying to build community around start-up activity in DFW.  The start-up community has become more vibrant since my business partner and I started Traxo in 2008 and I can say that it is a great time to be building a company in DFW.  However, growing a company in Dallas is a different story that I will save for later.  If you are new to the DFW start up scene, here are a few organizations and grassroots efforts that you should know about:

The Cohabitat – is a coworking and gathering space for entrepreneurs, creatives and developers.  It’s a funky turn of the century house that is home for a number of early stage companies and where meet-ups, user groups, VC roadshows, and networking events take place.  Ask for Blake who is the tall skinny guy who runs the place.

Start Up Happy Hour 2.0 – Hosted by Alex Muse (and his crew at Architel).  The drinks are free and the networking is fantastic.  You will find founders, co-founders, developers looking for gigs, Angels Investors, VC’s, lawyers, and even an occasional celebrachan sighting.

Tech Wildcatters – DFW’s version of a micro seed incubator like Y-Combinator or TechStars.  Congrats to Gabriella and team who just graduated their inaugural class of companies.  It’s a tough model to get started and it takes tons support from local investors and advisers.  Our city definitely needs one of these.

LauchDFW – here’s a good online resource to read about what’s going on in the DFW start-up scene.  Bradley does a great job keeping a pulse on promising start-ups in the Metroplex and big events that are happening in the community.

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