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Trey Bowles On Jumping, Not Diving, Into Entrepreneurship

Doualy Xaykaothao
Trey Bowles, CEO of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, tells KERA's Rick Holter: "We talk about the idea of jumping into entrepreneurship as opposed to diving in because if you jump in you may bruise your tailbone but if you dive in you can break your neck."

Incubators and accelerators are popping up across the country to help startups bloom. And in the year since the Dallas Entrepreneur Center put down roots, the nonprofit has moved into new downtown space and teamed up on an incubator in Addison.

Trey Bowles is CEO of the operation known as The DEC, and he joins KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

  Interview Highlights: Trey Bowles...

...on what The DEC is all about: “It’s made up of a couple different pieces. We have mentors that come in and offer free time with start-ups, we have investors who come in and listen to different pitches and try to figure out if it’s a place they want to put some money. We have collaborative space so people can actually come in and set up an office there, either at a desk or an office space. And then finally we really focus on the idea of promotion behind them, it’s really a resource center and central hub for these startups to come together and get the resources they need to be successful.”

…on why Dallas is a good home for entrepreneurs: “So the U.S. Chamber of Commerce a couple weeks ago announced that Dallas is one of the best places in the country to start a business. Kiplinger’s put out a report last year that said Dallas was the number one place in the country to start a business. We have 19,000 new businesses started every year just in the city limits of Dallas.”

…on failure: “Failure is important to us, we encourage it. And people always say ‘you should definitely fail, but fail fast.’ It’s important to note that, it’s important to get some scars and learn from that. I also think that we encourage a calculated approach to entrepreneurship. So we spend a lot of time with people having them go through feasibility analyses, looking at is this an opportunity, is there really a need. And most importantly, are there customers out there who would pay for this? And if there aren’t then don’t go down this road.  We talk about the idea of jumping into entrepreneurship as opposed to diving in because if you jump in you may bruise your tailbone but if you dive in you can break your neck.”

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.