Incubators help businesses get off the ground at the earliest stages. They typically provide mentorship, workshops, and access to resources to help you hone your business idea and take your first steps towards launch
A successful marketing plan relies heavily on advertising copy.
Idea⠀is the earliest stage for ventures on this platform. Typically, Idea-stage ventures are made up of between 1-3 cofounders, are not legally incorporated, and don't have users or customers yet. If you are Idea-stage, you are likely looking for resources to help you move your idea off of paper and into reality.
As compared to Idea-Stage ventures,⠀Early⠀ventures typically consist of a small team, are incorporated, and already serving some early users or customers.
At this stage, you've already tested out the validity of your idea, and you are looking for resources to start scaling up your operations. This tends to be the stage where ventures start seeking outside funding for their venture, if they plan to take any.
Growth-stage⠀ventures have solid traction and an established user base, a developed team, and are actively delivering their products or services.
If it's a for-profit venture, the established stage is when you have revenue coming in and are looking to grow to serve more customers in your initial market, or enter into your secondary market, if applicable
By the time you reach⠀Mature-Stage, you have an established team, are generating consistent revenues, and have your business model figured out. Mature ventures have successfully captured their initial target markets, and have an established group of users or customers.
Mature ventures might be interested in resources that are going to help them expand to a new market segment or customer vertical.
02. Resource Types
Groups, Meetups, and Networks
Group⠀is used to refer to everything from Meetup Groups to professional networking associations. Groups are all about helping you find your people - whether those are fellow founders, possible employees, or just another community to call home.
Some Meetup groups meet on a set schedule, while others are one-off, so be sure to check their website for more information. The only type of "people" that isn't included in this tag are Mentors, which instead fall under⠀Mentorship
Incubators and Accelerators
Incubators⠀are a programs that are focused on helping entrepreneurs in the earlier stages of their venture. Sometimes, incubators are a physical space, while other times they are a program meant to help you focus on your venture.
Accelerators⠀are a specific type of program that typically meet the following 4 criteria:
they are cohort-based, meaning they accept specific ventures for a defined period of time
they provide funding, in the form of a grant, equity, or debt
they are focused on helping entrepreneurs make a lot of progress over a short period of time
they culminate in some type of event meant to help the participating ventures get exposure or additional funding
Funding⠀is a tag that describes all different types of capital that could help your venture grow.
-⠀Equity⠀financing refers to money that is gotten in exchange for a percentage ownership of your venture.⠀Venture Capital is type of equity capital used by growth startups
-⠀Grants⠀are sometimes called "free money" since you do not have to repay them, but often they carry restrictions to ensure the funds are used in a certain manner.
-⠀Debt⠀refers to any capital where you borrow money and then pay it back after a certain period of time, typically with interest -⠀Loans⠀are the most common type.
-⠀Tax Credits⠀refer to money you can get back on your taxes if you meet certain requirements.
-⠀Crowdfunding⠀is when you raise money in small amounts from many investors.
As you might guess,⠀Other⠀is the catch-all category for all Resources that don't fall into one of the other main categories. Here, you'll find things such as:
-⠀Databases⠀- online datasets with information for entrepreneurs (like Dallas Builds!)
-⠀Media Sources -⠀local news outlets or publications related to entrepreneurship
-⠀Education Programs⠀- short courses related to entrepreneurship
-⠀Talent and Workforce Development⠀- Sources of talent for your venture and training for your employees
The⠀Mentorship⠀tag is used to help you find any programs that provide guidance, feedback, or advice on your venture.
This could be in the form of Pro-Bono Services,⠀such as legal or accounting advice. Or, it could be a Mentor Matching service, where you get paired 1-1 with a mentor in your field. Whatever form it takes, mentorship is essential for entrepreneurs, so take time to explore the different resources here!
Recurring Events⠀are any type of annual, monthly, or weekly event that is focused on helping entrepreneurs.
-⠀Pitch Competitions⠀are events where entrepreneurs present their venture to a crowd, typically in exchange for a possible prize.
-⠀Conferences⠀bring together people from specific industries or interest areas
-⠀Hackathons⠀do the same, but with the purpose of rapidly building things (software or hardware) over a short period of time
-⠀Office Hours⠀are a type of event where BSOs let entrepreneurs drop-in for advice.
-⠀Workshops⠀and⠀Speaker Series⠀are both educational sessions that help you grow as a founder.
⠀Marketplaces⠀and⠀Showcases⠀provide you a venue to highlight your products, and even sell them.
-⠀Bootcamps⠀are short programs (anywhere from 1 day to a few months) meant to help you hone specific skills. These events may be paid or unpaid - check the website for more information.
It's important to note that Dallas Builds does not gather information about one-off events - that's what the community event calendar is for - nor do we update the dates for recurring events unless the date is updated on its website.
Spaces: Coworking, Makerspaces, and More
Space⠀is a tag that includes all different types of specific places that may help you grow your business, including:
-⠀Coworking Spaces⠀are a type of flexible workspace, where you can rent anything from a desk for an hour to an entire office for a year.
-⠀Makerspaces⠀have a variety of tools and other equipment to help you prototype and produce physical products.⠀
-⠀Media Spaces⠀include studio space for photography, videography, or sound recording.⠀Studio Spaces⠀refer to art-specific studios
-⠀Kitchen Spaces⠀refer to commercial kitchen space that you can rent out.
03. Venture Types
Traditional Businesses range from Main-Street businesses all the way to multi-national corporations. Examples of Main Street businesses include restaurants, retail shops, or services businesses. Traditional Businesses also include "Middle Market" companies, which are different from Main Street businesses in that they typically generate between $10-$100m in annual shares. We use the term "Small Business" in many of our filters, but we're broadly referring to traditional, for-profit business (as opposed to High Growth businesses, which is a specific subset of for-profit companies)
Growth Startups are a small, super specific subset of for-profit businesses. Growth Startups are focused on growing extremely rapidly in order to capture as much market share as possible, typically with the intent to "Exit" by either being acquired by another company or 'Going Public' via an IPO. These ventures typically are targeting national or global markets that are larger than $500m, and they tend to take Venture Capital financing. Not all tech-enabled companies are Growth Startups, although some are, and not all Growth Startups require technology, although most rely on it. Resources that have the Startup tag, but not the Small Business tag as well, are specifically for Growth Startups alone.
Nonprofit⠀ventures differ from their for-profit counterparts in that they have a community or social-impact mission, and revenues are reinvested into furthering that mission. They commonly have a 501(c)(3) designation that allows them to receive tax-deductible donations and grant funding. Some Resource marked "Nonprofit" require that you have a 501(c)(3) designation, while others don't - check out their website for more information
04. Founder Types
Founders of Color
This tag is used to indicate any Resources or Organizations that work specifically with Black, Latinx, or other POC groups. A Resource or Organization might exclusively work with these groups, or might simply give preference to them - check out the entry's website for more specific information.
This tag is used to indicate any Resource or Organization that works specifically with Female Founders, including female-identifying and other womxn populations. To learn more about the specific services of the Resource or Organization, visit their website!
This tag is used to indicate any Resources or Organizations that work specifically with Veteran, or Veteran-Spouse, founders. To learn more about their specific services or the branches that they work with, visit their website. Also, thank you for your service.
The Homepage of Baltimore's Entrepreneurial Community.