Addison, TX & The Addison TreeHouse: Where Startups & Businesses Come to Grow

Last week, TreeHouse Director Shelley Widom had the pleasure of representing the Addison TreeHouse by presenting the welcome remarks for Techweek's Growth Summit. She took the opportunity to showcase the thought leadership of the Town of Addison and the support the Addison TreeHouse exhibits toward the startup, technology, and business communities. Below is the transcript.

Good morning everyone, and thank you for having me. I’m excited to be up here today, and excited that the Addison TreeHouse is sponsoring Techweek this year. This is actually Techweek’s second year in Dallas, and their mission to head to tech-hubs across the nation to provide unique experiences for entrepreneurs, companies, and the local tech-community has a lot of synergy with the mission of the TreeHouse.

The Addison TreeHouse is a 501c3 non-profit coworking space and start-up hub where we house innovative startups, a lot of which are tech-focused, who are working out of our space to grow their businesses. We focus on providing them with the education, mentorship, and community that is necessary to successfully start, build, and grow businesses.

The TreeHouse was founded in July of 2014 through a partnership between the Town of Addison’s Economic Development Department and The Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

The Town of Addison is only 4.4 square miles, however some of the largest and most forward thinking companies, not only in Dallas, but in the country, are located in Addison. Addison, Texas was named the number one place in Texas to start a business in 2015 by NerdWallet, and Addison, Texas was also named by google the e-City for the State of Texas in 2014. Not bad for 4.4 square miles miles.

Orlando Campos, Director of the Economic Development Department for the Town of Addison, witnessed what The Dallas Entrepreneur Center was doing to support entrepreneurship in Dallas, and wanted to continue the efforts Addison had already made to show that they support business. So they partnered together and founded the TreeHouse.

Between the TreeHouse and The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, who is our sister location in the West End, we currently have over 150 companies who are strategically changing the world we live in based on the technology they are building in our spaces.

Companies such as Illuma Labs at the TreeHouse who is building cutting edge technology focused on software R&D and consulting services for intelligent systems, with an expertise in applied signal processing and machine learning.

Companies such as iuzeit at The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, who is simplifying the online shopping experience by combining product information, ratings, and reviews from consumers, experts, and friends, all in one place.

When Techweek came to the TreeHouse for sponsorship it was a no-brainer. If you are supporting entrepreneurship and technology, then Addison and the TreeHouse are supporting you.

Addison has always been a very pro-business, progressive town. As small as they are in size, they are the opposite when it comes to their thinking. I was talking with Orlando the other day and I asked him if it hard to get the citizens of Addison on-board with building the TreeHouse? It is tax-payer money, and the smaller the town the more involved local constituents are. And he responded by saying “Not. At. All.”

It became obvious that in partnering with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center to foster entrepreneurship and startups in Addison that there would be great benefit not just to the companies at the TreeHouse, but to all 1,600 businesses located in Addison, and the local community in Addison. That type of forward-thinking lead Orlando and his team to receive an award in the Entrepreneurship Category at the International Economic Development Council in 2016.

And as I mentioned, the innovative thinking does not stop at the town level. Businesses in Addison are some of the most leading-edge in the country.

Today you’ll hear from some of those business leaders. Dave Copps, for example, who founded Brainspace, a machine learning software that intelligently detects and relates unique phrases in massive unstructured datasets, will be speaking on the Data Intelligence Panel alongside Sravan Ankaraju. Sravan is a former Microsoft Strategy and Innovation Leader, and the Founder and President of Divergence Academy. Divergence Academy is the premier education resource for launching a career in Data Science and Cybersecurity. And Divergence Academy launched out of the Addison TreeHouse!

You’ll also hear today from Brenda Stoner, the Founder and “Chief Good Guy” at PICKUP. Brenda is a serial entrepreneur who founded PICKUP in 2014 after struggling to move some larger items across town that couldn’t fit in her car. PICKUP was launched in Addison out of the TreeHouse. They grew in Addison. And they remain Addison today.

What are some of the other companies founded at the TreeHouse? There have been over 200 startups to-date who call or have called the TreeHouse home. Some names you might recognize are NoiseAware, who went through Collide Village’s accelerator program which is housed out of the TreeHouse. MenuRunners, who made over $1 million in sales in their first year. Maybe you have heard of FactoryGlam, MyndVR, Glass-Media, Rapidi2i, or Spacee. Or what about MediBookr, whose CEO, Sunny Nadolosky, is a citizen of Addison, launched her company out of the TreeHouse, and then got accepted into Health Wildcatters, one of the top healthcare accelerators in the country that is located in Dallas.

The TreeHouse is proud to be part of the thriving Dallas startup, technology, and business communities. We work with startups and entrepreneurs in all sectors to provide them with the resources they need to be successful. Resources such as mentorship, education, and community. The TreeHouse has an international network of over 1,000 professionals who volunteer their time to meet with our members to give them advice and answer their questions as they’re starting and building and growing their businesses. The TreeHouse puts on educational events and programs that provide entrepreneurs in the community with an entrepreneurial education and ample networking opportunities. You don’t know what you don’t know when you’re starting a business, so come to the TreeHouse to get in-the-know through our valuable online and offline resources.

And our community. The TreeHouse community consists of the local entrepreneurs and startups coworking out of our space, business leaders, thought-leaders, academic institutions, and government entities, all working together under one roof to support entrepreneurship.

The Town of Addison is proud to support, enhance, and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Addison and North Texas.

The Addison TreeHouse is a beautiful example of the wonderful things that can happen when leaders in different spaces come together to support entrepreneurship. It is great to be a part of it.

Enjoy the rest of Techweek, hearing from our local leaders, and I hope to connect with you soon. Thank you.