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Business, tech communities converge at annual mixer

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

More than a dozen local business owners and community leaders spoke at Bootstrap Denton, the first event inside of the city-sponsored co-working space Stoke on Thursday.

The annual event, hosted by TechMill, featured speakers giving pitches of five minutes or less about their companies and organizations to a crowd of more than 100 attendees from technology-related fields.

Kyle Taylor, founder of TechMill, hosted the event and presented about TechMill, the nonprofit support organization and introduced speakers ranging from CEOs of Denton-based technology companies to local bloggers.

“If you are an individual that has an idea for a company, and you’re looking for resources, come talk to us,” Taylor said. “If you want to learn how to code, do Photoshop, do Google AdWords, anything technical, we run workshop series.”

Most speakers focused on telling the crowd what their company or organization does and how to get involved. Juli James, who runs the Denton portion of Women Who Code, a group that teaches women how to navigate software and technology, spoke of the community her group is working to build in Denton and the region.

“As a woman in technology, you can join a nonprofit here that’s looking to support you, wherever you are in your career, today, for free,” she said. “We want to help inspire you, elevate your career and connect you with resources.”

While the first event in the space was run by TechMill, the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, a city partner for Stoke, will handle a large chunk of future programming.

Emmanuel Lopez, the community coordinator for DEC, told the crowd during his lightning talk it was his first time in Denton, and he can’t wait to come back as they roll out programming for the space.

“Here at Stoke, we believe in three things: education, mentorship and in community,” Lopez said, before explaining how those components will work in the space.

They plan to host educational programs to help businesses launch and fill in gaps they have, facilitate mentors in similar industries and have events to bring the tech community together.

Currently, the space has a temporary director, Julie Glover, and has not yet posted the job for a full-time director and organizer.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter @JennaFDuncan.