Capital Factory Makes A Stop In Fort Worth & Brings Texas Startup Ecosystems Together

Texas cities traditionally have been competitive, but thanks to the Texas Startup Manifesto, the team at Capital Factory is looking to change that.

With the goal of connecting all major Texas ecosystems through roadshows, Capital Factory stopped in Fort Worth and brought together entrepreneurs, investors and mentors from Austin, Dallas and Houston under one roof at WeWork in Sundance Square Plaza. We were so excited to collaborate with the team to put together a memorable and exciting event.

Founder & CEO of Capital Factory, Joshua Baer, says,

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If you were at the event, you could definitely feel that goal resonating. Texas cities are finally looking at each other and realizing the potential we have as a state to be one of the best places for startups to grow and thrive.

One of the most exciting parts of the day was the Epic Office Hours. It brought together a diverse group of high potential, high growth companies to meet with some of the most active angel investors and VC’s in the region.

Each startup had 15 minute rotations to pitch their startups and receive feedback. It was a great opportunity to get connected.

Founder of local startup Kanna, Farhaj Mayan, recalls his experience, “We got to connect with 5 investors from all over Texas in three hours and two were directly connected to people in our industry. It was awesome, fast-paced and it really allowed us to make meaningful connections.“


Next up, Bryan Chambers, VP of the Investment Fund at Capital Factory, sat down with CEO of Linear Labs, Brad Hunstable, to hear how Brad has been able to build his second thriving business.

It was a fruitful discussion on the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and also on why he chose the wonderful city of Fort Worth to grow his business.

Fun Fact: Linear Labs is a former TechFW graduate!


Another exciting part of the roadshow was a panel that featured Tyler Godoff, VP of Fine Line, Jessica Miller, co-founder of M2G Ventures and our Executive Director Hayden Blackburn. The topic was "Investing in Fort Worth Startups".

They each shared their excitement and perspective on the current state of entrepreneurship in our city and where it’s headed. Watch this snippet of Hayden Blackburn sharing his thoughts on the future of innovation in Fort Worth.

For closing remarks, we were fortunate to have Fort Worth Council member Ann Zadeh share a message from Mayor Betsy Price. “Small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs are the backbones of our community. FW has put a lot of renewed focus on better access, networking and stronger connections within the city for the startup community."

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Fort Worth is rapidly growing its entrepreneur ecosystem and we are so happy to collaborate with those in Austin, Houston and Dallas to grow the Texas ecosystem as a whole.

Thank you to WeWork for being an excellent host in its new Sundance Plaza South location and to all those who joined for a day of building connections across the state.

Thank you again to Joshua Baer and the entire Capital Factory team for bringing their energy and enthusiasm for collaboration to Fort Worth.

We look forward to many more events together as we set out to make Texas the greatest place in the country for startup innovation.

Let's keep connecting and building. Innovation is bigger in Texas!

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Say 'Hello' To Our New Team Member, Devan Peplow


Devan Peplow, a former intern at TechFW, has returned full-time as the Program Manager.

Peplow will support the delivery outreach of various programs and events, including Cowtown Angels, the Impact Showcase and experiential learning programs. She also will help to amplify and analyze the impact TechFW has on the clients and audiences it serves.

She graduated Texas Christian University with a degree in entrepreneurial management with an emphasis in leadership. She was heavily involved in the Neeley School of Business Leadership Program.

Peplow co-founded Sounde with two other TCU students. Sounde is an app, supported by a proprietary AI-enabled algorithm that helps overcome hearing loss.

“We were all impressed with Devan during her internship in 2018 at TechFW and we are excited about her joining the team and everything she brings to the role,” said Hayden Blackburn, TechFW Executive Director. “She stayed involved with our mission after she returned for her senior year and when opportunity met availability, we were more that eager to offer her this position.”

TechFW is a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs launch and grow emerging technology companies that have a high potential for success. It mentors, coaches and relentlessly pushes them toward success. TechFW has offices at the James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Complex in Fort Worth and is supported by the UNT Health Science Center, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the City of Fort Worth. For more information, contact Hayden Blackburn at (817) 984-9841 or

TechFW Accepts Six Companies to its Startup ThinkLab


FORT WORTH, TX  – Six companies have been accepted into the TechFW ThinkLab program, their first step in evaluating the marketability of the founder’s business idea.

The six:


Robert Elliot, Founder

RE, INC has developed the Say And See, a scrolling, modular LED sign that can be controlled by voice and text through smart phone or tablet. The company is expanding to include multi-colored outside signs using ultra bright LEDs.


Researchers at UNTHSC

Tasneem P. Sharma, PhD, Founder

Stacy Curry, Research Associate 

Sharma has developed a novel eye modeling system for modulating translaminar pressure in the study of human donor eyes. The model can regulate intra-ocular pressure and intra-cranial pressure in a donor eye cup, which allows for testing therapeutics in a pre-clinical model. (no website)


Galaxy Unmanned Systems LLC

Jason White, managing partner

Tony White, co-founder

Galaxy Unmanned Systems LLC creates lighter-than-air technologies ranging from tethered aerostats to free-flying autonomous airships. It is bringing unmanned aircraft systems with custom technology configurations to applications ranging from general entertainment venues to military missions.


Nano Liquid Solutions

Ali Farzbod, CEO
Nano Liquid Solutions was created to provide blood testing services via a stand-alone device that only needs a small amount of blood to measure basic metabolic panel and lipid panels, which are standard in annual physical exams and pre-surgery tests.



Ermmias Teclemariam, Founder

AESMS is developing a device that will monitor bowel and urine discharge for bed-ridden patients. The AESMS device disposes of waste and cleans the patient without human intervention, which eliminates discomfort for patients and healthcare workers. (no website)

LSE R&D Engineering, LLC

Allen Looney, Founder

LSE R&D Engineering, LLC is a development entity that assists inventors and designers with a new valve configuration and design for internal combustion engines, which improves efficiency and performance. (no website)

Hayden Blackburn, Executive Director at TechFW says, “These founders are investing into the foundations of their technology venture and validating the market need and we are thrilled to work with founders at this stage. The energy and passion they bring, not only to the solutions but the problems they are addressing, are powerful.”

The ThinkLab 12-to-16 week program helps founders and entrepreneurs determine whether there is sufficient value to pursue a product or service idea, identify potential markets, develop a path to market strategy, and learn how to communicate the value of the idea to early stakeholders and adopters.

TechFW is a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs launch and grow emerging technology companies that have a high potential for success. It mentors, coaches and relentlessly pushes them toward success. TechFW has offices at the James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Complex in Fort Worth and is supported by the UNT Health Science Center, the University of Texas at Arlington and the City of Fort Worth. For more information, contact Hayden Blackburn at (817) 984-9841 or

You have an idea. You've invested time, maybe even money. Let us help you determine its chance for success and potential pathway to market. Learn more about our ThinkLab and apply to be a part of our next cohort!

Red Productions and Backlot Studio & Workspace are first to open in Fort Worth's new Media Production Development Zone

Mayor Price called action and clapped the slate to mark the grand opening of Red Productions new office along with Backlot Studio & Workspace on Thursday night at 329 S. Main St.



The new production facility is a 12,000 square-foot dedicated space for commercial and film production, photography, music, and events. Backlot also offers furnished private workspaces of varying sizes for creative teams to rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.


The former Crouch Dairy Supply building was a warehouse on South Main Street built in the 1930s and a partnership managed by Kelly Capital Partners took on the adaptive reuse project when construction started last spring. The 45,000 square-foot building is now called Main+Broad and is a shining example of the thought leadership laid out in the 2007 South Main Urban Village Master Plan created by the City and Near Southside.


Thursday was not just a grand opening for these two great companies new building, but also the first official completion of a project in Fort Worth’s newly designated Media Production Development Zone known as the MPDZ. City Council and Mayor approved this zone after Red Productions owner, Red Sanders, brought the proposal before them last year. It’s only the second MPDZ in the state behind Austin, offering a two-year sales tax exemption at the city and state levels which was key in making the building remodel on South Main possible. The zone is approved for three projects and this is just one of the projects. So there is room already created for two more projects to come and build anything media related here in the Southside.


A video and film production company, Red Productions, started 14 years ago by planting a flag here in Fort Worth and has grown both as a company and as a leader within Fort Worth’s creative class. They have been based on Foch Street in the Cultural District for over a decade but originally started at TECH Fort Worth, a nonprofit organization started by the City and located in the Near Southside that helps local entrepreneurs launch and grow emerging technology companies. Red Productions became the first graduate of TECH Fort Worth’s Acceleration Program in 2008, and one of the first tenants of the West 7th neighborhood, which was then primarily an industrial area.

One of the core values of Red Productions is to cultivate community, and in an effort to fill a need for creatives as well as get the growing neighborhood of West 7th together, Red created a new offering called Backlot in 2013. This started simply by expanding their office on Foch and offering a shared space for local creatives to have an office to work out of. A model now widely known as co-working. Backlot also hosted a free outdoor movie screening series in West 7th as the neighborhood began to get more residential citizens in order to connect people and build relationships.


At the grand opening celebration, Mayor Price shared a story about how the Fort Wort Film Commission came into existence over a conversation that she and Red Productions owner, Red Sanders, had while on a mission with the DFW Airport to China five years ago. A film commission is a specialized economic development tool for any major city. Unlike the name, it goes way beyond film, as they work with any moving image, commercial, photography, and new media companies that come to do business and hire people in Fort Worth. Upon their return from China, Red worked with Mayor, the Chamber, and Visit Fort Worth to found the film commission. Over the past three years the Fort Worth Film Commission, led by Jessica Christopherson, has been instrumental as a beacon for the creative class here and has attracted high profile films to town such as the latest Robert Redford film, The Old Man and the Gun.


Thinking about how all of these elements come together, Red Sanders says, “We look forward to utilizing the new Backlot Studio & Workspace as well as strong state film incentives and an engaged local film commission to lure even larger films here that would typically shoot in other states.”

Contact: Monica Martinez 817-989-9406