If you’ve heard of the law firm Vela | Wood, you know they’re good friends of the Dallas startup community. As it turns out, they’re also good friends of Dallas’ digital community, as they’ve been a Presenting sponsor for all of this year’s Digital Dallas events. Startup Comedy Roast? Check. < Art / Code >? Check. Digital Fight Club? You’d better believe it.
On November 2, they’re ready to help us blow the doors off The Bomb Factory with Surround Sound: A Music Technology Experience powered by Capital One, where you’ll experience music like never before. Until then, learn more about Vela | Wood and the work they’re doing to build the Dallas startup community.
When asked what brought his firm to serve the Dallas startup community, Dallas-based lawyer Kevin Vela had one word to say: “Capitalism.”
As you’ll soon find out, however, his brand of capitalism is different than most. Recognizing the interdependent nature of the Dallas startup community, Kevin and his law firm, Vela | Wood, have spent the past 6 years working with hundreds of successful startups across Dallas-Fort Worth. Through its work, Vela |Wood has provided more than legal services – it’s served as a resource for startups and a driver for the ecosystem.
As his firm has grown, the Dallas startup community has grown right along with it. “What’s most amazing to me,” said Kevin, “is the breadth of resources and ambassadors in the community. We’ve moved from a few discernible pillars to an actual ecosystem with inputs and outputs. The inputs are so numerous now – from startups, investors and advisors, to Fortune 500 companies and university programs – that there’s no single centerpiece; the whole city is the nucleus.”
With all of this activity, the outputs are many: knowledge, trained workers, maturing startups, and best of all, a tangible community. According to Kevin, “what we’ve specifically seen in 2016 vs. 2015 is outside interest – startups are seeing Dallas as a place to move their business, and investors from outside of Texas are looking at Dallas.”
The future, however, is all about growth.
“We’re moving,” as Kevin predicts, “from linear to exponential growth in all aspects: resources, talent, capital, exits.” As the Dallas startup community continues to grow, entrepreneurs and startups looking to join the rising tide should consider their long-term strategic goals. And it’s here, as a matter of fact, where Kevin and his team at Vela | Wood excel.
According to Kevin, his firm helps startups think through what’s next, and answers questions that haven’t yet been asked. “Startups follow a predictable life cycle,” says Kevin, “and most experience similar peaks and valleys. On an individual/client basis, we can help our startups minimize mistakes (which, in one form or another, are bound to happen), and be ready when opportunity presents itself.”
And on a larger scale, Vela | Wood sets a higher bar than most. “We aim to be a driving force in the entire ecosystem,” says Kevin, “by providing information and sharing knowledge for early stage startups, and by facilitating networking, funding, and exit opportunities for later stage startups.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.