Shawnee Leonard



I have something to finally blog about! I always have stuff I wanna write about on here, but the way my obligations are set up, it's hard to sit down sometimes & draft blog posts. Plus it doesn't help it's almost the end of the semester & I'm literally burned out. 

If you know me, you know I'm a HUGE Dallas Startup Week supporter. I found out about this 5 day event through Twitter back in 2015, ended up attending since I've always been interested in entrepreneurship. I don't remember exactly how I found out about DSW, but I'm pretty sure it's from me following @thedectx on Twitter before I became a DEC Ambassador. 

Photo Credit: Tim Vasquez

Photo Credit: Tim Vasquez

Dallas Startup Week is a 5 day long event hosted in Downtown Dallas, dedicated to mentorship, collaboration, partnerships, and celebrating our local startup community, which consists of freelancers (ME), small business owners, investors, etc. If you're wanting to start your own company, work for a startup company, and/or find an investor to provide funds, Dallas Startup Week is the perfect event to attend. It's also the perfect event to attend to decide if entrepreneurship is even the right move for you or not, which I feel is important to reflect on because the startup life is not as glamorous as it looks.

2015 was the first year Dallas Startup Week came to Dallas and I was a full on attendee, along with becoming a last minute volunteer. 2016 I was an attendee, but also volunteered throughout the week assisting with social media management. 2017 I decided to take on a leadership role and join the DSW17 Planning Committee under Marketing. I took on more duties curating & scheduling content to publish on social media, started a blog to publish content on, assisted with writing press releases, website maintenance, and assisting with outreaching to companies for in kind donations. My experience was a bit different this year since I didn't attend any sessions. I did attend the launch party at Tower Club, State of Entrepreneurship, an after party Tech EdVentures hosted at Anvil Pub in Deep Ellum, and the wrap party at Deep Ellum Brewing Comapny, along with primarily spending my week at Chase Basecamp (not surprising I was quick to attend the events that offered alcohol). I got my doses of attending sessions the past 2 years, so I was content just being behind the scenes. It was a fun week, I networked more (things us introverts struggle with sometimes), and I enjoyed attending weekly planning meetings at the DEC. I practically lived at the DEC for the past few months. I've already committed to coming back to be on the DSW18 Planning Committee as their social media coordinator. If you're interested in getting involved for next year, email me ( I'll be working on additional tasks that I have assigned to myself to prep for next year's event, will keep yall updated on what I'm doing.

Check out pictures below that I took myself along with photos from our community & seed sponsor TERSE Branding, and from our DSW Brand Ambassador Sarah Verstegen

Photography: Terse Branding

Photography: Sarah Verstegen (@sarahvster)