Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator Announces Senior Hire


Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator Announces Senior Hire


DALLAS, TX – September 11, 2019 – Today, the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator, which was launched in February 2019 to support entrepreneurs and early-stage companies in sectors supporting urban and civic transformation, announced the appointment of Cynthia Heyn as Managing Director. In this role, Ms. Heyn is responsible for the overall execution and operations of the incubator, strategy, operations and partner relations, including the network of teams locally and across the country. 

Ms. Heyn’s extensive experience in product innovation and as a smart cities consultant with a broad background in executive management in the Telecommunications and Information Technology, including Ericsson and Nokia Siemens, has made her an acknowledged industry expert. Her career includes experience in the corporate, consulting and not-for-profit sectors. She enjoyed a number of years living in working in Germany and Sweden, with international experience managing markets around the globe.  In 2016 she founded SMARTnTX, a boutique consultancy focusing on smart city initiatives in the North Texas area.  She possesses a passion for new leading-edge technology and practical implementation of existing technology to provide intelligent solutions to solve every day as well as highly complex problems. 

Ms. Heyn is an active leader in a number of technical industry forums and organizations, including being responsible for the nomination of over 100 people for tech industry awards, many of whom are women in technology.  She currently serves as President of the Alumni Association and Alumni Board of Austin College.

“I am honored to serve Innov8te as Managing Director, and to drive the organization’s mission to support the growth and commercialization of smart cities in North Texas and beyond,” Ms. Heyn said. “The civic-focused companies of our founding cohort demonstrate tremendous energy and momentum for our smart cities vision in North Texas. I look forward to harnessing this enthusiasm and working with partners throughout the ecosystem to make this vision a reality.” 

Trey Bowles, Chairman of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, stated “We are thrilled to have Cynthia as our Managing Director of the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator. Her passion for new technology, building and scaling companies and creating sustainable cities around the globe, make her a natural choice for this role. We are excited to see Dallas become a leader in supporting the growth of civic and urban transformation-focused businesses and showcasing the innovative spirit of our region.” 

The members of Innov8te’s founding cohort are:

·      CityFrontCityFront’s Smart Cities Integration Platform™ is the most advanced integration platform in local government today, creating a unified view of the city’s data via ONE mobile app experience. CFI's competitive advantage is based on proprietary ZERO CODE development environment that enables technicians to get done in weeks what used to take months or years.

·      Evolve Energy:Evolve Energy is the energy company of the future - Evolve saves consumers on their energy costs through AI and IOT. For a monthly subscription, Evolve delivers electricity at the wholesale prices, while it’s AI platform enables customers to amplify their savings, for a total savings up to 50% off electricity 

·     Planet Alpha CorpPlanet Alpha Corporation (PαC) is a greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement infrastructure, pricing and products company integrating multiple Earth, economic, and social transactions to reduce emissions of GHGs. PαC creates new forest carbon storage products by commercializing and deploying patented technologies and services developed by Planetary Emissions Management Inc. (PEM). 

·     RedHouse:  A talented team of educators, developers, designers and innovators, RedHouse was founded to develop the new medium for education. RedHouse believes that Virtual Education will engage students at a higher level and will advance students by advancing their learning through a “theory of successful intelligence” models. 

·     Stroll: Stroll provides patented, “smart-city” marketing and analytics technology that empowers cities, tourism boards and merchants to drive and track regional economic development and commerce in near real-time. 

·     The Virtual WildAn Innovation Studio, marketing agency, engineering firm and a creative design group all in one. The Virtual Wild is home to experts in everything from engineering to creative strategy — blurring the boundaries between marketing, art, and technology. 

About the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator

In February 2019, the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator was announced to support entrepreneurs and early-stage companies in sectors supporting urban and civic transformationBy taking a regional approach, the incubator’s mission is to support and highlight the burgeoning DFW ecosystem of companies focused on building products and technologies in sub-sectors including data analytics and visualization, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and beyond. The application of these technologies seeks to improve eight areas of civic innovation: citizen engagement/services; equity and inclusion; infrastructure; governance; mobility; public health; public safety; and sustainability.

This incubator’s presence in the Dallas Innovation District and Smart Cities Living Lab continues to drive a focus on smart city technology research and development for the region. “Startup City Hall” will be housed within Innov8te to provide senior leaders at the city a dedicated office amongst the companies and ideas building from within the incubator to discuss ideas and solutions to address challenges facing the city.Founding public, private and academic collaborators of Innov8te include AT&TCiscoMicrosoftFoley Gardere, the University of Texas at Dallas(UT Dallas) The DEC Networkand the Dallas Innovation Alliance. Throughout the year, details on additional partnerships and programs will be announced. Please follow progress at @Innov8te1, @theDECtx, #SmartCitiesIncubator and @DallasSmartCity.



Inc.: The 10 Hottest Startup Cities in America

The 10 Hottest Startup Cities in America

San Francisco may still be the biggest startup haven, but other rivals are gaining ground.

It should come as no surprise that San Francisco continues to nurture fast-growing startups, but other metropolitan hubs are catching up. Thanks to strong talent pipelines, growing markets, and big exits, three Texas cities--Austin, Houston, and Dallas--are proving that you don't need a coastal location to launch a successful startup.

The following 10 U.S. cities have the highest collective three-year revenue growth rates among this year's Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S

Here they are, in ascending order of fast growth.

10. Dallas

3-year revenue growth 113% | Inc. 5000 companies 74

Entrepreneurs flock to city for its low regulations, zero corporate income taxes, and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, or DEC, which is a nonprofit organization serving as a hub for startup networking, funding, and mentorship. Among Dallas's Inc. 5000 companies are computer consulting firm Allata (No. 40) and online sporting-goods seller OrderMyGear (No. 1,443). 

9. Houston

3-year revenue growth 117% | Inc. 5000 companies 84

After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, the Houston area's construction industry grew tremendously to help rebuild and repair the storm's damage. Last year, the region led the nation for construction job growth, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Houston-based Inc. 5000 companies include oil pipeline services company JP Services (No. 792) and contractor services firm CC&D (No. 1,973). 

8. Chicago

3-year revenue growth 141% | Inc. 5000 companies 110

There's more to Chicago than harsh winters and deep-dish pizza: The city has a diverse and healthy business culture, prompting tech behemoths like Stripe, Salesforce, Google, and Facebook to build satellite offices there. Among this year's fastest-growing Inc. 5000 businesses are e-commerce logistics company ShipBob(No. 99) and digital education startup RedShelf (No. 231). 

7. Los Angeles

3-year revenue growth 160% | Inc. 5000 companies 102

Most associate this West Coast hub with Hollywood, but this city is also a hospitable ecosystem for startups. Prominent industries include financial services and advertising and marketing. Startups based there include customer acquisition firm MuteSix (No. 15) and data management provider VideoAmp (No. 387). 

6. Denver

3-year revenue growth 161% | Inc. 5000 companies 48

Denver has far more to offer than high altitudes and pot dispensaries. In addition to software firms like Apto (No. 2,019), which specializes in real estate, and OrthoFi (No. 2,091), which offers back-office services like billing and appointment reminders, the city is becoming a hotbed for food and beverage businesses. That includes filtered water dispenser maker FloWater (No. 493) and dedicated contract brewery Sleeping Giant Brewing Company (No. 1,439). 

5. Atlanta

3-year revenue growth 185% | Inc. 5000 companies 101

The city is rich in tech talent, thanks to computer science and engineering programsat Georgia Tech, Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta. That may explain why just over a quarter of the 101 Inc. 5000 Atlanta-based companies are in the software and IT services industries. Overall, 2019 honorees include GreenPrint (No. 71), which helps businesses reduce their environmental footprint, and coding boot camp DigitalCrafts (No. 117).

4. San Diego

3-year revenue growth 188% | Inc. 5000 companies 71

With 24 incubators and accelerator programs, along with strong talent pipelines from the University of California, San Diego, and nearby military bases, the city is a sanctuary for startups. San Diego's 2019 Inc. 5000 honorees include non-pharmacological treatment startup Amenity Health (No. 96), plant-based protein drink maker Koia (No. 187), and ecofriendly beach towel business Sand Cloud (No. 308).

3. New York City

3-year revenue growth 197% | Inc. 5000 companies 199

Tech jobs are dominating the New York City startup scene; the city has more tech workers than the Bay Area, according to a 2018 report by the market research company Forrester. That's helped unicorns like Warby Parker and WeWork, as well as the NYC-based Inc. 5000 companies. Among them are online investment company YieldStreet (No. 14), custom engagement ring site With Clarity (No. 18), and direct-to-consumer cookie dough enterprise Sweet Loren's (No. 114).

2. Austin

3-year revenue growth 259% | Inc. 5000 companies 87

Austin has become a haven for startups, thanks in part to its high rate of entrepreneurship and job creation. The city earned the top spot on Inc.'s 2018 Surge Cities list, which tracks the U.S. metro areas with the most economic momentum. In addition to tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, which all have outposts in the area, the city boasts innovative food businesses like No. 3, Cece's Veggie Co., a veggie noodle maker, and No. 650, Maggie Louise Confections, a handcrafted chocolatier. 

1. San Francisco

3-year revenue growth 413% | Inc. 5000 companies 52

San Francisco reclaims its spot at the top thanks to its renowned startup ecosystem. While the Bay Area has long been known for cultivating unicorns--Airbnb, Stripe, and Uber were all founded there--it's also home to new, flourishing startups like the print-on-demand platform Printify (No. 24) and ecofriendly home-goods delivery service Grove Collaborative (No. 87). If you can afford the expensive rent, San Francisco remains one of the best environments for burgeoning businesses.

Business Insider: The Dallas Chapter of the United Nations Association to Recognize 11 North Texans for Sustainable Development

The Dallas Chapter of the United Nations Association to Recognize 11 North Texans for Sustainable Development

August 7, 2019

The Dallas Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA, a national membership organization, devoted to strengthening the U.S.- UN relationship through public education and advocacy, announced its 2019 UN Day Global Leadership Award recipients. This year's extraordinary group, who through their body of work, have advanced the UN Sustainable Development Goals, promoting gender and economic equality, immigration reform, quality education, humanitarianism, democracy, and much more. UNA-USADallas will honor its recipients at the annual UN Day Global Leadership Awards Dinner on October 24th, at the Irving Arts Center. 

2019 UN Day Global Leadership Award Honorees

Mary Anne Alhadeff
President and Chief Executive Officer, KERA 
Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) 

David J. Tesmer, MPA 
Senior Vice President of Community Engagement 
and Advocacy, Texas Health Resources 
Goal 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) 

Daron Babcock
Executive Director, Bonton Farms
Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) 

Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks
Precinct One, Tarrant County, Texas
Goal 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) 

Jay Veal, M.Ed 
CEO, It's Not Complicated Tutoring, LLC. 
Goal 4 (Quality Education) 

Trammell S. Crow
Founder, Earth X 
Goal 13 (Climate Action) 

Dr. Michael J. Sorrell
President, Paul Quinn College
Goal 1 (No Poverty) 

Jennifer Sanders
Executive Director, Dallas Innovation Alliance 
Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) 

Lumbie Mlambo 
Founder, JB Dondolo Inc. 
Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) 

City of Dallas
Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability 

Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) 

Almas Muscatwalla 
Director, Thanksgiving Square Foundation 
Eleanor Roosevelt Lifetime Achievement Award 

The UN Day Global Leadership Awards Dinner is a one-of-a-kind event that brings together community leaders, educators, legislators, Faith & nonprofit organizations, and attendees to engage on global affairs, civil and social justice, human rights, and much more.

The 2019 UN Day keynote speaker is Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP). Before joining CAP, Neera served as a key member of the health reform team of former President Barack Obama, where she helped to develop and pass the Affordable Care Act. She also managed all domestic policy initiatives during Obama's first presidential campaign and has served in several leadership roles for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

TICKETS: Individual tickets, tables and information on sponsorship opportunities are now available at 

About UNA-USA: The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years, UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world.

About the United Nations Foundation: The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world's most pressing problems and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at:

Dallas Morning News: Some Dallas area residents don’t have reliable internet access. The Dallas Fed wants to change that.

Some Dallas area residents don’t have reliable internet access. The Dallas Fed

wants to change that.

Dallas Morning News, Melissa Repko, August 6, 2019

About 160 city officials, nonprofit leaders, business executives and educators gathered at the all-day event that focused on the importance of reliable, affordable and high-speed internet — and solutions that could help expand access to everyone. 

Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the country's fastest-growing regions. It boasts a hot real estate market and is home to two dozen Fortune 500 companies. 

But on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas spotlighted a problem that jeopardizes the upward mobility of some of the region's residents: a sharp divide between people who have access to reliable internet service and those who do not.

About 160 city officials, nonprofit leaders, business executives and educators gathered at the all-day Digital Inclusion Summit in Dallas. The event focused on the importance of reliable, affordable, high-speed internet — and solutions that could help expand access to everyone.

"When you look at broadband today, it is the tool of opportunity," said Hugh Miller, the city of Dallas' chief information officer. "And if you don't have affordable broadband that has a decent amount of speed, you are going to miss out on today's opportunities."

Miller said Dallas trails other cities that have pushed for the build-out of fiber-optic cable. "Part of the complexity is catching up and doing it as rapidly as possible," he said.

In Dallas, the digital divide is stark. About 42% of Dallas households do not have a subscription to home broadband, according to the most recent five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Jordana Barton, a senior adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, showed a map of Dallas shaded dark plum to indicate areas where more residents have subscriptions for high-speed home broadband. In the bottom half of the map, especially in southern Dallas, the map's light pink indicated lower access and slower speeds.

Barton said connectivity goes beyond laying more fiber-optic cable. "We are really talking about human capital," she said. "How do we invest in people?"

Barton has helped organize similar digital inclusion summits in San Antonio and in Rockport, a coastal Texas town ravaged by Hurricane Harvey two years ago. She began studying the economic impact of the digital divide in 2015 after visiting colonias along the Texas-Mexico border. She met families that struggled with poverty and did not have basic infrastructure, such as wastewater management.

But parent after parent brought up the same concern: Their children, who didn't have internet, couldn't do their homework. She met a mom of two young boys who couldn't participate in a college program because most classes were online.

Barton said the internet has transformed nearly every aspect of how people live and work. Young children complete their homework online. Families track their savings through a banking website. And instead of driving to the doctor, a sick person can talk to his or her doctor on a video call.

Without reliable internet at home, people use a patchwork approach. They leapfrog among public libraries, McDonald's or other places that offer free Wi-Fi. They rely on smartphones as their primary connection to internet — at least until they hit pricey data caps or fall behind on bills.

In panels and keynote speeches Tuesday, speakers swapped strategies and encouraged local leaders to look across the country for creative solutions. Banks can help finance the build-out of fiber-optic cable. Libraries can lend people a mobile hotspot that provides home Wi-Fi. Nonprofits can offer classes at libraries — or even in laundromats — to teach digital skills.

Francella Ochillo, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Next Century Cities, challenged the room to reach out to the disconnected as they look for solutions. In South Bend, Ind., she said, tech advocates and city leaders went door-to-door to talk to people.

Ben Magill, executive director of the Dallas County Community College District's Labor Market Intelligence Center, said expanding internet access is crucial if the Dallas area wants to build up its local workforce and grow the talent that companies need.

"Maybe my mind is just too simple. I just don't understand why we cannot fix this in a place like Dallas with all the resources and all the different institutions and all the different grants," he said. "I know it's complicated on paper, but this is the opportunity of our time."

Dallas Morning News: Dallas digital haves and have-nots

Dallas digital haves and have-nots

Dallas Morning News, Melissa Repko and Allan James Vestal, August 30, 2019

Catandra Hollins knows both sides of the digital divide.

During her high school years in Highland Hills, a neighborhood near Paul Quinn College in Dallas, she juggled debate team, advanced placement classes and a college-level dual-credit program — all without internet in her home.

Her mom, a teacher, couldn’t afford Spectrum, and AT&T didn’t offer service in their southern Dallas apartment building. 

Before and after classes, she’d find a spot in the computer lab to do homework, research scholarships and apply for college. Now a student at Texas Tech, the 21-year-old has fast, reliable internet access for the first time.

AT&T, the nation’s largest internet provider and a leading Dallas corporate citizen, plays a major role in deciding where speedier internet is rolled out in its hometown. And those decisions can influence who advances in a digital economy — and who doesn’t. 

In Dallas-Fort Worth, AT&T invests in newer, faster internet in neighborhoods with higher property values and upgrades it later — or not at all — in areas with lower property values. That’s according to an analysis by The Dallas Morning News of data the company supplied to federal regulators.

It also spends millions of dollars lobbying for laws in Texas, including one that limits the tools Dallas can use to encourage AT&T and other providers to invest in underserved areas. The company prices internet service so that Dallas households with slower speeds pay as much as, and sometimes more than, those with faster service.

AT&T said it adds faster connections in newer neighborhoods because it’s easier and less expensive to install high-speed lines during construction. 

It takes pride in its regional philanthropy, from a homelessness initiative in Dallas to community betterment projects, and it defended its record in serving lower-income neighborhoods. The company said it has added 130,000 fiber-optic cable connections in southern Dallas but declined to provide supporting data, saying it’s proprietary. 

As wireless technology advances, AT&T also said it’s becoming less important to dig up streets and yards to bury high-speed lines in older inner-city neighborhoods.

It’s that next generation of technology that threatens to widen the divide.

The coming of 5G

AT&T and its rivals are spending billions to build out networks for 5G service by laying fiber, upgrading cell towers and installing small cells. 

The antenna-based small cells are installed on street lights and utility poles to boost cellphone reception and build a 5G network. This next-generation wireless technology will bring faster, more reliable cell service and a new way to deliver home broadband.

The company had applied to install about 580 small cells in Dallas as of mid-July, according to city records. Only 66 of the proposed sites are south of the Trinity River, a historically lower-income area that includes nearly a third of the city’s households. This sets the stage for history to repeat itself, with service in poorer neighborhoods like Fair Park looking different from affluent areas like Uptown.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said he expects 5G to replace home broadband within three to five years. That shift could bring new competition and faster speeds to neighborhoods — if they have the infrastructure.

5G will also cost customers more and require new phones, Stephenson has said. 

Ed Drilling, AT&T senior vice president of external and regulatory affairs, said AT&T is deciding where to add small cells by “looking at traffic patterns and where we need the relief” and “looking at where our biggest [5G] opportunities are.”

“We never have been in the business of letting somebody else design our network and tell us where we need to put sites,” he said. “We do it based on very specific information about where we see the need and where we know our customers will value this extra capacity the most. That’s what drives our decisions.”

Higher speeds and better internet also make it easier for people to seize economic opportunities.

Jordana Barton, a senior adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, studies the connection between internet access and upward mobility.

“If we create haves and have-nots, the people that do have connectivity and don’t, basically you’re saying, ‘You’re not going to participate in the economy. You’re not going to participate in the workforce. Your children are going to have a disadvantage in school. They’re not going to be able to get the best education.’ Then you’re creating cycles of poverty,” she said.

Teens are stuck typing essays for college applications on their phones. Parents can’t take online college courses. 

“The kids growing up in South Dallas have no less talent than a child growing up in Plano,” Barton said. “It’s the opportunity that’s different. And that’s why infrastructure and closing the digital divide is so critical right now. It’s the biggest ethical challenge that we’re facing of the technological revolution.”

For internet providers, as with any for-profit businesses, the mandate to make money can be at odds with serving community needs. AT&T can choose where to invest its money to generate the most return. In 2018, it brought in $28.5 billion in revenue from internet service — giving it the biggest share of the national market at 25%, according to research firm IBISWorld.

But the company’s business also relies on real estate that’s owned by the public to install fiber-optic cable, antennas and other equipment. Some argue that makes internet service more like electricity or any other utility that should be accessible to everyone.

Not connected

Dallas ranks among the worst-connected for U.S. cities of its size. It’s not much better than cities long associated with economic hardship, such as Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore.

Nearly 42% of Dallas households don’t subscribe to fiber, broadband or cable home internet, according to 2013-17 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

But drive 10 or 15 miles north, and you’ll find some of Texas’ best-connected cities. In the affluent suburbs of Frisco and Allen, only about 12% of households don’t subscribe to home internet.

The Federal Communications Commission defines broadband as 25 megabits per second or faster. Some of AT&T’s internet offerings are slower than that.

The News examined the availability of three types of infrastructure: the minimum broadband speed, the fastest internet with fiber-optic cable and the planned locations for small cells for 5G service.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, AT&T’s slower internet services were found more often in neighborhoods with lower property values. That’s according to an analysis of AT&T’s latest available reports to the FCC from 2014 to 2017 and county appraisal district data from the same years.

Across a five-county area, homes in census blocks where AT&T did not offer broadband at the end of 2017 had a median property value of $118,000 — more than 50% less than the median for homes in blocks where it offered faster speeds. 

AT&T said it has continued to bring faster options to neighborhoods across D-FW since the end of 2017. The FCC has not released 2018 data, and the company would not provide newer reports it has submitted to the agency. 

AT&T’s rollout of its fastest internet option — fiber to the home — was uneven and followed a similar pattern in some parts of the region, too, according to The News’ analysis. 

In suburban counties, AT&T deployed its fastest internet option with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second in wealthier neighborhoods, according to The News’ analysis. At the end of 2017, the 85,000 homes in Collin, Rockwall and Denton counties in census blocks that had fiber service available had a median value of more than $352,000 — nearly $90,000 above the median of the 410,000 homes that did not. In urban counties such as Dallas and Tarrant, the relationship was less clear. 

“In fast-growing suburban areas, it’s easier and more cost-efficient for us to deploy our equipment during their construction and development,” AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said in a statement. “However, we continue to deploy fiber in all areas, and if you look at the region as a whole, nearly 60% of our build is in older neighborhoods.”

Academics and nonprofits who studied AT&T’s internet investments in other cities reported similar findings. In Cleveland, for example, an analysis of 2016 FCC data found that AT&T had not made broadband improvements in the vast majority of Cleveland census blocks with high poverty rates, despite upgrades in surrounding suburbs.

Oklahoma State University professor Brian Whitacre, who studies the economic impact of internet in rural areas, was hired by a law firm to map AT&T’s broadband service in Cleveland, Detroit and Dallas as part of an FCC complaint. His findings were the same across all three cities: Higher-poverty areas tended to have lower-quality internet options.

Some advocates describe AT&T’s investment practices as “digital red-lining.”

AT&T said it has invested $3.4 billion over the past three years in its Dallas-Fort Worth wireless and wired networks — but it would not say how much of that boosted home internet options.

“It’s our hometown, so we are dedicated to providing the best service that we can all across the city,” said Drilling, the senior vice president.

Surprisingly slow

In Dallas, Cassandra and Joseph Laster have seen the differences in AT&T’s internet speeds firsthand. In early May, they moved from a townhome in Old East Dallas to a two-story house in Fair Park.

But the couple soon discovered they couldn’t get the same high-speed internet from AT&T that they had gotten just 3 miles away. AT&T offered one option: an internet plan that maxed out at 768 kilobits per second, so slow that it would be difficult to watch the couple’s streaming service: AT&T TV Now.

“It never occurred to us that we would have an issue,” Cassandra said. “Fair Park is right there. We’re close to downtown. Even though it is the south side, I felt like it [high-speed internet] would be available if the customer wanted to purchase it.”

The Lasters now pay more for internet — even though they have a slower speed. They signed up for Spectrum, the only other option they found in the neighborhood.

At their old home, they could get internet with speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second for $70 a month. In Fair Park, the couple pays $110 a month for internet that’s up to 400 megabits per second. 

“Our voice is not as loud, and it’s not a priority,” she said. 

Like the Lasters, people who live in neighborhoods that haven’t gotten internet upgrades can wind up paying as much or more for slower service.

In Fair Park, for example, AT&T charges a starting price of $40 a month for its cheapest internet service — but what customers get for that ranges from up to 768 kilobits per second to up to 5 megabits per second. 

In Preston Hollow, customers pay $50 a month for up to 300 megabits per second.

City property

In the spring of 2017, lobbyists crowded into a hearing in the Texas Capitol and took turns at the microphone, speaking in lingo that might confuse a casual listener. Small cells. Network nodes. Public rights of way.

The bill lawmakers were weighing had implications for every technology-using Texan — and would shape who gets the fastest and most reliable cell and internet service and when.

To prepare for 5G, AT&T and other providers need city approvals to install antenna-based small cells on street lights and utility poles. The bill capped the fees cities can charge telecom companies for installing small cells on city property.

It passed both houses with overwhelming support, and every Dallas representative supported it.

AT&T helped write the bill along with lobbying for it. In a meeting in a Capitol conference room, AT&T lobbyist David Tate took a draft of the bill out of his briefcase and passed it around to legislative staff and other attendees, said Dallas city attorney Don Knight, who attended the meeting. (Tate did not return calls for comment.)

As the bill moved closer to becoming law, the maximum fee a city could charge fell from $1,000 for each small cell to $250.

“As providers realized they were winning the political argument, [the fee] kept dropping,” said Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League.

Behind the scenes, AT&T had spent several months in talks with Texas cities, including Dallas, to develop a model ordinance. Then it disappeared from the talks and reemerged supporting the plan to cap fees, Knight said. 

Sandlin declined to speak about AT&T’s influence on the bill’s outcome but said industry was the clear winner. “We got outgunned — and that’s all I want to say on it,” he said.

The capped fee is a fraction of the $2,000 the city of Dallas planned to charge for small cells, which the city expects will eventually number around 10,000. And the caps don’t apply to private landowners the providers negotiate with.

The lower fees torpedoed a Dallas plan to encourage providers to invest more equitably. City Council member Lee Kleinman said the city wanted to set fees based on real estate values. In pricier neighborhoods like Uptown, companies would have paid a higher fee to install a small cell in the public right of way. In needier areas, the city would charge significantly less.

But with the capped fees, he said, the city can’t afford to cut rates any further.

“If you look at your home phone bill or your internet bill or your cellphone bill, they just continuously seem to go up, and if you look at the stock market returns and the dividends people like AT&T pay to their shareholders, clearly a lot of money is being made in that industry — a lot more than it would ever cost them to pay a fair value for this right of way,” Kleinman said.

Cities fight back

The fight over 5G is pitting the city of Dallas against its hometown telecom provider. Dallas has joined a group of 46 cities challenging the Texas law. The cities say it’s unconstitutional because it’s giving away public property to a private company at a below-market rate. 

At a council meeting in January, Dallas council members expressed bewilderment when they learned that their Dallas-area state representatives had backed the bill. And some spoke in frustration about how southern Dallas could get skipped over again.

Knight, the city of Dallas’ attorney, said the state law left cities without bargaining chips to push providers to build infrastructure in poorer neighborhoods.

“Providers chase the customers with the most money and ignore the rest because that is how you make the most money,” he said. “That has real consequences for our communities. While state and local policy makers give lip service to fixing the digital divide, they have removed from local leaders the very tools that could be used to erase it forever.”

Sen. Kelly Hancock, a Republican who represents North Texas, sponsored the small-cell bill. He received more than $158,000 in campaign contributions from AT&T in the past 10 years. The only state officeholders who have received more are Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Through a staffer, Hancock said he doesn’t discuss laws that are in litigation. But he emphasized in a statement that he listened to both cities and industry.

“Any implication that one stakeholder was given preference during this very lengthy and thorough bill drafting process is a lie,” he said.

What’s next 

Even if cities won a reprieve from the cap on small-cell fees, it wouldn’t solve the digital divide and all of its causes.

Some companies are looking for ways to help. Microsoft, for example, is focused on expanding internet access nationally, especially in rural areas. 

Best Buy sponsors 29 teen tech centers across the U.S. where kids can do their homework or take coding classes during the summer. One of them is in South Dallas, next to the Juanita Craft Recreation Center. 

AT&T’s most significant broadband-related initiatives were required by the government. The company agreed to several conditions as part of federal regulators’ approval of its 2015 acquisition of DirecTV: The FCC required it to expand its fiber footprint to at least 12.5 million customer locations within four years of closing the deal, provide gigabit speeds to some libraries and schools and create a low-priced internet option for low-income consumers.

That option, AT&T’s Access Program, is available to people who qualify for food stamps and costs $10 a month. The company caps the service’s speed at 10 megabits per second — lower than the FCC definition of broadband — even if faster speeds are available at the person’s address. 

AT&T wouldn’t say how many people use the Access Program in the U.S. or in Texas. 

Barton of the Federal Reserve said her goal is to make sure fewer young people grow up without home internet.

Priscilla Beltran was one of those kids. She got a brand-new laptop two years ago from Lake Highlands High School. But outside of school, she could do little with the device.

Her Google Chromebook required internet access, which she didn't have at home because her mom couldn’t afford it.

Beltran, now 17, skipped lunch to do homework in the high school library and walked to a public library to study. Her classmates could work on assignments at home until the midnight deadline. She had to scramble to submit them before the library closed.

“It’s kind of like seeing your goal and seeing what you want to do, but you can’t quite grasp it,” she said.

Last year, Beltran moved in with her grandmother, who subscribes to Spectrum internet since AT&T doesn’t offer service to her address. Beltran is taking college-level courses, is senior class president and is a member of the National Honor Society. She also participated in Storytellers without Borders, a grant-funded program organized by The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Public Library to encourage and develop young writers.

To be part of today’s economy, the Dallas Fed’s Barton said, people must not only have internet options in their neighborhoods but also a way to afford reliable connections that let them build strong digital skills. 

That will take cooperation from local governments, nonprofits, educators and companies — a coalition Barton assembled at a recent summit to discuss ways to expand internet access in the Dallas area. 

But, she said, it comes down to a simple question: “Do we have the will to do it?”

Dallas Morning News: Closing the digital divide: a more connected workforce means a more prosperous Dallas

Closing the digital divide: a more connected workforce means a more prosperous Dallas

Dallas Morning News, Editorial Board, September 2, 2019

Wealth inequality in the U.S. is at its highest level since the Great Depression. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2014 Survey of Consumer Finances. The top 3% of earners account for 30.5% of all income and hold 54.4% of all the net worth. And according to Pew Research Center, “America’s upper-income families have a median net worth that is nearly 70 times that of the country’s lower-income families, the widest wealth gap between these families in 30 years.”

But wealth inequality isn’t what’s troubling us as it’s just a symptom of a core problem; namely, inequality of opportunity. And the solution to that problem is not government-enforced wealth redistribution. It’s a holistic approach to providing equal opportunity.

That’s why we’re paying close attention to a new initiative championed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to tackle one of the most important barriers to opportunity in our economy: broadband internet access. According to Fed senior adviser Jordana Barton, Dallas lags behind other cities in broadband access. Of Dallas households, 42% do not have a subscription to home broadband. On a list of 75 large U.S. cities with the worst connectivity rates, Dallas ranks sixth, worse than any other Texas city.

An exhaustive report Sunday by Dallas Morning News reporter Melissa Repko demonstrated just how significant this problem is and how business interests too often misalign with the growing need for good broadband service in poor communities.

Broadband connectivity is worst in the parts of our city that need it most. Last month, when Barton presented the Fed’s plan at the digital inclusion symposium, she showed a map of connectivity in the city. The southern half of the map was a broad, pink desert of exclusion — a swath of residents disconnected from career, education, housing, health care and transportation opportunities.

This isn’t acceptable. Broadband is a tool of opportunity. Employment, education, transportation, health care, finances, news and all sorts of communication increasingly depend on reliable internet. And the internet is especially important to the workforce. By some estimates, 70% of job openings are posted online, and 80% of jobs require digital skills. As Barton reported in a symposium last month on digital inclusion, “As basic services and tools that are fundamental to upward mobility become increasingly digitized, the digital divide creates a structural barrier to closing the income and wealth gaps.”

AT&T, the international telecom giant in our own backyard, is making business decisions about the expansion of broadband. Too often, as Repko’s reporting showed, those decisions are not aligning with creating equal opportunity in poor and minority communities — even as they expand opportunity in wealthy and largely white communities.

AT&T would be wise to recognize what political leaders in Dallas long ago recognized, that expanding the opportunity for prosperity everywhere is the best way to build greater profitability and sustainability over the long term.

That means looking past the numbers as they are today for where 5G expansion is needed and into what the larger city and region can become. The investment now will pay dividends later.

AT&T isn’t alone in this. Closing the digital divide means more than installing fiber optics and constructing mobile hotspots. It means digital skills training and computer access. And that is why the Fed’s proposal of a public/private partnership makes a lot of sense. City government can incentivize infrastructure and provide basic access. (The biennial budget under consideration at City Hall includes $136,764 for 300 mobile hotspots.) But digital access is not only a civic consideration like parks or potholes; it’s a market consideration. Or as Barton called it, “an ecosystem for entrepreneurship.”

Other cities have tackled this issue and may provide guidance for Dallas’ efforts. In 2015, the Dallas Fed helped convene a coalition of government, education, business and nonprofit organizations in Brownsville, McAllen and Pharr to address the same issue. Last summer, Boulder, Colo., issued $15 million in debt to construct a city-owned broadband network. And this year San Jose, Calif., launched what is to be the nation’s largest digital inclusion fund, generated by fees charged to telecom companies, with the goal of bringing high-speed internet to 50,000 homes in the next 10 years. These approaches range widely in terms of who bears the cost burden, and Dallas leaders will have to work carefully and cooperatively to create a solution that closes the divide while also meeting market demands.

We believe the business community in Dallas is smart enough to see the inevitable returns from investing in a more knowledgeable, more connected workforce. Greater digital access improves the ability of workers to move up the economic ladder and improves the ability of companies to innovate and succeed. Thus far, the effort has been driven by the Fed, along with the Dallas Innovation Alliance. We’d like to see the Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, telecom providers and faith groups join the effort.

In October, Barton and her team will hold what she calls a “roll up your sleeves” meeting with government, business and community leaders to drill into specific costs and responsibilities, and how those will be distributed among stakeholders. We look forward to seeing  their progress. For now, we’re glad they’ve made a start. When our city ranks among the worst in the nation in any category, it causes concern. And in a business city like ours, ranking sixth-worst in a category critical to a powerful workforce is a problem we must solve.

Dallas Innovates:"Digital Rights are Civil Rights." Dallas Fed Inclusion Summit Aims to Close the Digital Divide

"Digital Rights are Civil Rights." Dallas Fed Inclusion Summit Aims to Close the Digital Divide

Dallas Innovates, Payton Potter, August 7, 2019

From building digital workforce skills to providing broadband access to students in low-income families and impoverished areas, a number of organizations and stakeholders are working to close the digital divide in Dallas and across the country.

A one-day Digital Inclusion Summit gathered experts at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas this week to examine the digital divide and discuss how to collaborate on various approaches to achieve digital inclusion and equity in underserved Dallas communities.

The conference convened local government officials, people in education, nonprofits, tech companies, and STEM orgs, to discuss infrastructure and financial needs in communities with limited digital resources, including broadband access, mobile phone affordability, and digital workforce skills.

Dallas Fed hosted the event in partnership with the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Dallas County Community College District, Dallas Innovation Alliance, Paul Quinn College, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas.

Susan Hoff, of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, opened the day with a keynote titled “The Digital Divide and Economic Mobility.” 

United Way, she said, is focused on lowering the entry barrier to upward mobility for people in the North Texas area. In some cases, that means equipping teachers with digital resources to ensure students are on track with curriculum and reading programs. In others, it means providing educational resources for parents to advance to middle-skill jobs, creating financial stability.

Hoff highlighted the story of Kiana, a mother who recently completed a workforce training program through United Way. Because of the program, she was able to progress from a low-level job and launch a career at Parkland Hospital.

“She wouldn’t have been able to do that if she did not have connectivity in the first place, do that course work, be able to be online to study, and to be able to move forward at her job,” Hoff said.

The organization also works with local school districts to help students be more prepared to take on college courses or make informed career moves, according to Hoff.

“We know 87 percent of our southern Dallas ISD students are not college and career ready,” she said. “A lot of times, the challenge there is they’ve not had the opportunity to do their homework, their schools have been challenged in terms of connectivity, and the resources are not there. It’s a challenge.”

Public Assets and Infrastructure

A panel of three experts in digital infrastructure tackled the topic of accessibility for residents in low-income areas or regions with limited access to high-speed internet. Panelists were:

Gabriel Garcia: Director and Senior Counsel of CPS Energy, the City of San Antonio’s municipal electric utility.

“My task this morning is to provide you a framework of how to look at the issue of infrastructure from a local community, local government perspective,” Garcia said. “And based on that framework, we will have further discussions and just also kind of frame up the discussion for the rest of the day.”

Dwight Thomas: Broadband Network Engineer, City of Mont Belvieu. The city is home to Texas’ first municipal-owned and operated fiber-optic broadband network.

“What we have now fully fiber, completely underground, offering gigabit services to our local community. Since then, our community has grown substantially,” Thomas said. The city’s population is “approaching 10,000 people, we’re proud to say that we are serving more than 60% of our community, and it’s growing.”

Hugh Miller: Chief Information Officer, City of Dallas. Miller aided the City of San Antonio in building a government internet system and is working to bring a similar solution to Dallas.

“We’re looking at our community centers and different avenues like that for training purposes,” Miller said. “We’re working with nonprofits and other entities; the city also has what they call the City Store. Devices that we pull out of the City Store—we’re working with them to potentially offer those up as devices that are accessible for those who need this inclusion program.”

Private capital goes to certain places where it can make the most money. How does government fill the gaps in infrastructure for things that don’t return a profit, like free public Wifi?

Garcia: “We’re building a new public safety radio system because the current radio system for the city and the county are end-of-life. When it comes to public safety, these networks really need a level of reliability that many times the private sector cannot provide. In this particular case, CPS energy will be providing enough fiber connectivity for 28 towers that will make up this radio system.” 

Thomas: “One of the biggest things that we have on our docket is that we want to use this as a platform to be the catalyst for developing a smaller city. What that really means from a citizen perspective is that if you have a retention pond behind your home, and it’s flooding, you want to know when it’s at capacity. Since our community is kind of nestled around infrastructure such as oil and gas, we want to know when there’s a leak. These are things we’re looking at to leverage our investment, to be smarter.”

The Digital Skills Gap in the Workforce

As each section of society becomes more dependent on technology, more jobs—even entry-level jobs—are requiring digital skills. Three Dallas-area experts are working to shrink that gap and strengthen the local workforce. Panelists were:

Laila Alequresh: Chief Innovation Officer, City of Dallas. Dallas is making investments to grow and train the workforce across the city, including creating programs to attract elementary students to STEM and teach the preexisting workforce new digital skills.

“In the past, we have about $1.5 million we allocate across four different providers. We traditionally focus on healthcare and construction sectors, but we’re moving into other sectors, including logistics, advanced manufacturing, and IT. Based on our current investments… about 280 completed certificates last year. About half of those are jobs now.”

Laurie Bouillon Larrea: President/CEO, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas. The organization has partnered with companies like Penn Foster to provide online workforce skills training to people who make less than $25,000 a year.

“It’s putting people back to work with additional skills,” Larrea said. “All of these certificates are available at no cost to any and everyone who will sign up because it is privately funded. There’s no requirement.”

Pamela Luckett: Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, Dallas County Community College District. DCCCD educates not only recent high school graduates, but also adults looking to build new workforce skills or refocus their career goals.

“One of the [initiatives] that we are participating in right now… is the development of our Ascend Institute. The institute is a new corporate training initiative that works with several companies throughout the Dallas area to train both entry-level and incumbent workers in various IT related areas,” Luckett said.

“We’re redesigning our broadband connections, ensuring that students have access and connection as we are providing additional services. We have a lot of different other initiatives that will improve efficiency for students such as providing electronic resources to all of their textbooks,” she said.

How can a student learn more about the opportunities available to them?

Luckett: “The website will have all of the different programs, whether or not it’s a degree program, a training, or if it’s a certification program. We have about 41 schools set up participate in our Dual Credit Program. The leadership team works very closely to ensure that the needs are met, and that information is communicated out.”

How do you measure the success of your programs?

Larrea: “Since we are funded by the Texas Workforce Commission, all our activity is judged based on employer records. Ours is very finite. For the next two years after someone completes and leaves our program, wages are registered quarterly.”

Alequresh: “It’s not just enough to provide money for training; we’re really looking at long term outcomes providing stability and enabling people to have long term employment.”

Luckett: “With respect to our partnership with all the companies, we look at the end result of employment. So, once you actually go through the training or credentialing process, then what is that employment rate? And so we actually gather that information with all the partnerships that we have.”

How Cities Are Empowering Communities with Digital Inclusion Initiatives 

Francella Ochillo is the executive director of Next Century Cities. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the program supports community leaders across the U.S. in expanding broadband access and expanding digital infrastructure.

Ochillo focuses on technology and telecom issues and aims to assess the impact of policy proposals on marginalized communities, the bank said in a statement. Her work includes helping policymakers understand how broadband access can help revitalize communities and increase socioeconomic status.

“The community with ubiquitous broadband access to better educational outcomes, lower unemployment, and higher-end values,” Ochillo said in her keynote. “It is likely that the disconnected community will be locked out of the benefits of emerging technologies, which can improve education, safety, health, and economic mobility towards residents.”

Most Americans who lack broadband access, she said, aren’t sure how they’re impacted by inadequate digital resources. But, they know when their kids can’t finish their homework, they can’t apply for jobs online, or when they can’t access their health records.

“But one thing remains in either scenario: it’s that the Americans who are trapped in cycles of poverty will not be able to escape those cycles without the tools they need to survive,” she said.

A first-generation American, Ochillo said her family rose out of poverty only because of education. And, in 2019, career success is difficult to attain without a strong digital education.

“In my view, and in the digital society, digital rights are civil rights,” she said. “Access to the Internet has changed everything about the way that we communicate, the way that we learn, and the way that we connect with one another.”

Issuing a call to action, Ochillo implored attendees to raise their voices, enact change, and work to close the digital divide.

“I will use my power to elevate their voices and stand in solidarity with them,” she said. “We have the power to change people. Embrace it. My only question for you today is what you’re going to do with that when you leave this room.”

Paper City: Historic Dallas Neighborhood Being Reborn With Giant Adult Swings and Iconic Arches

Historic Dallas Neighborhood Being Reborn With Giant Adult Swings and Iconic Arches

This is a whole new West End

Megan Ziots, July 11

In an attempt to reinvigorate Dallas’ historic West End, two new projects have begun to bring life back to the iconic area. The lighted arches, originally in Dallas Alley, have been reimagined and relit. And a new park with giant porch swings for adults is also in the works.

Serving as a pathway to provide safe walkability from the West End to Victory Park, the new neon LED lighted arches were spearheaded by Dallas Innovation Alliance. They are computer programmable, making it easy to change the colors for big games or events. There will also be opportunity for kids to have their designs displayed.

Seen as a symbol of the good ‘ole days, when the West End was popular for nightlife in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a lot of excitement when the arches were relit.

A new park called West End Square has also been recently unveiled by Parks for Downtown Dallas. The nonprofit organization is currently working on Pacific Plaza, Carpenter Park and Harwood Park. Bordered by North Market, Corbin, North Record Streets and Spaghetti Warehouse, the .78 acre park will have plenty of tables, benches and some cool swings.

The space is being designed by landscape architects from James Corner Field Operations, who are known for designing projects around the world such as The High Line in New York City, Presidio Parklands in San Francisco and the Navy Pier in Chicago. Isabel Castilla is heading up the West End project.

Breaking ground in early 2020, the current parking lot will be transformed into a very green space with lots of grass, flowers and plants. It’ll also be Wi-Fi enabled so you can work outdoors. The area also just added The Luminary, an innovative new office space.

NBC: Dallas' West End Neon Arches Get New Life

Dallas' West End Neon Arches Get New Life

June 26, 2019

Under Woodall Rogers in an often overlooked pocket of Dallas, an icon came back to life Wednesday night.

It's been years since the neon arches in Dallas Alley that once welcomed visitors to the West End were extinguished as the district faded.

But as the West End has begun to show signs of a comeback, those invested had the idea to bring them back.

"For about two years we've been working on this vision of reanimating the arches here," said Executive Director Dallas Innovation Alliance Jennifer Sanders.

Together the alliance worked with Downtown Dallas, Inc., the American Airlines Center, VisitDallas, the West End Association and YO Ranch Steakhouse to raise the money necessary to create a more modern LED version of the lights.

Instead of Dallas Alley, the new lights illuminate the space under the freeway that connects Victory Park to the West End.

"When they light up, the nostalgia's going to hit I imagine," said Andrew Hood. 

As President of AKH Digital, Hood helps with marketing for the West End. He also grew up visiting as a kid when lights led the way to the popular West End Marketplace. 

"I think this is a sort of a precursor to a change that we're going to see in the district that's starting now and will continue over the next several years," said Hood.

If it's successful, Dallas Innovation Alliance hopes it will serve as a model for other neglected areas of the city.

"What we hope is that this is a great example of what can happen and what the art of the possible is in terms of taking this unutilized real estate essentially and making it a place for people," said Sanders.

Unlike the original neon arches, the new LED lights will be able to provide light shows relevant to what's happening in Dallas similar to several in the city's skyline.

WFAA: Historic arches return to the Dallas West End neighborhood

Historic arches return to the Dallas West End neighborhood

June 26, 2019

Many likely remember the historic neon arches that thousands walked under in the original Dallas Alley. They were eventually taken down, but now they are coming back

It’s an exciting week in Dallas’ historic West End neighborhood. Many likely remember the historic neon arches that thousands walked under in the original Dallas Alley. They were eventually taken down, but now they are coming back — with a twist.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Innovation Alliance unveiled another set of lit arches, not far from the old ones, that will showcase computer-programmable LED lights. The arches will serve as a walkway connecting the West End and Victory Park.

“Anybody that grew up in Dallas remembers these neon arches as the Gateway to the West End,” Jennifer Sanders Executive Director for the Dallas Innovation Alliance said. “The hope is that this creates memories for a new generation of Dallasites.”

The programmable LED lights will allow the group to change the colors for big events or games, it will also give kids the chance to possibly have their design displayed in public.

“Each of these LED bulbs can be separately programmed, so the different types of shows we’re going to be able to do over the year are just incredible,” Sanders said.

More than that, they hope it will ignite and connect two important neighborhoods in downtown Dallas.

“Because of the aesthetics here and the connection points, we really felt like this was a good way to re-imagine Dallas alley,” Sanders said. “So you think again, how do you match the old with the new, and reinvigorate this together and infuse, that is what I really hope this plaza becomes.”

Tony Street owns Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse and Family Thais Asian Bistro in the West End. He thinks the arches coming back signifies growth and resurgence for this neighborhood.

“It just reminds me of the good old times,” Street said. “It’s going to connect a couple of very important districts right in the middle of downtown Dallas.”

The arches were officially lit at a celebration in the West End Wednesday evening.

You can learn more about the work of the Dallas Innovation Alliance here.