Meet with Mentors is a great opportunity to connect with industry experts who can guide you and your concepts. Schedule your sessions with mentors of your choice on Friday/Saturday and get connected.
CEO and Cofounder, The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC)
Trey Bowles is a serial entrepreneur, social capitalist and educator. Trey Bowles is co-founder and CEO of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), where entrepreneurs learn how to start, build and grow businesses through training, education, mentorship, promotion and capital investment. In addition, Trey is Chair for Startup America; Adjunct Professor for Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University in the Division of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship; and co-founder of the Mayor’s Council in Dallas.
Bowles has held key leadership roles in the industries of music, entertainment and disruptive technology, including running the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing site Morpheus.
Trey lives in Dallas with his wife and two children and is committed to helping build a collaborative ecosystem at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and education within the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Digital Bible Manager, Faith Comes By Hearing
LouAnn Hunt is the Digital Bible Manager at Faith Comes By Hearing. She leads an awesome team who created the second-most downloaded Bible app, Bible.is, offering Bibles in over 800 languages. LouAnn also oversees the Digital Bible Platform, the world's largest digital library of Bible text, audio, and video content, which is available via API. Digital initiatives she manages include localization strategies, Deaf Bible app, KIDZ Bible app, Smart TV apps, radio, and satellite.She loves all things digital and is passionate about getting God's Word to everyone, everywhere in their heart language through every digital means available now and in the future. She is always looking for innovative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking to get the Bible into the hands of every human on earth. Her team's vision is for no one to have to search for the Bible in their language, "the Bible should just BE..."
Executive Pastor of Table/myGateway, Gateway Church
As Executive Pastor of Table/myGateway of Gateway Church, Shawn oversees the technology-based ministries of spiritual formation, community and mobile engagements. Shawn has over 20 years experience in leading and integrating ministry, technology and business. Prior to joining Gateway, Shawn co-founded a national, filtered internet service provider, Integrity Online. He also led several overseas ministry initiatives, including serving as President and CTO of Assemble Communications, a multi-national telecommunications company. He has been married to his wife, Brenda, for over 21 years, and together they have two girls and two boys.a.
Co-founder, International Space Apps Challenge
Ali works on expanding the scale and scope of public-private mass collaborations that improve governance and engage citizens in creating a better world. Her background in education, cross-cultural communication and theology provides the passion and articulation necessary to help companies and communities take their mission to the next level. She was a co-founder of the International Space Apps Challenge and National Day of Civic Hacking, two of the largest mass collaborations in history, and has traveled widely with a vision to ignite church planting movements in the nations.
CEO, CleanWeb Initiative
Digital Media Supervisor, Faith Comes By Hearing
Brian Emerson is the Digital Media Supervisor at Faith Comes By Hearing, a ministry working to bring the Bible everywhere for everyone, by any means. As one of the original team members of the FCBH digital team, Brian helps to coordinate and project manage a myriad of digital technologies at the ministry. This includes their suite of apps: Bible.is, Bible.is KIDZ, Deaf Bible, and the Bible.is Radio Network, as well as use of the ministries open access API, the Digital Bible Platform; the world's largest digital library of Bible text, audio, and video content. He also helps manage a variety of social media platforms, the Bible.is help desk, and data reporting. With a background in theatrical entertainment, working in theatre�s across the country and with Disney, Brian is fueled with creativity and zest for life. This energy empowers him each day to learn the trending curves of technology, in order to reach to world with God�s Word.
Director and Content Lead, Abide Prayer
Drew is the Director and Content Lead of Abide Prayer (Abide.Is), an amazing new curation platform of voiced guided prayers from the world’s leading voices in prayer. Abide is being built by a dedicated 12-member technology and design team in Palo Alto, CA that moved over from Google, eBay, Tesla, and others.
Prior to Abide, Drew was CEO of the international evangelism response ministry of Need Him Ministries for 19 years from its launch to global influence. It was established in 1996 to establish a safe place to engage millions of individuals worldwide in authentic live conversations about Jesus Christ through innovative media and progressive response opportunities.
Drew’s passion is to identify and eliminate media and technology barriers for the critical emerging Mosaic and Millennial generations to take a first freeing step towards spiritual engagement with Jesus
Jason is the founder and CEO of RethinkBooks.com, a dynamic social e-book company which focuses on engaging and interactive content allowing people to read together. With more than 10 years of technology and executive experience, Jason Illian is a visionary in the mobile and social new media space. Having raised over $30 million for new business ventures, Jason has a passion for taking great ideas and making them businesses. His strategic thinking has helped corporations, organizations, non-profits, churches, and leaders be more innovative.
Jason is also the former CEO of Big Jump Media (godtube.com and tangle.com), a Christian video network that had over 4 million monthly users.
Director of Technology, Global Media Outreach
Justin Miller is the Director of Technology at Global Media Outreach, an internet ministry whose vision is to share, disciple, and connect people with the gospel. As Director of Technology, Justin oversees a highly skilled team of developers who are responsible for 200 websites in 26 languages and have scaled them to reach over 1.3 billion people with the gospel. Justin believes anything is possible with enough time and hardware and loves solving practical problems with technology. Prior to GMO, Justin worked on technology teams at Cru and UCF, and graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2007 with degrees in math and computer science, and a focus on cryptography, computer forensics, and network security
Founder, Open Church
Kent Shaffer lives in an RV with his wife and 2 kids. It's part of his work with Open Church - an initiative to help disciples of Jesus collaborate, learn from each other, and share resources. At the core of this collaborative ecosystem is a free, global library of digital content and tools.
He also co-founded a design and marketing firm, launched and sold a few tech startups, and gave strategic counsel to groups such as LifeChurch.tv, Saddleback Church, charity: water, Leadership Network, and OneHope.
He writes at ChurchRelevance.com about the intersection of theology and methodology - what we do vs what Christ said. His ministry roots began as a missionary’s kid in Peru and evolved into 10+ years of youth and children’s ministry at Church on the Move, LifeChurch.tv, and Frontline Church.
Lydia Varela founded LatinaXchange as a means to equip Latinas to be successful in their personal lives, their communities and their careers.
Combining her extensive marketing experience, strong community relationships, and her passions for connecting people. Lydia is creating a community of vibrant and innovative women championing being a confident Latina today.
Lydia wants to become a Latina leader preparing Latinas to become the best version of themselves by hosting and collaborating with key groups to create events that provide valuable experiences and the opportunity to connect, share and exchange resources.
A Native Texan, Lydia is deeply connected to her local community but also considers herself a Citizen of the World. Through extensive global travel, work in international markets and volunteering with international groups, she has seen that other parts of the world (and our country) are more forward-thinking in terms of sustainable living and recycling. And she knows there are fantastic opportunities to do the same thing here. Lydia is thinking globally and acting locally.
Lydia has 20 years of marketing and branding experience, including 14 years at Mary Kay Inc., where she developed plans and communication strategies for marketing beauty products to women around the world. Most recently, she consulted with small businesses on branding and awareness. Lydia holds a Marketing Communications degree from The University of Texas at Arlington.
With a passion for empowering women, Lydia is active in many local organizations. After years of working to make change for the better, she is already an influencer in the community. A natural connector, Lydia enjoys volunteering, networking, local arts and social media. Her strong relationships and organizational ties afford her opportunities to communicate with and educate other influential women.
D Academy Fellow 2015
The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, Ambassador 2014
Latino BIG Influencer, Dallas Convention & Visitor Bureau
Leadership Texas Class of 2012
La Cima Volunteer Leadership Award, 2010 Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Co-founder, National Day of Civic Hacking
Nicholas Skytland is an expert on harnessing the power of open innovation, data and technology to reform business and government. He founded NASA's Open Innovation Program, where he led the implementation of numerous White House mandates, including the Open Government, Open Data and Digital Strategy directives, with a focus on liberating high value data sets, pushing forward the use of open source software, developing cutting-edge technology, and creating participatory opportunities to engage citizens in solving humanity’s grand challenges.