TechFW announced in a release that Hayden Blackburn has been promoted to Executive Director, effective Saturday, Sept. 15. He succeeds Darlene Boudreaux, who will continue part-time as one of the coaches for TechFW clients, especially those in the life science industry.
Maxwell Lea, Chair of the TechFW Board of Directors, said, “We have all been working toward this day for the past couple of years. Hayden has shown himself to be a thoughtful, capable and visionary leader who will enable TechFW to continue to be an effective catalyst for innovative technology companies in our area.”
Blackburn, a leading strategist, developer of programs and organizer among startups and entrepreneurs, has been the Assistant Director since arriving from IDEA Works FW in December 2016. He has been engaged in all TechFW programs, but most notably ThinkLab, Cowtown Angels, EpICMavs at the University of Texas at Arlington, TechNest and M-Crew, a new community/client mentor match that leverages outside talent in a volunteer capacity.
“I have been impressed with Hayden’s knowledge, work ethic, and temperament. His ability to listen, understand and lead are qualities that are beneficial for TechFW, its clients and its partners,” Boudreaux said. “He has been a strong leader for the Cowtown Angels group and has enabled us to improve and expand our services for technology-based companies.”
Blackburn co-founded and was the initial Director of IDEA Works FW, which launched in 2014. He was responsible for developing and establishing a vision and future for IDEA Works FW, as well as overseeing the operations, delivery of services and facility management. Previously, he worked in strategic development, marketing, and business and economic development roles, including positions with the Funding Information Center and Business Assistance Center in Fort Worth.
Since 2011, he has been a founder or leading contributor to the Fort Worth Business Plan Competition, 1 Million Cups, Startup Weekend, Great Ideas conversations and the Entrepreneur Summit. Recently, he was honored with a Mentor Award from the Fort Worth Business Press.
Blackburn is a 2007 honors graduate of the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. He serves on the Near Southside Inc. and the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation Board of Directors.
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 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. Find out more on the organization’s website.