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Chair, Startup Texas

Why You Need to Know Him: Because this serial entrepreneur has built all manner of thriving media, entertainment, and tech firms—and he’s now teaching up-and-comers to do the same.

Lloyd “Trey” Bowles III is chair of the Texas division of Startup America, a nonprofit that supports emerging entrepreneurs. The volunteer role often allows Bowles to work from home, where Landry, his lookalike 18-month-old daughter, is apt to toddle in and join him.

Along with his work for Startup Texas, Bowles is central to the Mayor’s Star Council, a panel of diverse young business leaders he recruited from various sectors to work on projects like improving the Lancaster Corridor. He’s also an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University, where seats have filled fast for the entrepreneurism course he’s teaching this spring that focuses on charitable business.

Bowles, 36, has a boyish look belying a professional tenure that’s packed with milestones. He has written reality TV shows, repped bands, steered the parent company for peer-to-peer-file-sharing giant Morpheus, and had a hand in multiple nonprofits. Most recently, he led and turned around Big Jump Media, the company behind GodTube.com and tangle.com, until it was sold in 2010.

Mention a compliment that has been floating around—supposedly, nothing happens in Dallas’ tech world without Bowles’ touch—and he downplays his role. “It probably just points to the annoying ubiquity I’ve had for the last couple of years,” he says. “I’m at all the [networking] meetings. I just make it a priority.”