Denton-based Hickory & Rail Ventures aims to transform Stoke into the startup ecosystem of North Texas

DENTON, TX (January 10, 2018) – Stoke, a coworking space and entrepreneurial hub, is now under new management by local company Hickory & Rail Ventures. Their vision for Stoke is to make it the first of many places Denton entrepreneurs can call home.

Hickory & Rail Ventures is owned by Denton resident and entrepreneur Marshall Culpepper. Culpepper is the co-founder of both Kubos, a satellite software startup in downtown Denton, and Techmill, a nonprofit organization for Denton tech builders. As the original organizer of the Denton Jelly, LittleDOCC, and Bootstrap Denton, Culpepper is an active member of the Denton Community, mentoring students and local entrepreneurs about writing software and building startups.

“Our mission at Stoke is to build a community where entrepreneurs have access to talent, education, capital, and a network of other entrepreneurs,” Culpepper said. “We aim to increase the density of tech and startups in Denton, creating a positive feedback loop that starts with the University and ends with startup exits.”

Hickory & Rail Ventures will bring Stoke exclusive partnerships with Denton organizations that will incubate, fund, and support Denton startups. One of the partners that already has committed since the management transition is the University of North Texas, which will offer extended-learning entrepreneurship programs at Stoke.

"UNT is excited to participate in Stoke's success in 2018, and we are eager to see how this venture will help our students and faculty with their projects," said Michael Rondelli, Associate Vice President of Innovation and Commercialization at UNT. "Our long-term vision would be to see UNT students leveraging Stoke opportunities so that they can take advantage of faculty and industry mentorships sponsored by UNT. It also will give our faculty a unique opportunity to teach innovation through experiential learning."

Stoke also will organize community programming events such as Lunch and Learns, where attendees can learn crucial skills like creating a business model canvas and product development. There also will be a monthly event with Denton Angels, a newly established network of angel investors, where startups can network with business advisors and investors.

“Our goal is to support Denton’s entrepreneurs by giving them the resources they need to build world-changing companies. We are excited to be working with Hickory & Rail Ventures and look forward to seeing their ambitious vision for Denton come to life.” said Caroline Booth, Director of Economic Development at the City of Denton.

Entrepreneurs who are interested in learning more about Stoke and what we offer can join us for our Open House on Feb. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be food, drinks and coworking giveaways.

For more information about Stoke, visit


About Stoke

Stoke is a place for innovators, freelancers, and startups. It’s where ambition, technology, and a shared desire to change the world for the better can come together. Yes, it is a coworking space, but what it offers is so much more.

For most entrepreneurial hopefuls, reaching a point of success is not without its challenges. Stoke aims to alleviate some of the confusion and stress that comes with striking out on your own to start something big. Whether you need a desk or a conference room, fundraising advice, or even just really, really fast internet access, Stoke is here to help. We offer flexible memberships so you can choose the pace that best suits your needs.

Bring your ambition and ideas. Stoke will provide the rest.