Sparkyard celebrated its one-year anniversary in November during Fort Worth’s third annual Global Entrepreneurship Week. In 2019, we were excited to become the central connection point between local entrepreneurs and the resources available to help them launch and grow their companies. We made great strides during our first year by providing one-on-one support to over 90 entrepreneurs, creating nearly 50 customized Spark Plans (action plans), making 260 referrals to our resource network of 50 partners, and hosting nearly 9,000 users on the website. Through trial and error and plenty of data analysis, we discovered that some of the most popular web pages were our Community Calendar, Resource Navigator, and Sparkyard blog.
But we always knew that what we launched with was just the beginning. Our vision of what Sparkyard could be was always intended to be driven by entrepreneurs and the resources that help them. So our first year was also about listening and determining where we could realistically help (and where others could do it better). All that listening generated numerous ideas, and we were able to make two of them come to life by the time we celebrated our first birthday.
New Sparkyard Website
The first and loudest feedback we got was about the website and how it needed a refresh. We are proud to announce that the new website is live! If you didn’t navigate through the homepage to get here, take a look here. We didn’t just rely on our own thoughts and ideas to redesign it. Instead, we engaged numerous entrepreneurs and partners in a weeks-long effort using the StoryBrand framework. We are thrilled with the results! But like any good website, it’s a work in progress. Want to suggest an edit? Click here to leave us some feedback.
Sparkyard Growth Circuit
We also realized that many entrepreneurs weren’t sure about how or where to start their entrepreneurial journey, or how to take the next crucial step. For them we created the Sparkyard Growth Circuit. This tool illuminates the path that each company takes as they launch and grow. The Growth Circuit identifies the four general types of business and the steps each business type includes as they progress. Take a look at the webpage for a more detailed explanation or contact us to learn more. You can also download and print your own copy from our webpage. Phase 1 is the version you see now. We are working on Phase 2 that will list each of our 50+ resource partners at the spots on the map where they provide assistance. We’re hoping to release that in Q1 2021. And stay tuned for Phase 3 later in 2021! This version will be digital and interactive and will link directly to our online Resource Navigator to help immediately connect you to the resource(s) that you need.
It’s been a busy year for those of us working at Sparkyard, but we’re not finished! We have plenty of other projects in various stages of development. Stay tuned for the Sparkyard Ecosystem Dashboard that will be released in the first half of 2021. This tool tracks a variety of important metrics relating to our entrepreneurial ecosystem’s performance and will help us determine where we’re doing well and where we need to improve. This will help us drive resources to the right places to help ensure anyone who wants to start or grow a company can do it with the help of local resources. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, but we are here to make it easier.
As always, we appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Please comment below or contact us through the site. Don’t forget, if you are looking for resources to help your business, reach out to us by requesting a customized Spark Plan.