If you’re like me, you like to know where you are and where you’re going, whether you’re taking a road trip, planning out your career, or for life in general. And it’s definitely true if you’re an entrepreneur trying to launch or grow a company. The journey of entrepreneurship is a complicated one; in some cases, it may be one of the most difficult journeys in life a person embarks upon. And until now, entrepreneurs in Fort Worth haven’t had a guide that shows what this journey entails.
We are proud to announce the next phase of the Sparkyard Growth Circuit. If you follow Sparkyard, then you know we released the first version of the Growth Circuit in November 2020 on our newly revamped website. This version illustrated the general path that all companies take from idea phase through launch, growth, expansion and maturity based on the type of company a person is running. We used the Kauffman Foundation’s four company categories to classify company types: Microenterprises. Main Street companies, Innovation-led, and Second-Stage or well-established companies. Keeping with the Sparkyard theme of electricity and kinetics, we devised a map that is reminiscent of a circuit board and named it the Growth Circuit. Companies stop at different points along the circuit (we call them Steps) based on company type. For anyone who is unclear about any of the concepts associated with each step, you can find definitions here.
Introducing the Growth Circuit 2.0
As great as version 1.0 is, it turns out there was more work to do. On the Growth Circuit version 2.0, we went one step further and listed local resource partners that are available at each Step. This version lists the 50+ resources that partner with Sparkyard on our online Resource Navigator. Note that the vast majority of these resources provide free services to entrepreneurs. There are certainly additional resources than those that are currently listed on the Growth Circuit, so be sure to stay tuned as we continue to add more to the list.
Version 2.0 is great for helping an entrepreneur focus on the actual resource(s) someone can access based on what Step they’re on. To make it accessible, we are printing hard copies that will be available for free at our Resource Partners’ locations. To make it fun and convenient, these hard copies will fold into a more compact version that you can carry around with you. We’re also going to create a version that will look great hanging on your wall.
I found my location on the Growth Circuit… now what?
Now that you’ve found your Step, it’s time to get connected to the resources that will help you move forward. Select the resource(s) that you want to contact and head over to the Resource Navigator to get their contact information and seamlessly connect with a representative so you can set up a phone call or a meeting. You can also contact Sparkyard staff to facilitate an introduction.
Due to space limitations, we are only able to list Resource Partners at one Step on the Growth Circuit. The reality is that most of our partners help entrepreneurs at multiple Steps. If you locate your Step and there are no resources listed there, reach out to us and we will make sure to connect you to a resource that can help you wherever you are.
I need personalized help
Still not sure what to do or where to go? No problem! Request a Spark Plan, which is a free, customized plan with a list of resources specifically chosen to help you overcome the obstacles that are in your way. Sparkyard is here to make sure no obstacles stand in the way of launching and growing your own company.
What other plans do you have for the Growth Circuit?
Throughout 2021 we will be working on a digital interactive version of the Growth Circuit, so you can look forward to version 3.0 later this year or in early 2022. It will be located on our website and be fully automated, eliminating the need for the paper versions if that’s not your thing. In the digital version you’ll be able to research your location on the Growth Circuit, find the relevant resources, and contact them all within the same webpage. We will also be able to list ALL of the resources available at each Step.
Version 3.0 is still in the design stage so there are likely to be some additional cool features that we haven’t even thought of yet. Do you have ideas or suggestions for features you’d like to see in the digital version? Please contact us and share your thoughts.
The Growth Circuit 2.0 is yet another tool you can use to find your way to make sure you get help in launching or growing the company you’ve dreamed of starting. Stay tuned to Sparkyard as we continually launch services to help our local entrepreneurs. In the meantime, you can download both versions of the Growth Circuit on our website.
About the Author
Marco Johnson is the Sparkyard Network Builder, a position funded by the UNTHSC. He is a Fort Worth resident and Global Citizen whose professional journey has led him to exotic, faraway locations including Eastern Europe, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the planet Neptune to name a few. He is skilled in entrepreneurial ecosystem building, impact investing, international agricultural development, private equity finance, and fine-tuning Weber carburetors. He is a Virgo and his spirit animal is a Tesla coil. All thoughts, views, and comments are his own and do not reflect the thoughts, views, or comments of The University of North Texas Health Science Center.