Blog

10 Ways Sparkyard Can Help Your Business

Sparkyard, you have heard of it, but do you know the man behind it? Meet Marco Johnson, the “Entrepreneurial Cat Herder” and main Spark Plan builder at Sparkyard. What you may not know is Marco has vast experience in entrepreneurship and economics. I sat down with Marco and wanted to share our conversation so you can learn more about the Spark-Man himself. My first career was in international development where I lived in 8 countries over 15 years and worked in a variety of sectors, including humanitarian work with refugees, microfinance, private equity investment, agricultural development, and impact investing. While I lived overseas, I was...

Is a Nonprofit the right road for you? 

Are you considering starting a nonprofit? Pam Cannell from BoardBuild breaks down the road map for deciding if a nonprofit is the best road for you to take.   You see a problem, you think you have a solution, so you say to yourself, “I think we should start a new nonprofit.”  Do you have a unique solution? First you should verify that your ideas are different from the more than 7000(!!!) nonprofit organizations already operating in Tarrant County and, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the United States. Surely the mission and...

Dallas Startup Week – Here’s What Happened!

Dallas Startup Week, hosted by The DEC Network, is a vibrant conference focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in Dallas. Sessions include educational classes, workshops, networking opportunities, and much more. I was able to join The DEC Network on Monday to attend sessions in person at Cox Business School at SMU, as well as follow throughout the week – virtually! Overall, I love that Dallas Startup Week’s setup was designed to be accessible online or in person. This gave more opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn, connect, and find new opportunities. Disrupt Dallas This event was a full day dedicated to diversity and inclusion during Dallas Startup Week. Its reputation precedes itself as a pillar of what makes Dallas Startup Week great. I love that the event happens on Sunday, so people with full time jobs can...

Accelerator vs. Incubator: Which One is Right for You?

An entrepreneur has several different options to choose from when it comes to getting help with their scalable startup. Sometimes they need a mentor. Other times they need a developer, an accountant, a lawyer, or funding. In the end, entrepreneurs will almost always need some kind of help to either get their business off the ground or to grow and scale it. Two commonly used options are an accelerator and incubator. You may have heard these two terms thrown around before, but what are they, and what are the main differences between them? Accelerator The goal of this program is to “accelerate” the growth of these companies by preparing them to be attractive to early-stage investors in a short amount of time. An accelerator is a...

Innovator Spotlight: Dr. Vanessa Bouche of Savhera

Meet Dr. Vanessa Bouche, the founder of Savhera and a political science professor at Texas Christian University. Savhera is an essential oil company whose mission is to “Live Well, Do Good.” In Hindi, Savhera means “new beginnings,” and that is exactly what Savhera’s business model is doing by providing survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation meaningful employment. The Innovate Fort Worth podcast interviewed Dr. Bouche and she shared the Savhera story with our audience! Let’s start with the basics...What are essential oils?   " Essential oils are the essence of a plant. You grow a plant, fruit, or vegetable, and you can extract various things from it. You can extract the water or oil from it. It is the very highly concentrated essences of some fruit or herbs or plant that you receive. " Savhera has had a fascinating history from its inception. What started as a question challenging Dr. Bouche became a...

Fort Worth’s First African-American Entrepreneur

What if I told you that there was an incredible entrepreneur, right here in Fort Worth, who was a trailblazer, an inspiration, and a guide to so many entrepreneurs after him? What if I told you that this man overcame incredible adversity and tragedies that we will never be able to understand or imagine? What if I told you this incredible man beat the odds and ‘made it’ in Fort Worth? No, I’m not talking about Amon Carter or some other big names you might know. I’m talking about John Pratt. Chances are you've never heard of him. Thanks to the archives of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, websites on local history, and...