Blog

10 Most Read Blogs on Sparkyard 2022

In the summer of 2021 we ran the numbers and showed the Top 10 Read Blogs for the previous year. We decided to run the numbers again in 2022 and see what’s changed in the last year and what content our readers like to see. So here’s the updated top 10 posts of all time (since we launched in 2019)!  10. Burn the (Traditional) Business Plan! posted June 17, 2021 Most entrepreneurs write a business plan, but it quickly becomes outdated. And, if you ask some of the most famous entrepreneurs, they never even had a business plan in the first place....

The Fastest Growing Companies in Fort Worth

Inc. Magazine annually publishes a list of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies across the nation. As of March 2020, there were an estimated 11 million companies in the United States. That being said, the top 5,000 fastest growing companies only comprise the top .05% of companies. This list is the honor roll of all honor rolls. Arguably, the term ‘honor’ is an understatement.  To comprehend the metrics of the list, it’s important to delve into how the list is calculated. First, Inc. Magazine doesn’t take any company into account until it applies to be on the list. So hypothetically, the...

Innovate Fort Worth Podcast: Favorite FW Innovators, Part IV

Fort Worth is full of innovation and innovators. The Innovate Fort Worth podcast was launched in 2019 to provide a platform for those local innovators to tell their stories and share their latest projects with our community. At the end of each episode the host, Cameron Cushman, asks each guest who their favorite innovator is in Fort Worth. We compiled a list of our guests’ favorite local innovators. Be sure to check out the favorite innovators in our previous posts here.  Episode 31: Former Mayor Betsy Price shares her views on why Fort Worth is a great city for startups and...

Massive One-Time Tax Credit for Startups

Starting a business under “normal” circumstances is a journey but if you started a business in 2020 or 2021 it was grueling. How about some free money to take the sting out of it?   The CARES Act, introduced on March 27, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, contained a variety of programs designed to get money out to individuals and businesses and to stimulate the economy. One of these programs was the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), which allowed employers to receive a tax credit for qualified wages paid to their employees. The Cares Act was subsequently modified to include ERC...

Life Lessons from Pitching

As my life has morphed over the past ten years (from uber-domesticated mom to career woman for starters), I've discovered a passion for pitching, coaching and judging competitions. Over the COVID-19 shutdown, the things I missed most were:  random hugs  my cousins  pitch competitions  As we have re-emerged into an event-friendly world and pitch competitions are back in action, I've realized that many of the things that make pitches great are also pretty useful life skills. So, here's my take on ways you can elevate your business pitch to the next level—and also just be better at life.   Are you surrounded by seasoned investors, potential...

An Indicator of Innovation: SBIR Grants

Innovation can be hard to measure. One way to track it is through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the US government. The number of SBIR grants awarded in Fort Worth is far below the level it needs to be for our community to foster an innovation-led economy. Recommendations on how to address this issue are included.

The Ultimate Coworking Guide in Fort Worth

When entrepreneurs start their company, sometimes they don’t have the money to buy an office space. Some entrepreneurs don’t need office space, just a place to get some work done. Coworking locations are the best of both worlds: they are more affordable than leasing office space and can accommodate the specific needs of the entrepreneur. We gathered the best coworking spaces so you can pick the one right for you!  76107 Collective - This creative community coworking space is for small businesses and artists alike. With open storefronts to purchase goods, or a flexible space for work or events to happen,...

The Innovative Women of Fort Worth

Proud Texan Beyonce said it best when she said “Who runs the world? Girls!” The entrepreneurs below are the movers and shakers of Fort Worth. They are active in their communities, in their businesses, and support other women to overcome challenges that women face in industry. For example, did you know that, according to Bloomberg, women founders raised just 2 percent of venture capital funds raised in 2021?    Learn more about these dynamic innovators below!  Meet the innovative minds that are repurposing surplus materials to "fill a classroom, not a landfill." Vanessa Barker and Taylor Willis are life-long best friends that started...

Startup Champions Network Wrap-up Durham, NC

From April 4-6, members of the HSC Next team attended the Startup Champions Network conference in Durham, NC. This group convenes twice a year to collaborate on this burgeoning career field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building as an economic development strategy.  At this Summit, the content was focused heavily on DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion). The Durham, NC, entrepreneurial ecosystem has done an incredible job supporting DEI initiatives. The leading ecosystem resource organizations are all bought in on the concept and it defines their approach to economic development and ecosystem building. It is baked into their approach from the start as opposed to...