Blog

Texas Startup Indicators: How does Fort Worth Compare?

Over the past few months, we have been compiling data from PitchBook, a proprietary research tool that focuses on early stage investment data, and turning that data into charts that help showcase Fort Worth’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are seven thousand. These charts paint a rather solemn picture of Fort Worth’s current startup landscape, as Cowtown ranks last in all categories when compared to other large Texas cities. Just because Fort Worth is currently lagging behind doesn’t mean we have to stay behind. The real failure would be for the city to...

A Conversation with Local Artist-Entrepreneur CHoKe, Part 2

Part 2: Social Justice This conservation is the second of a two part series with the Fort Worth-based artist CHoKe. Check out Part 1 here. In our last conversation, CHoKe talked about her humble beginnings, from selling candy and customized clothes to her classmates, to hustling on the streets of Washington, DC and Baltimore selling her art, to moving around the country pursuing her passion. We also discussed her journey and lessons learned as an entrepreneur and how she has balanced managing her business while still producing content, along with her drive and tenacity for her craft. Today we’re focusing on social...

A Conversation with Local Artist-Entrepreneur CHoKe, Part 1

Part 1: Artist Entrepreneur This conversation is the first of a two part series with the Fort Worth-based artist. Click here to read Part II of this conversation. Sparkyard recently sat down (virtually) with one of Fort Worth’s most interesting and talented young artists, “CHoKe” (Creating Her Own Kinetic Energy), whose artwork spans Fort Worth and the globe. CHoKe has been an artist her whole life, and from an early age growing up in the Washington D.C. area, she knew art was her true calling. As with many artists, CHoKe blurred the lines of art and entrepreneurship, constantly hustling and taking on side projects, from...

Innovator Spotlight: Sheryle Gillihan, CEO of CauseLabs

A brand new episode of the Innovate Fort Worth podcast dropped on Tuesday with guest Sheryle Gillihan, the CEO of CauseLabs. What is CauseLabs? CauseLabs is a certified B Corp business that helps other companies promote positive change using technology. CauseLabs specializes in web development and UX/UI services in order “to help the community grow their impact and make a difference.” In 2010, Sheryle Gillihan was looking for a career change out of mergers and acquisitions and due-diligence, and into something that aligned more with her personal beliefs and passions. She came on as a project manager for CauseLabs. By 2018, Sheryle and her husband...

Fort Worth Ranks 13th in Population, 40th in Early Stage Funding

In 2018, Fort Worth became the 13th largest city in the United States with a population of 895,008 people. Fort Worth will soon surpass Jacksonville to become the 12th largest city in America and yet when one looks at entrepreneurial indicators, such as early stage funding, Fort Worth ranks 40th out of the top 50 most populous US cities. I put together a few charts to show this analysis more clearly. After running several different analyses and searches with PitchBook, a proprietary research tool that focuses on early stage investment data, the picture is crystal clear: Fort Worth is light years...

Innovate Fort Worth Podcast: Favorite FW Innovators

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 thought it would be fun to compile a list of these innovators favorite local innovators. Episode 1: Marco Johnson has made it his life’s work to spark innovation everywhere from East Africa to Fort Worth. Marco now helps connect Fort Worth entrepreneurs to...

Does Entrepreneurship Ever Cross Your Mind, Fort Worth?

As the 13th largest city in the US, Fort Worth is strategically positioned to be a major player in the entrepreneurial community of Texas and the United States, and yet we lag far behind all other similarly sized cities in all things startups. COVID-19 has changed our world as we know it, and has crippled our economy. Research has consistently shown that entrepreneurship is a major key to jumpstarting a flailing economy. The time has never been better for Fort Worth to establish itself as a leader in entrepreneurship and startups.

How Do We Begin Restarting Fort Worth’s Economy?

As our cities begin to slowly re-open from the COVID pandemic, we are all concerned with the economic instability the lockdown placed on our hometowns. One of the most effective ways of pushing our local economy into rapid recovery is by supporting local small-businesses and startups.  In 2013, Forbes Magazine listed six ways to create economic growth. The number one way is through innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship. The article states that “innovation and start-ups fuel our economic growth” and that they are the “ultimate job creators who start with ingenious ideas, take risks and create value for the American consumer.” This approach to...

How can we help? Survey feedback informs Fort Worth’s business support efforts

Almost two months ago, when this whole COVID-19 situation started getting serious, there was a lot of work to be done – and done quickly.  Fort Worth is the thirteenth largest city in the country – it’s a lot to pivot. The flood of new challenges facing our city’s business owners, across every industry, was overwhelming. The situation was emotionally charged, constantly changing, and completely unprecedented.  The only way that the city and its community partners could begin to wrap our heads around the full scope of COVID-19’s impact on businesses, and start working together to find solutions, was through data. The Fort...