Blog

Top 9 Newsletters Every DFW Entrepreneur Needs to Be Subscribed To

Ready to fill your inbox with local startup news, tips and tricks of the trade, as well as access to resources to innovative communities? Well here is our top list of newsletters every DFW entrepreneur should subscribe to. 1. Spark Plug - Sparkyard’s Monthly Newsletter  Get an overview of the big events that are happening the following month, along with opportunities for funding, grants, or pitch competitions. Also get clued in on our most updated blogs and Innovate Fort Worth podcasts. And as always, Sparkyard is the hub for free resources for startups and entrepreneurs on the west side of the metroplex. 2....

Avoiding Cofounder Mistakes

We discuss the top mistakes that founding teams make that end up impeding or killing companies. We share advice for how to avoid these mistakes, general tips for finding a cofounder and setting up your founding team for success, and access to tools to help new cofounding teams.

Beyond Founder’s Agreements: The Cofounder “Prenup”

As any experienced entrepreneur, investor or business educator will assure you, a Founders Agreement is essential to your company’s success. This legally binding contract will outline business structure, ownership percentages, operational control, rights and obligations, among other things. It should be advised and executed by an attorney.   In addition—and perhaps even more importantly—cofounders must outline their relationship beyond the legal parameters. According to best-selling author and Harvard Business professor Noam Wasserman, conflict among cofounders causes 65% of the failures among high potential startups. Avoid this pitfall by discussing and documenting how you will navigate challenges that fall outside the Founder’s Agreement.  What...

Why Topophilia is the Bedrock of Ecosystem Building

Topophilia means “the love of place.”  This is eloquently described in many texts, including “The Startup Community Way” by Ian Hathaway and Brad Feld. Near the end of the book, it states: “Given the absence of a blueprint [to build an ecosystem], the only path forward is a process of trial and error, learning from failures and building on a city’s unique strengths. Cultivating a deep love of place (called topophilia) helps startup community participants endure the inevitable ups and downs.” In this way, the enduring lifeblood of the ecosystem goes beyond measurables to a fundamental understanding and love of the...

Accessing the Right Capital at the Right Time to Grow Your Business

One of the first questions that entrepreneurs ask when they decide to launch a business is: where am I going to find the money to do this?   Sparkyard has the answer for you. Meet the Capital Growth Circuit. We developed this tool to help entrepreneurs answer this question no matter what stage their company is. Whether it’s an idea on the back of a napkin or an established company generating revenue, there are always sources of capital to help you get to the next level.   The structure may look familiar to people who are acquainted with our original Growth Circuit that charts...

A look at Sparkyard in 2022

Sparkyard held its grand opening during the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Week. We thought this would be a great opportunity to see how 2022 shook down with some general stats and entrepreneurial assistance.  Total number of website Users: 13,909 (22% increase from 2021) Fun Fact: With the exception of the United States, the top 3 countries that have  interacted with our website are the Philippines, United Kingdom and India.  Total Sparkyard Pageviews: 31,577 (3% increase from 2021) Fun Fact: Similar to last year, with the exception of the Sparkyard homepage, the top 3 most   viewed pages on the website are:  Business Entity Types  Resource Navigator   Calendar Total Published Blogs: 35 Sparkyard had the opportunity to have 7 guest authors in 2022 which included Women and Mentorship by Council...

Meet the Companies of Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth Accelerator 2022

Get to know the startups in the Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth inaugural 2022 accelerator cohort. Meet the founders and check out their innovative solutions for addressing the challenges and opportunities that exist in the world of Physical Health.  Meet Josh Rabinowitz, CEO of Articulate Labs. Articulate Labs focuses on changing how knee braces affect healing. Articulate Labs uses sensors to monitor movement for assessment as well as provide neuromuscular electrical stimulation to improve patient’s physical mobility.  Learn more about Articulate Labs and how they developed innovative solutions for physical health problems on Innovate Fort Worth. Meet Anne Shuford, CEO of BoomRoom. BoomRoom is...

Breaking Down Barriers to Business in Fort Worth

“Would you be interested in making Fort Worth your 21st city?”  Alex Montgomery from the Institute for Justice (IJ) replied with an excited but cautious tone and said, “I’ll have to check with a few folks, but yeah, I think we can do a deep dive in Fort Worth.”   We had just seen a presentation of IJ’s Barriers to Business Report, research that compared the processes, costs, steps and bureaucracy involved in starting small businesses in 20 US cities and then provided actionable recommendations on how to make it cheaper, faster and simpler to start a business. The only city in Texas...

The State of Entrepreneurship in Fort Worth is Strong

I had the opportunity this year to deliver the 5th annual State of Entrepreneurship Address at the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) luncheon event sponsored by HSC Next and FortWorth,Inc and it was an honor to highlight all the great work that was accomplished by local innovators, entrepreneurs, startups and ecosystem builders in the past year. I have highlighted a few of my key talking points below, but you can also watch the full event, recorded by the FWISD students in the Broadcast Journalism/Media Technology program at Southwest High School here. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram did a nice recap of the event and...

5 Things You Should Look for in a Cofounder

Starting a company is hard. For most people, starting a company is probably the hardest thing they will do in their entire lives. And, as much as we think about Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg starting the companies that made them into billionaires, they had cofounders and founding teams around them  every step of the way.   There is a common myth of the “solopreneurs” but in reality, most companies start with more than one founder. And yet, according to research cited in Noam Wasserman’s The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup, 60-65...