Blog

Launch and Grow Your Company with the Sparkyard Growth Circuit!

Sparkyard celebrated its one-year anniversary in November during Fort Worth’s third annual Global Entrepreneurship Week. In 2019, we were excited to become the central connection point between local entrepreneurs and the resources available to help them launch and grow their companies. We made great strides during our first year by providing one-on-one support to over 90 entrepreneurs, creating nearly 50 customized Spark Plans (action plans), making 260 referrals to our resource network of 50 partners, and hosting nearly 9,000 users on the website. Through trial and error and plenty of data analysis, we discovered that some of the most...

Innovator Spotlight: Vanessa and Taylor of The Welman Project

Have you ever wondered what a fabric store does with all their fabric scraps? Or maybe that clothing manufacturer that has boxes and boxes of last season’s clothing line that they aren’t able to sell? How about a restaurant that changes their logo and yet they have boxes of to-go cups with the old logo and they’re not sure what to do with all of it? Well Vanessa and Taylor, founders of the non-profit, The Welman Project, have found a fantastic use for surplus items and supplies with the goal of using them to ‘fill a classroom, not a...

Fort Worth Private Equity Funding

In a previous blog post, we looked at early stage capital investment in Fort Worth, and where the city stood in comparison to other Texas and US cities. We established that Fort Worth doesn’t have a lot of early stage capital, but it turns out there’s plenty of private equity (PE) money here, which tends to invest in later stage, more established companies. Relatively speaking, that assumption is correct. We looked at data from Pitchbook to see just how much PE was being invested in Fort Worth and how that compares to other Texas cities. As seen in the chart below,...

Innovator Spotlight: Jakayla Dixion of Feel the Color

Have you listened to the Innovate Fort Worth podcast featuring entrepreneur Jakayla Dixion? This young lady was able to see a need for a community of individuals and allow them to do something as simple as navigate the world of fashion with independence. Here are some snippets of how Jakayla Dixion was able to transform a high school class assignment into a business that has made a large impact for those with visual impairments. For the full story listen to her podcast episode, Show Me the Color - you won’t be disappointed. Jakayla, a 15-year-old high school sophomore, was given an...

Electrifying Funkytown: Linear Labs + Fort Worth

The City of Fort Worth finalized an economic incentive package deal with Linear Labs in June that provided a nearly $70 million Research and Development (R&D) grant for the innovative, electric-motor company. This package represented the first use of this R&D tax credit by the City of Fort Worth, a tax credit that is believed to be the first-of-its-kind in the country. But, what is it exactly and why is it important? Here are a few more details on this groundbreaking incentive for investment in innovation in Fort Worth. What is Linear Labs and what makes them special? Founded in 2014...

Innovator Spotlight: Hunter Ferrell of Linux Academy

Hunter Ferrell is the former CFO of Linux Academy (now known as A Cloud Guru), an online platform for training and educating the future of cloud creators. “Clouds” are referred to as a web-based data center that an individual or a business can access, without dealing with physical servers, or work on software on their devices. Think of it as a digital filing cabinet....in the “clouds.” The skills required for working with cloud applications were in high demand for businesses before the pandemic hit and now as more people begin to work remotely, more companies require a virtual space to...