News

Announcing our Favorite Innovators of 2023

There is so much exciting innovation happening in Fort Worth in  many different areas of our city. But, who were some of the Innovate Fort Worth podcast teams favorites in the last year?  Kendel Rogers, the producer of the podcast, Rob Upchurch, the technical producer and Cameron Cushman, the host, share their favorite innovators on the most recent episode of the show.   Kendel Rogers I have two actually.  My first was Jose Alfaro from co-starters (Episode 83). We interviewed him at the beginning of the year. I love what he is doing for communities around the nation. We are so lucky to...

Sparking Change: Sparkyard’s Move to Ensemble Coworking

After four years of successful implementation and thousands of entrepreneurs served, HSC Next is handing over operations of the Sparkyard platform to Tamara Payne, CEO and cofounder of Ensemble Coworking, a trusted partner in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and a Sparkyard resource partner since 2019. Ensemble Coworking is a mission-driven collaborative business community and coworking space located in Fort Worth’s Near Southside. SourceLink will continue to support the platform from a technical standpoint. HSC Next is not selling Sparkyard, but rather, Ensemble will contract with Sourcelink, license HSC intellectual property related to Sparkyard and assume operating costs for the program. In...

Why You Should Consider Partnering with a Cofounder

What "Working Capital: Assembling Your Team" Has to Say About Cofounders When it comes to cofounders, there can be a lot of questions regarding the logistics, relationship, and even the necessity of them. Luckily, Sean K. Murphy’s book, Working Capital: Assembling Your Team, Vol.2, addresses most of the common concerns and inquiries surrounding such partnerships. Instead of merely recommending this book to you, I’ve outlined the insights Murphy provides toward developing a cofounder partnership.   Murphy starts by addressing that cofounders are very similar to the initial startup founder. They’re both ‘generalists’ and ‘fast learners,’ and they have the same sense of perseverance....

The 5 Things I Learned on the HSC Next Team This Summer

As a Fort Worth native, the opportunity to work in our entrepreneurial ecosystem and startup scene has been very fulfilling. But when I started this internship, I didn’t know how much I would learn about my hometown, myself, and the business world beyond our city limits. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work for Sparkyard and HSC Next as my first internship. Regarding introductions to professional life, I would say that mine was pretty stellar. Writing about what I learned this summer without launching into a full novel is challenging because the amount of experience and understanding I've gained...

5 Unexpected Lessons From This Summer

Last summer, I dove headfirst into the workforce a few weeks following my high school graduation. And I guess you could say I had an okay experience because I ended up coming back for a second summer—and better yet, I was able to work with them full-time.   As I enter the last week of my internship, I can’t help but feel somewhat perplexed as to where I should start my end-of-summer blog. Since this is my second summer with HSC Next, (you can see my takeaways from last summer here) I’m forced to be a little more creative with my points...

Training an Innovation Workforce

Workforce development. It seems like everywhere I look someone is talking about developing our local workforce to meet the demands of today’s employers. But what does this really mean and more importantly, how do we actually develop our local innovation workforce? If you ask just about any local entrepreneur or CEO, they will tell you that hiring the right kinds of employees is one of their biggest challenges. It’s a challenge for BNSF and Lockheed Martin to hire qualified rail line and manufacturing workers. It’s a struggle for retail establishments to hire front line workers and restaurants to hire cooks. But...

Top 5 Events in the Summer of 2023

As the summer heats up, so does the anticipation for some of the most relevant and engaging business events in DFW. These events provide a platform for professionals across industries to gather, network, and gain invaluable insights into the latest trends, strategies, and innovations shaping the business world. If you're looking to stay ahead of the curve and make meaningful connections, this blog is your ultimate guide to the summer's top five must-attend business conferences.  Virtual Workshop: Supercharge your business with ChatGPT and AI  It is no secret that Chat GPT has changed the business world tremendously since it became accessible to...

Startup & StartOut: Researching and Empowering LGBTQ Entrepreneurs

As of 2022, there are 1.4 million LGBTQ business owners in the United States, contributing $1.7 trillion annually to the national economy. LGBTQ entrepreneurs often find themselves navigating a system that perpetuates inequalities, limiting access to the necessary financial resources to thrive and succeed. In honor of Pride Month, I wanted to share some research findings on the LGBTQ community and resources for queer entrepreneurs. Out of $2.1 trillion dollars of funding tracked after the year 2000, only 0.5% of all the funding raised for startups went to LGBTQ entrepreneurs. The nationwide LGBTQ+ population stands at 7.1%.   The average LGBTQ+ entrepreneur created...

Startup Champions Network Policy Summit Recap

Last week, several of us from the HSC Next team attended the first-ever policy-focused summit hosted by the Startup Champions Network (SCN) in Washington, DC. Though the SCN crew has been hosting Summits in locations around the country for more than a decade now, this was the first one they held in our nation’s capital and the first one focused on policy for entrepreneurs, innovators and the organizations that support them. The conversations were encouraging and insightful. Here are a few of my takeaways from DC. First, we discussed how to build a more entrepreneurial workforce. Traditionally, Federal and state job...

Energizing Entrepreneurship in All Communities

New and young businesses create nearly all job growth in America. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that entrepreneurship is a civic priority in every community. That’s the mission of Right to Start, the national nonprofit organization whose field operations I lead. Those field operations focus primarily on a growing network of 25 volunteer Ambassadors in 19 states and the District of Columbia and 14 part-time Advocates in 10 states. Together, we share insights into barriers that obstruct entrepreneurship, design efforts to remove them, and pursue related policy change.  Two of our Ambassadors are Trey Bowles (Techstars Physical Health...