Research Data

The Link Between Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and innovation share a symbiotic relationship, each fueling and catalyzing the other. At its core, entrepreneurship is about identifying opportunities and taking calculated risks to create value. Innovation, on the other hand, involves the creation and application of new ideas, technologies, or processes that bring about meaningful change. In this article we will explore how innovation has launched industries, disrupted traditional business models, and showcased the transformative power of entrepreneurial vision and inventive thinking in today's rapidly evolving market landscapes. Innovation is the buzz word of every business book and economic development strategy. Large, established companies love to talk about...

A look at Sparkyard in 2023

Sparkyard held its grand opening during the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Week. We thought this would be a great opportunity to see how 2023 shook down with some general stats and entrepreneurial assistance.  Total number of website Users: 11,502 Total Sparkyard Pageviews: 27,927 With the exception of the Sparkyard homepage, the top 3 most viewed pages have stayed consistent through the last three years:  Business Entity Types  Resource Navigator   Calendar Total Published Blogs: 38 Number of blog views: 4,531 Here are some "Need to Save" posts from 2023: Earth-Friendly Ways to Cut Waste AND Your Marketing Budget How to Fund Innovation for FREE When to Ask and Investor to Sign an NDA Top 10 Important Documents You Need to Launch Your Startup 11 Free Entrepreneurial Training Course...

Emerald City vs. Cowtown Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

From 2015-2020, 16 cities raised over one billion dollars in early-stage capital. Of those cities, nine of them have less than one million people, similar to Fort Worth. Removing the well-established startup cities from the equation, we are left with Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Oakland, Washington, DC, and Nashville. However, these six cities have an average population of 604,706 (about half the population of Hawaii): roughly 350,000 less than the estimated population of Fort Worth in 2023. If Fort Worth is the 13th most populated US City, why is our entrepreneurial ecosystem not reflecting its size?  Last summer, we analyzed what makes...

Atlanta as an Entrepreneurial City

From 2015-2020, 16 cities raised over one billion dollars in early-stage capital. Of those cities, nine have less than one million people, like Fort Worth. Removing the well-established startup cities from the equation, we are left with Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Oakland, Washington, DC, and Nashville. However, these six cities have an average population of 604,706: roughly 350,000 less than the estimated population of Fort Worth in 2023. If Fort Worth is the 13th most populated US City, why is our entrepreneurial ecosystem not reflecting its size?  Last summer, we analyzed what makes Nashville a great entrepreneurial city, and the aspects of...

Why Not Fort Worth?

The necessity of entrepreneurs and their impact on a city's economy is often underestimated. More people are learning that Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, and they assume that means all aspects of the city are thriving. While that is true in some respects, Fort Worth’s support for and investment in new companies lacks in comparison to the city’s wealth and population.   Thus began Sparkyard’s mission: to connect entrepreneurs with resources and information regarding the local startup community. The main purpose of the platform is to help business owners navigate the entrepreneurial growth process. Startups five...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Nashvegas vs. Funkytown Startup Scene

There are 16 cities that have raised at least one billion dollars in early-stage capital from 2015-2020. Of those 16 cities, nine of them have less than one million people. If we remove outliers like San Francisco, Boston, and Austin which are well-established hotbeds for startup activity, we are left with Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Oakland, Washington DC, and Nashville. These six cities have an average population of 630,603: roughly 300,000 less than the estimated population of Fort Worth in 2022. This begs the question: What are these cities doing right from an entrepreneurial perspective that Fort Worth can learn from?...