Marc Sparks is a self-described serial entrepreneur whose success and business acumen have allowed him to begin a new chapter in his business life. His efforts in the realm of philanthropy are extensive, including connections with Habitat for Humanity and his own non-profit, Sparky’s Kids, that has donated 1000 laptop computers to at-risk children in the American Can! Academy.
Sparks has also been connected with The Samaritan Inn, a Texas-based homeless shelter that can house up to 200 people every night. But now he has turned his attention to mentoring other entrepreneurs by offering them a special program in which start-up funds, networking, staff, and office space are provided as a prize to put these individuals on the path to success. The program is called Spark Tank.
A recent article in PR Newswire detailed the new office complex Sparks is using to implement his new program and to be used as offices for the selected applicants to this program. The office space is fully equipped with conference rooms, chairs, and tables, offering space for multiple meetings. The office complex is vast, modern, with shiny surfaces and glass doored offices; a great place to develop the next great business concept or in the case of the Spark Tank, the next great non-profit.
This mentoring concept is relatively new, having roots in American and British TV programs. The Swiss Start-Up Factory in Zurich is the best known, and it shows the importance of developing new ideas and applications in this computer/internet dominated world.
Sparks program, Spark Tank, will have multiple winners every year each will receive a $5000 prize and a chance to compete against other winners for additional prize money. Each winner and the others competing will have ten minutes to explain their individual non-profit concepts with a bevy of business leaders who can become future supporters of these non-profits.
These entrepreneurial mentoring and award programs can offer venture capitalists and philanthropists opportunities to see and hear of new concepts in need of development and a possible chance to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new business or non-profit. Spark Tank and the other programs combine benefits to both the venture capitalists, philanthropists, and to the individuals who are pursuing their business dreams. This concept should grow in number throughout the world.