“Spark Tank” is sparking up a lot of attention for the expert venture capitalist Marc Sparks from Dallas, Texas. This new endeavor is another humanitarian effort by Sparks aimed at improving society. Social entrepreneurs are encouraged to pitch their ideas and lobby for funding much like what happens on the reality series “Shark Tank.”
Marc Sparks believes that these social entrepreneurs should have their innovative ideas for successful “social” businesses heard and funded. According to him, these innovators have the entrepreneurial gifts to create strategies and programs that will solve serious and prevailing social issues.
Social entrepreneurs are deemed as heroes, but there aren’t many programs and services available to provide them with the financial help they need to grow their businesses. So, Marc Sparks created the Spark Tank as a solution to this problem. Learn more about Marc Sparks: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9661324.Marc_Sparks and http://sparktankdfw.com/
In the Spark Tank, non-profit entrepreneurs are given twenty minutes to present their innovative businesses, plans and ideas to a panel of ten judges headed by Sparks himself. The non-profit that gets the most votes from the panel is awarded a $5000 grant to help bring their venture to life of support their growing business. Read more: Marc Sparks – AngelList and Who Is Marc Sparks?
The Spark Tank organization was created by Sparks in 2016 with the help of Lynn Sipora, his partner in a homeless shelter known as The Samaritan Inn. Together, they transformed a home in Collin County, TX into this shelter that services 200 people per day.
The success of the shelter prompted many social entrepreneurs to want to participate in Spark Tank. The first round of the program touted applications from fourteen local Texas non-profit organizations.
The three finalists were Metro Dreams, Dog Matters, and House of Eli. Out of the three presenters, one winner was chosen: Dog Matters, which is an organization that provides foster care to the pets of owners who have entered addiction treatment programs.
Beyond the April final, there will be two more rounds of Spark Tank in the year 2016 before the winners of each round go head-to-head. They will compete for a grand prize at the end of the year.
Sparks is known for believing that individuals can become successful themselves, which fuels his drive for social change. It also fuels his drive for not only donating money, but also donating his time to work in his own shelter and even help build homes through Habitat for Humanity.
According to Marc Sparks his mission in forgoing any humanitarian effort is to “give back,” and creating the Spark Tank only adds to that mission while giving others the chance to “give back” as well.