Marc Sparks, well-known business man, entrepreneur, philanthropist and author of “They Can’t Eat You: My Unorthodox Path To Outrageous Success,” started Spark Tank as a means to help the Dallas Fort Worth community to substantially gain social benefits by awarding funding to not for profit groups/organizations. The goal is to help others change the world one community at a time by awarding $5000 grants to one winner out of applicants who apply for the grant.
Sparks has multiple successful businesses, is a venture capitalist and seeks to help other entrepreneurs turn their passions and dreams into reality. He has been involved in the telecommunications industry, including Splash Media, Cardinal Telecom and Blue Jay Wireless. He’s involved in real estate and is founder of the private equity firm, Timber Creek Capital LP.
According to his book at Amazon, 15 years ago, Sparks met Lynne Sipiora and together they took a small shelter located in a rundown house and turned it into a $3000,000 yearly operation that feeds and houses hundreds of people a day. The Samaritan Inn has been helping the homeless and hungry since the late 1980’s.
The two also built the first transitional apartment complex in North Texas as well as opened a prospering thrift store. They also have a $7000,000 shelter for families that is under construction even now.
Sipiora persuaded Marc Sparks on the idea that if they had the funding needed there are countless social service oriented entrepreneurs who think outside of the box with ideas that are creative and passionate who can create extraordinary social success. Hence Spark Tank began.
Applicants have to have no less than two years of history being a 501c3 status and be providing a service to the community. Applicants compete for the $5000 grant by applying online. Each applicant then meets in person with the Spark Tank panel personally where they will give a ten minute presentation and then participate in a 10 minute question and answer period. Read more: Marc Sparks – About.me and Marc Sparks’s Books and Publications Spotlight
Applicants are judged on the need for their program/charity, their ability to measure their charity’s outcome and how well their presentation presents their passion, creativity and desire to make a difference.
Round one includes all those who have applied for the grant, after the first round the field of applicants are narrowed down to three finalists. The winner of the grant is then chosen in the second round.
The most recent three finalists included; House of Eli a group that provides transitional living for boys 17-21 who are coming out of the foster system; Metro Relief which is mobile soup kitchen that goes to those who are homeless and provide food and other things they are in need of to help turn their lives around, and DogsMatter which is a program the gives temporary foster care for addicts and alcoholics pets who are in recovery.
Marc Sparks has taken his faith, focus, passion and desire to make a difference and put it to work helping others to change the community one step at a time.