Dating apps have sparked countless unions by using an algorithm to bring people together. Since it works for singles seeking romance, why not try it for entrepreneurs seeking investors? That’s the idea behind Spark North Texas—a new investment platform from Dallas-based Champion Impact Capital.
The free portal launched this week to stimulate economic development, particularly for underrepresented founders across North Texas. Its algorithm connects entrepreneurs with suggested innovative financing structures and capital resources, including several angel networks.
The platform has been funded with a $950,000 grant from the U.S Economic Development Association.
Several angel networks have already committed
Champion Impact Capital says several angel networks have already committed to funding potential investments, including the SWAN Impact Network, North Texas Angel Network, Ambassadors Impact Network, and Capital Factory family offices.
Aiming to improve North Texas’ health, safety, and environment
Spark North Texas is now open to founders seeking capital to help scale businesses and tech-focused solutions that impact the region’s health, safety, or the environment. By “sparking” economic opportunities in the region, the goal is to help grow the Dallas and North Texas economy post-pandemic—and to scale some of the ideas nationwide for an even greater economic impact.
“Champion’s mission is to use various financial tools in a positive and creative way to solve challenges in our communities,” said Michelle Corson, founder of Champion Impact Capital, in a statement.
“We created Spark North Texas to stimulate the region’s recovery from the pandemic by connecting entrepreneurs to capital resources,” Corson added. “Our new tech and investor matches coming out of the portal will continue fueling our state’s growth including the region’s start-up activity, one day matching Silicon Valley.”
All-star team behind the platform
Corson, who founded Champion Impact Capital in 2011 to encourage impact investing in Texas, is well-versed in innovative ideation in financial tools. A car buff with a mission to help working families build prosperity, the social entrepreneur also founded On the Road Companies, a family of nonprofits and social enterprises.
Now Corson has assembled an all-star team for Spark North Texas that includes Heather Gilker, founder and principal of Tokalon Advisors LLC and executive director of North Texas angel network SWAN Impact: Chris O‘Brien, director of economic development for the Irving Economic Development Partnership; Nick Stanutz and Debby Hanson, executives with On the Road Companies; Ryan Goodman, previously director of accounting for Fridays and Bruce (BJ) Cortis, founder of Craftsman Technology Group.
Projects go on the platform, then investors peruse
The free platform is designed to be a repository for projects that might appeal to a wide array of accredited investors and investor groups.
The platform’s “matchmaking algorithm” will connect entrepreneurs with suggested innovative financing structures and capital to bring new tech to market.
Founder applications must be submitted by November 24
Entrepreneurs can upload submissions to the platform now through November 24. Only after all entrepreneur applications have been submitted will the portal open to investors, Champion Impact says.
Portal will open to investors on January 10, 2022
The portal will open to accredited investors, including family foundations, corporations, and individuals, on January 10, 2022.
Investors will be asked to submit criteria for investments of interest to them. The portal will then utilize this data for its matchmaking algorithm to pair entrepreneurs and investors based on the criteria investors have selected.
But investors won’t have to rely only on the algorithm. They’ll have the ability to search the entire database to seek out projects, or filter opportunities based on search parameters.
The team behind Spark North Texas will encourage investors to consider multiple projects. Each investor will decide on the amount of funding given to a project.
To submit your application or to learn more about Spark North Texas, visit here.
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