Marc Sparks’ Spark Tank

We’ve all heard of Shark Tank, but are you familiar with Spark Tank? Spark tank is an innovative idea that helps fund social services and nonprofits by providing them a unique opportunity to compete for grant money and mentoring from Marc Sparks, a successful Dallas entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Sparks and Lynne Sipiora started the venture after considering how social services and nonprofits causes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area could greatly benefit from entrepreneurial skills.

In order for organizations to participate in Spark Tank, they must have been a 501c3 nonprofit that has been around for at least 2 years. Once chosen, finalists are given the opportunity to present their ideas and show how they will weigh the results, and from there decision are made and grants awarded. It is a fun process that draws a lot of attention to community needs and in one organization’s case, gives them the funds to get the ball rolling.

Sparks is an entrepreneur at heart and has made it personal concern that finalists succeed in their goals. His mentoring program assure the nonprofits that they are presenting themselves to the best of their ability, and taking advantage of lucrative opportunities along the way. His grant money is intended to ‘spark’ the programs, but more entrepreneurial smarts are needed to continue to succeed.

October 1st is the deadline for applicants to compete in Spark Tank’s round 3. There are three total rounds and a winner will be chosen from each. The three round winners will then go on to compete against one another in December. The winning applicant will take home the prize.
While Marc has lead a series of successful business ventures in the past, this is also not his first venture into philanthropy. He has helped to transform the Samaritan Inn, a Dallas homeless shelter, from a run-down shelter to a thriving center that feeds over 200 people per day. He built a transitional housing center and helped start a successful tenant run thrift store. Moreover, he has also written a book, “They Can’t Eat You,” which gives readers an optimistic view of how anyone can be a successful entrepreneur.

Stayed tuned coming October to find out who the third round winner of Spark Tank is, as they prepare to go up against the first two round winners, Mommies in Need and Dogs Matter.

Talk Fusion CEO Gives Back

Talk Fusion, a video communications business, opened their doors in 2007 but has spent lots of time helping people along the way. Talk Fusion is one of the leading brands in video communications, bringing the ability to video conference, broadcast, and network products on social networking. What began with a video email service has grown to encompass the entire video communications business.

While their achievements in business are impressive, the company has spent years helping people to build futures, realize dreams, and give back to the community. They are committed to not only their business, but to changing lives. Under Bob Reina, the CEO of Talk Fusion, the company is built around and motivated to make a difference, and that giving attitude is in no short supply. So far, Reina has had a major impact on the world with a record breaking $1 million donation that went to the Tampa Bay Humane Society. His love doesn’t stop at animals, he has also made generous donations to help support an orphanage in Indonesia. His actions often are contagious and inspire others, his company and independent associates are located in more than 140 countries around the world and they are all as devoted as Reina.

Reina is now using his business to help those in need by allowing his Talk Fusion Associates to donate one account to the charity of their choice, free of charge. It is for the custom monthly plan, the top of the line that the company offers. The goal is simple, but one that carries lots of power behind it, to help charities and nonprofit organizations reach more people and spread their message.

From personal donations, fundraisers, helping those in Japan affected by the tsunami, volunteering time and resources for the less fortunate, and helping the Nepal earthquake victims, it’s easy to see that Reina’s mission is changing lives everyday. Information obtained from Your Mark On The World.

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