Mark Sparks Keen on Supporting Social Service Entrepreneurial Ventures

Mark Sparks is a successful entrepreneur who hails from Dallas, Texas. He has successfully built a portfolio of companies together with other founding entrepreneurs from his equity firm. About 15 years ago, Sparks met Lynn Sipiora and started a homeless shelter with her called The Samaritan Inn. Together, the duo grew the small homeless shelter, located in Collin County, into a huge operation that feeds about 200 people daily. In addition, it runs on an annual budget of about $3 million.

In addition, the two also built a transitional apartment complex located in North Texas, started a thrift store and fostered a family shelter (currently under construction) worth $7 million. As a result of their successful endeavors together, Lynne Sipiora convinced Sparks to foster innovative, unconventional and economically feasible business ideas from entrepreneurs that result in social success.

Spark Tank

Spark tank was created to help foster business ideas from social service entrepreneurs that had potential benefits to the community. It funds grants and oversees accountability. This innovative concept aims to offer financial assistance to entrepreneurs with viable ideas. 15 years back, Sparks and Sipiora managed the Samaritan Inn with a $5,000 budget. Using this budget, they managed to build a pet kennel at the shelter, cover the cost of kid’s lessons and camps as well as fueled the Inn’s shuttle bus for a whole year.

How the Program Works

All applicants are required to submit their online applications before July 15, 2016. Thereafter, all applications will be thoroughly reviewed and shortlisted to three finalists. The finalists are later required to personally appear before a designated Spark Tank panel to present their ideas. The 20 minutes time allocated is split into two 10-minute parts; presentation and Q&A. Learn more about Marc Sparks: and

All applicants must be 501c3 organizations with at least two years of history. Human and animal services as well as arts are eligible to apply. National charities, political action committees, faith based initiatives and united way charities are not eligible to apply.

Mark Sparks

Mark Sparks is a businessman, venture capitalist and entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas. He heads Timber Creek Capital and maintains several portfolio companies. Today, Sparks’ interests lie in the telecommunication industry in companies like Cardinal Telecom, Slash Media and Blue Jay Wireless. Sparks is passionately involved in philanthropic efforts. He is involved in the Samaritan Inn, American Can! Academy and Habitat for Humanity. Read more: @msparks5010

Sparks has a 34-year experience as an entrepreneur and has seen his fair share of successes and failures. This god-fearing entrepreneur has managed to create and sell companies using his persistence, keen instinct and experience. He has reiterated that his passion lies in building companies from unconventional ideas. He is also a published author having written ‘They Can’t Eat You’ based on his personal life and business experiences.