A mixed-use industry incubator designed to foster entrepreneurial development and create jobs is being created by the city of Fort Worth in a public/private partnership.
IDEA Works Fort Worth will operate from a 9,000-square-foot building at 600 E. Rosedale St., at the former James Guinn Elementary School, a three-building complex that includes the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center and Tech Fort Worth. Renovations to the building were completed last fall.
IDEA Works Fort Worth, a partnership of the city and the BAC Education Foundation, will officially begin Feb. 5. It will be managed and funded by the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center Education Foundation. A few months ago, the foundation was given a grant from the University of North Texas Health Science Center and will be given another $75,000 in grants through September for its operations.
“Fort Worth’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well,” said Lucas Sawyer, chairman of the BAC Education Foundation, in a statement. “We want to be a shot in the arm of emerging businesses where our services and offerings can be a catalyst to their growth. Job creation and expanding our community’s economic development are our key areas of focus.”
The Business Assistance Center, a division of the city’s Housing and Economic Development Department, was opened in 1995 to provide help to business startups. Tech Fort Worth was founded in 1998 as a business incubator for technology startup companies.
The mixed-use industry incubator will look for revenue-producing small businesses with two to nine employees that have growth, employment and investment potential.
Tenants will have access to business coaching and strategic planning from mentors, entrepreneurs and an advisory council, as well as access to capital, shared business services and networking opportunities.
“Fort Worth understands that we simply must help emerging businesses by providing tools to expand and grow jobs,” said Mayor Betsy Price in a statement. “IDEA Works FW is proof of our commitment and a complement to what the Business Assistance Center and Tech Fort Worth are accomplishing.”
Applications are being taken online for potential tenants at ideaworksfw.submittable.com. A committee will review the applications.