Innovation is changing Fort Worth. Start-ups and a spirit of entrepreneurship are transforming the city known for Cowboys and Culture into a hub for innovative ideas and businesses. Innovate Fort Worth shares the stories of the city’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and investors —and highlights the resources available to bring ideas to market.
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John Merris: Firing Up Outdoor Brands
When it comes to putting smiles on faces, John Merris knows a thing or two about how to do that. Whether it is sitting around a campfire, kayaking on the lake, or even wearing some crazy shorts, he is building the lifestyle brand that brings family and friends together. As CEO of Solo Brands, the company that went public in the fall of 2021, John Merris shares how he became CEO of Solo Stoves, what it is like collaborating and acquiring three different brands, and how he is “creating good” through his products.
#63 Alex Brammer: A Bit of Mining... In the City?
Fort Worth recently announced that it is the first city government to mine bitcoin. Alex Brammer, the VP of Business Development at Luxor Technologies, one the city’s partners on their new bitcoin mine, does a deep dive to explain what the City of Fort Worth’s new bitcoin mining operation is and why it could have great outcomes for all Fort Worthians.
Jon Weidanz: Weeding Out Cancer with Immunotherapies
Abexxa Biologics is changing how we treat cancer. Using immunotherapy, Jon Weidanz is treating cancer through novel biotechnology that targets cancer cells and boosts immune systems of patients. Jon and Debra Weidanz are the co-founders of the biotech company Abexxa Biologics, that was acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) in 2021. Jon shares how he raised capital from BI venture funds, how Abexxa won their “golden ticket” competition and how they went from lab discovery to acquisition in just a few years.
Austin Patry and Sophia Karbowski: Let's Roll (and Bowl)
What started off as a class project at TCU grew into a health food company that spans the nation. Austin Patry and Sophia Karbowski are the cofounders of Rollin’ n Bowlin’, the first acai bowl establishment in Fort Worth, who sought to provide nutritional food to their fellow university students. These two are taking over college campuses by providing healthy smoothies and acai bowls and have begun offering their products on grocery store shelves.
Matthew Ciardiello: Pumped Up Energy Storage
When it comes to renewable energy, Matthew Ciardiello is in rarified air. He is the CEO of Terrastor, a solution for dependable, carbon neutral energy storage in the ground. His team’s extensive knowledge of the energy sector is paving the way for a new form of energy storage and generation. He is harnessing the power of pressurized air, stored in porous rock, to create energy for high-demand use. He is one of many innovative entrepreneurs who are is making Fort Worth the “electrification capital” of the world.
Darlisa Diltz: The Rising Queen of NTX Entrepreneurship
Darlisa Diltz is famous for her dedicated work with local entrepreneurs in the DFW region. She is connector, a supporter, an educator, a cheerleader, as well as an entrepreneur herself. She is offers resources through the North Texas Entrepreneurial Education & Training Center as well as her shared work space, The Center NTX, to nurture entrepreneurs at any stage they may be. Dive into how she finds opportunities to help those find success in their dreams as well as what big plans she has next!
Great show. Cool things happening in Funkytown.
Love seeing the cool stuff happening in Fort Worth. So many cool things going on in Funkytown. I didn’t know about any of these innovators making stuff happen here. Keep up the good work and keep the episodes coming!!!
Love seeing that innovation is being highlighted in Fort Worth. Our city is now the 13th largest in the country and there are so many cool things going on that nobody knows about. Glad to see that someone is finally shining a light on the people behind the startups that are making our world a better place to live, work and play.