The Sparkup Story
Sparkup began in New York as an experiment in collaborative entrepreneurship. Structured as a community-supported, concept-to-launch incubator, it aimed to support existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs through targeted resources, connections and access to capital. It’s core mission was to help early stage women entrepreneurs get to launch, and to create a local ecosystem to support women-owned businesses.
As Sparkup grew, it found itself serving the needs of a very specific demographic - women who had a taken a break from traditional employment and were seeking meaningful work. Sparkup played a key role in fostering entrepreneurship as a viable option for women seeking a new career pathway and helping women figure out if entrepreneurship was right for them. If it was, Sparkup’s one-stop shop incubator program was a good option. Rather than turn away the rest, Sparkup expanded to include a job track, to support women who were seeking to return to work through traditional employment. The two sides complemented each other nicely - the women looking for jobs were great sources of talent for the women entrepreneurs. In 2015, after its founder, Singari Seshadri, relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sparkup spun out its NY-based career business to Vermilion Talent.
Around the same time, a conversation began on a local message board in Menlo Park, CA on the topic of career transition for women. The overwhelming response sparked (no pun intended!) interest in a network similar to the one operated by Sparkup in New York. A few coffee meetings later, with feedback from several women and the dedicated support of a small band of women, Sparkup launched with a pilot program in the Bay Area. Sparkup Bay Area evolved into a close-knit, supportive community and resource hub. Through frequent coffee meetups and a private online forum, as well as connections to events, workshops, resources and services, Sparkup members leveraged each other to achieve their career goals, including starting businesses.
In January 2017, Sparkup Bay Area merged with Silicon Valley-based ReBootAccel, to complement their community and service offering with a specific focus on women interested in entrepreneurship as a career path. Read the announcement here. To learn more about the merger and ReBoot's upcoming entrepreneurship events, attend their upcoming event or click here to sign up for entrepreneurship updates.