TECH Fort Worth was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit organization to diversify the Fort Worth economy though an emphasis on new technologies. While originally focused on medical technologies, by 2003, TECH Fort Worth broadened its mission and included companies based on any form of proprietary technology.
The funds to get TECH Fort Worth started came primarily from large local private foundations, including the Sid Richardson Foundation and the Amon Carter Foundation and local businesses focused on technology, including Alcon Laboratories and RadioShack, as well as private businesses and service providers in the community.
Those companies and organizations believed that nurturing new companies with a potential for great growth would be good for the economic health of our entire community.
In 2005, the city of Fort Worth and the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth formed a partnership to provide additional funding for TECH Fort Worth and have since provided funding and support, supplemented by grant funding from the state.
In 2004, TECH Fort Worth moved into its first real “home” – the former gymnasium at the James E. Guinn school campus that had been renovated by the city of Fort Worth for this purpose. This building has two floors of offices available for lease by TECH Fort Worth clients to help them get their businesses off the ground. In 2008, the TECH Fort Worth Acceleration Lab at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth was opened to provide laboratory space for TECH Fort Worth clients who need wet labs in addition to their offices.
Since 2006, when Darlene Ryan and Brent Sorrells became the executive director and operations manager, respectively, for TECH Fort Worth, their focus has been on programs to reach the results envisioned when the organization was founded. Their programs are intended to mentor and coach the inventors, founders and managers of these early stage companies, to keep them focused on the important work of long-term strategy while they also do the tough day-to-day work of getting the company started, and to connect them with the resources they need to get new technologies to the market that will broaden and strengthen the area’s economy and that will better the world in the years ahead.