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How to become the ultimate Supply Chain & Logistics innovation ecosystem?

Take three of the world-leading companies and one of the top universities for supply chain and logistics research; connect them with the ultimate innovation platform; toss in the “Kickstarter for IP” and the global leader of the high-impact entrepreneur movement; and then place them all in one of the top regional economies in the United States.

With the support of Walmart, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt, the University of Arkansas, and the Walton Family Foundation, Northwest Arkansas aims to become the epicenter for supply chain and logistics startups. Meet the experts that are going to help us make it happen below.

The Ultimate Innovation Platform

Plug and Play

The Big Idea: Combining Silicon Valley’s established startup ecosystem with Northwest Arkansas’ world-leading corporations to create the ultimate Supply Chain & Logistics innovation ecosystem.

# of Startups: The program will include two cohorts of 10 companies twice a year—three months on and three months off—for three years.

Goal: To bring 50 startups each year to Northwest Arkansas.

Key Stakeholders: Walmart, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Walton Family Foundation, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, University of Arkansas, and Northwest Arkansas Council

Interesting Fact: Plug and Play has helped grow market leaders such as PayPal, Danger, Google, DropBox, LendingClub, Zoosk, SoundHound, CreditSesame, and Skytree, and has over 400 more early-stage startups in its portfolio.

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"The Kickstarter for IP" - WIRED

The Center for Advancing Innovation

The Big Idea: A global startup challenge featuring novel, commercially viable inventions that will positively transform supply chain, transportation and logistics.

# of Startups: 100 to 200 teams that will be narrowed down to 20 finalists over the next eight months.

Goal: To launch 20 tech-related companies launching in Northwest Arkansas at the program’s culmination in April 2020.

Key Stakeholders: Walton Family Foundation, research partners including NASA, and 60+ investors.

Interesting Fact: CAI vetted over 16,000 inventions for the accelerator, which they narrowed down to 22. Each invention has received over $10 million in federally funded research dollars and is available for exclusive licensing through the challenge.

Selected Inventions
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"The Kickstarter for IP" - WIRED

The Center for Advancing Innovation

The Big Idea: A global startup challenge featuring novel, commercially viable inventions that will positively transform supply chain, transportation and logistics.

# of Startups: 100 to 200 teams that will be narrowed down to 20 finalists over the next eight months.

Goal: To launch 20 tech-related companies launching in Northwest Arkansas at the program’s culmination in April 2020.

Key Stakeholders: Walton Family Foundation, research partners including NASA, and 60+ investors.

Interesting Fact: CAI vetted over 16,000 inventions for the accelerator, which they narrowed down to 22. Each invention has received over $10 million in federally funded research dollars and is available for exclusive licensing through the challenge.

Selected Inventions
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A Global Network of Peer and Mentor Support

Endeavor

The Big Idea: Endeavor Northwest Arkansas will leverage the strong engagement and backing from local business leaders to support the founders and companies in the region that have passed through the initial startup phase and who demonstrate potential for rapid expansion and scale.

# of Startups: Supporting the most promising startups in the region.

Goal: Endeavor NWA will focus on selecting high-impact entrepreneurs and businesses from multiple sectors that have the potential to scale significantly and reinvest back into the community. The office will concentrate on providing these entrepreneurs with access to capital and talent as well as a worldwide network of mentor and peer connections.

Key Stakeholders: Walton Family Foundation, Board of Directors: Elise Mitchell, Founder and Chairman of Mitchell Communications; Carl George, Co-CEO/President of George’s Inc.; Ashley Hubka, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Corporate Development at Walmart; Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods; and Clete Brewer, Managing Partner at New Road Capital Partners.

Interesting Fact: Founded in 1997, Endeavor has helped 1,800 of these entrepreneurs build more than 1,100 companies in 34 markets throughout North America, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, which generated a combined revenue of $15 billion in 2017.

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