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A Place for Innovators in the Heartland to Call Home

In the middle of the American Heartland and headquarters to enterprises Walmart, J.B. Hunt and Tyson Foods, Northwest Arkansas has more than 1,400 global brands that have offices in the region. Northwest Arkansas has enjoyed national attention from as an unexpected hub for tech startups, from DataFox as one of the best places to found a startup outside of Silicon Valley and from as a top place for minority-owned businesses.

Entrepreneurial Support Across the Business Lifecycle

Key entrepreneurial support organizations to help companies from ideation to scalability are the area’s Chambers of Commerce, Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, Small Business Development Center, Innovate Arkansas, Startup Junkie, Endeavor and Grit Studios. Abundant business services, including consulting, programming, events, coworking, training, mentorship and investor relations, are available for entrepreneurs innovating in the areas of data analytics, global supply chain, omnichannel retail, ecommerce, food, consumer technologies, healthtech, life sciences and beyond.

Community Collisions Around Unique Events

The Heartland Summit, NWA Tech Summit, Fayetteville Roots Festival, AMP Fest, Arkansas Startup Crawl, Nowhere Developers Conference, NWA TechFest, TechStars Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas and Blockchain Hackathon are just a sampling of Northwest Arkansas’s signature events that rally communities around innovation, technology, startups, entertainment, food and talent development.

Value and Talent Creation Engines for Regional Innovation

At the University of Arkansas, the Technology Development Foundation and Arkansas Research & Technology Park, Technology Ventures, Global Campus IT Readiness Program, Blockchain Hackathon, Blockchain Center of Excellence, McMillon Innovation Studio, Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence, Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Office of Economic Development and Science Venture Primer Partnership spur economic impact. Northwest Technical Institute and Northwest Arkansas Community College, home to Shewmaker Center for Workforce Technologies, provide extensive certificate and degree programs to develop homegrown technical talent. John Brown University is a liberal arts college with diverse degree offerings, from engineering and  entrepreneurship to leadership and international business.

Evolving Capital Landscape

New Road Capital Partners is a demand-driven growth equity firm that creates value by connecting people and ideas to make a difference, while RZC Investments looks at venture opportunities worldwide and seeks to link scaling companies Northwest Arkansas. Cadron Capital Partners  is an angel/seed capital investment fund focused on early-stage companies, and Dozier Capital Partners is a single-family office that invests personal, flexible capital alongside premier entrepreneurs and operators. Natural State Angel Association (NSAA) is an association of 300+ angel investors across the region of Northwest Arkansas that meets routined to review investment pitches from invited entrepreneurs. Regionally based banks, Forge Community Loan Fund and Small Business Administration also offer a number of  non-dilutive options for founders seeking startup capital. See Capital Resources for a more comprehensive list, which includes statewide and super-regional options.