May 25, 2022 - Business

Atento Capital wants to connect NWA and Tulsa economically

Illustration of a hanging bridge with the planks made of hundred dollar bills.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A venture capital firm is looking to build an economic bridge between NWA and Tulsa.

What's happening: Atento Capital, based in Tulsa, is launching 412 Angels, an invite-only network to connect entrepreneurs, investors and would-be investors with early-stage startups.

  • The group will focus on people and companies doing business along the U.S. Highway 412 corridor and in both locations.
  • Participants in the networks will have access to educational resources, in-person networking gatherings and investment opportunities that have been vetted by Atento Capital.

The Northwest Arkansas Council, George Kaiser Family Foundation and Walton Family Foundation are also part of the network.

Why it matters: Access to capital helps startups and young companies, which builds an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  • While investment in NWA has grown in recent years, it's still far below areas like Austin, Texas.

The big picture: A well-informed and willing network of private investors that connects two vibrant heartland economies can have a greater impact than if they invest separately.

  • Connecting the two areas could build a nationally competitive tech economy with strengths in e-commerce, supply chain, energy tech and transportation, the Northwest Arkansas Council said in a news release.

Of note: Investors interested in participating in the 412 Angels network can visit 412Angels.com for more information.

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