Arkansas business accelerator new option for tech startups
Cartwheel Startup Studio and the University of Arkansas are launching a business accelerator focused on tech startups.
Why it matters: Accelerators are important to build a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, attract out-of-market talent and draw even more venture capital to NWA.
Details: The program, dubbed the Bounds Accelerator, is seeking up to 10 companies that use technology to fix issues in the retail, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and supply chain industries.
- Organizers want to include at least three Arkansas-based startups in the first cohort.
- Businesses researching artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality or blockchain technologies are ideal, according to a university release.
The big picture: Bounds is the latest in a series of accelerator programs offered in NWA.
- Niche programs focused on startups in the women's health industry, outdoor recreation, traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs and those working in the heartland have popped up in the past few years.
How it works: Selected businesses will begin the 16-week Bounds program in January.
- Most sessions will be remote except for an in-person orientation and a demonstration day in Bentonville in April.
- Entrepreneurs will meet industry leaders, investors, tech experts and business mentors who can help set goals for the next phase of their businesses.
- The companies will compete for a cash award on demo day, but organizers don't guarantee any direct investment.
- Applications are due Nov. 3; the cohort will be finalized by Dec. 6.
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