Oct 16, 2023 - News

Arkansas business accelerator new option for tech startups

a microchip with a money symbol cut out of the middle

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

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.

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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