Feb 7, 2024 - News

The Shift: 412 Angels network lands in Bentonville

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Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Endeavor Heartland of Bentonville will take over management of the 412 Angels network launched in 2022 by Atento Capital of Tulsa.

Why it matters: The network helps startups and young companies doing business in NWA, Tulsa and surrounding areas known as the 412 Corridor get connected with potential investors.

  • A growing network of angel investors will support the expansion of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

State of play: Endeavor Heartland noted a need to educate more people locally about options to become angel investors so that early-stage entrepreneurs have access to support, Canem Arkan, managing director, told Worth.

Context: Endeavor is an international nonprofit founded in 1997 by businesswoman Linda Rottenberg. The organization works to connect founders of high-growth companies for mentorship and network development, with the goal of helping them scale up.

  • Endeavor's NWA regional office opened in 2019. Local business leaders β€” including Todd Simmons of Simmons Foods, Clete Brewer of New Roads Capital and Andy Murray, formerly of Saatchi & Saatchi X β€” head its board of directors.

Of note: Atento Capital is a for-profit, capital-venture firm affiliated with the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Meanwhile, Quinn Robertson, who previously led an angel investor group in Wichita, Kansas, will continue to lead 412 Angels.

  • "The first two years of this program were really a pilot and showed that there's an interest and appetite to financially support early-stage, growth-oriented companies in the region," he said in a news release.

What they're saying: "Endeavor's goal is to help founders scale," Arkan told Worth.

  • "I think now under our umbrella of being a nonprofit, and really having a foot in both markets … I think we can have a broader reach. We can have broader deal flow; we can have access to a broader community of people that live here that care about [entrepreneurship]."

What we're watching: Robertson's plans include events to bring together entrepreneurs and potential investors in NWA and Tulsa.

🀝The Shift is a regular feature to catch up quick on what's happening in Arkansas' economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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