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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A $518,000 grant for UA's Venture Intern Program that pairs undergraduates with early-stage ventures will support internships through 2023.

  • The grant comes from the Walton Family Foundation and will allow the program to expand from 60 to 90 students.
  • The program is a 12-week, paid assignment for juniors and seniors.

Why it matters: NWA's startup community is small compared to major metros — fostering an entrepreneurial spirit will help grow the community and sustain the area's economy long-term.

The program is popular with both students and startups.

  • "Students want to experience the workings of early-stage companies and startup environments. And these organizations need access to talented student interns to increase their head count and ability to execute," said Deb Williams, director of student programs at UA's Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in a news release.

Applications for the fall 2021 cohort are due July 2.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 9, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: The Future of Venture Capital

On Wednesday, December 9 Axios' Dan Primack hosted a conversation on the future of venture capital featuring Mercato Partners director Joe Kaiser and Upfront Ventures managing partner Kara Nortman.

Kara Nortman unpacked the startup landscape, Los Angeles as an up-and-coming hub for venture capital, and trends in the industry.

  • On how the pandemic has changed founding startups: "You have to be intentional. You don't have serendipity. It doesn't exist. You have to even be intentional about your serendipity. My sense is more startups are starting really in a positive way, trying to solve big, real problems where you can collaborate with people in different ways and get to know people differently."
  • On how companies that prioritized resiliency are thriving: "A lot of companies that thought they would be impacted negatively actually became more efficient and really looked at how they're operating and really invested in culture...Startups that do what startups do best—which is move fast against macro changes—are coming out of this much, much stronger."

Joe Kaiser discussed the acceleration of 'work from home' and how geography will play less and less of a role in building successful companies.

  • "A couple of years ago, you had founders...moving to the Bay Area to build amazing companies. Today's [founders] are doing it in the towns where they grew up...We believe is going to be an explosive and dispersed entrepreneurial movement across the US. I think I think we are going to see a really distributed entrepreneurial environment for years to come."

Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top segment with president of the Venture Banking Group at Pacific Western Bank Sean Lynden, who unpacked how startups and the world of venture capital have approached the economic reality of the pandemic.

  • "I think that a lot of the venture capital community took a longer term approach to this. They saw this as being a short term hiccup...They've taken a long term approach, continuing to build good, solid companies that should come out of this stronger than ever. "

Thank you Pacific Western Bank for sponsoring this event.

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.

Biden details new vaccination initiatives as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden detailed several new initiatives on Thursday to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Why it matters: The plan outlines aggressive next steps from the federal government as COVID-19 cases surge across the country due to the contagious Delta variant and as demand for vaccines has tapered off.