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Introducing ARise: Arkansas Innovators, Startups, and Entrepreneurs

Startup Junkie Spearheads New Program Empowering Arkansas-Based Tech Entrepreneurs

Fayetteville-based nonprofit Startup Junkie will spearhead a new program called ARise which aims to empower tech ventures in Arkansas to scale up, create high-wage employment opportunities, and drive world-class technological innovation throughout the state.

About ARise

ARise, standing for Arkansas Innovators, Startups, and Entrepreneurs, represents a revitalized version of the Arkansas Statewide Technology Commercialization program formerly known as Innovate Arkansas. The program is supported by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC).

“Growing technology companies is critical for Arkansas’ long-term economic success,” said Clint O’Neal, Executive Director of the AEDC. “The ARise program is a key element of our strategy for providing support and resources for tech ventures as they scale up in the Natural State.”

With a vision of becoming the driving force behind entrepreneurial economic growth in Arkansas, ARise aims to establish the state as a premier destination for tech companies worldwide to start and scale their businesses.

Program Services

The program offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to support startups and entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, including:

  • Startup Consulting and Coaching: ARise provides personalized consulting and coaching to guide tech ventures toward success, from concept validation to scaling strategies. Differentiating itself from other programs, ARise provides its startups with coaching on a continued basis and regular check-ins to ensure each venture has a customized plan to receive services and support.

  • Capital Access Navigation: ARise helps startups navigate the capital landscape, connecting them with funding opportunities and providing the support they need to secure investment. Whether a startup is looking for venture capital or non-dilutive government support, ARise assists innovators with securing the best funding for the current stage of their company. The program also offers investor recruitment and education to support startups within Arkansas.

  • Advanced Subject Matter Expert (SME) Network: ARise's network of SMEs and mentors offers invaluable guidance and support across industries, empowering entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. This SME network provides a breadth of knowledge for new ventures, including the expertise of those who have grown their own companies and those who have proficiency in highly specialized fields like biotechnology, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and retail value chain management.

  • Connection to Industry: As a collaboration between Startup Junkie, Conductor, and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, ARise facilitates connections between startups and established companies to foster growth and expansion.

  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources: ARise strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arkansas through a comprehensive digital resource library, targeted events, and collaborations with other entrepreneurial support organizations.

How To Enroll

The ARise program is open to tech and tech-enabled ventures that are Arkansas-based and scalable. All services are offered at no charge to entrepreneurs across the state. To enroll in the program, visit www.ARiseArkansas.org to complete an onboarding application and schedule an initial consultation with a program representative.