Q&A with PressBaby: From Startup Weekend to the ARK, and the Differences Between LR and NWA

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 9:45 am  

Emily: The bottom line on relocating: it was both hard and rewarding. I actually split my time between Little Rock and Fayetteville for the three-month period as I was maintaining my full-time employment and all the duties that came with that at Stone Ward. As a result, I spent a lot of time on the road and maintained two residences during that period.

I love Fayetteville and loved spending time up there, but I was worn out most days! I ended up splitting my physical time 50/50 during the three months. It was rewarding because the time spent with mentors and with other teams taught me much that I would have missed if I were only working from a distance.

IA: In what ways could central Arkansas emulate NWA in terms of growing its startup environment?

Emily: The two areas of the state are so different. Northwest Arkansas has a vibrancy that comes from the energy around the university. But central Arkansas has a wealth of established businesses and access to government resources, as the capital.

I don't think central Arkansas needs to emulate the environment in northwest Arkansas, but should create an environment that is friendly to startups based on the strengths that we have in central Arkansas. Perhaps that is focusing on a program for those already in the workforce and a little more mature in their business experience. I am a little biased in this suggestion, having been one of only a few that kept a full-time job during the program and as the oldest in our cohort!

Things that central Arkansas can learn from northwest Arkansas include having more startup-centric events and networking opportunities. And of course, getting the word out on those events and the outcomes so that others learn about it and will want to participate. Startup Weekend was a great way to kick this effort off and I know there are several other efforts underway like creating co-working spaces for startups. These co-working spaces and surrounding resources (housing, food, drink, entertainment, etc.) are important to bringing bright people together in an environment where they can create together.

IA: For startups, what unique advantages does Little Rock have?

Emily: Being in the central part of the state, I believe that Little Rock offers easier access to mentors from around the state to come in regularly and provide a diversity of input to startup companies. Additionally, the proximity to state government can be a tremendous asset for funding assistance.

IA: So, what do you think of the startup experience so far?

Emily: PressBaby is my first startup, and I don't think it will be my last. The process has been trying, but the experience rewarding. I think that I learned a lot that I want to apply to another startup in the future.

IA: Is there anything like PressBaby out there now?

Emily: Many publishers are trying to figure out how to turn their written content into multi-media content based on the trends that we are seeing with increases in online video viewing and audio content consumption. But they haven't figured out the perfect solution to this yet. Some are providing multimedia content as supplementary to the written content.

 

 

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