Fellowship Program Aims to Attract, Keep Entrepreneurial Talent

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 1:30 pm  

Warwick Sabin

A new entrepreneurship program called the Arkansas Fellowship has been launched as part of an effort to keep and attract entrepreneurial talent to the state.

The program is backed by Winrock International, the Northwest Arkansas Council and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

The application deadline for the program is Monday, March 24. Interested candidates can apply here.

Warwick Sabin, head of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, will direct the program, which is modeled after the successful Orr Fellowship in Indiana. The program is designed for graduating college seniors looking to engage entrepreneurship after graduation. Those accepted into the program will be up for paid positions at some of the state's top companies.

The Arkansas Fellowship, Sabin said, will focus on developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in the state.

"This is a proven way to identify and retain the best in-state talent while making a socially responsible contribution to the further economic development of Arkansas," Sabin said. "Our state suffers when our most promising young people leave for other opportunities, and this is an efficient and effective way to turn that around by connecting great talent with great companies."

Board members are:

  • Little Rock startup lawyer Jamie Fugitt
  • entrepreneur/investor Kristian Andersen of KA+A and Gravity Ventures
  • Innovate Arkansas adviser Jeff Amerine, director of technology ventures at the University of Arkansas
  • Heather Nelson of SEAL Corporation in North Little Rock
  • Little Rock CPA Ryan Holder
  • Mike Steely of the Arkansas Venture Center
  • Burt Hicks of Winrock International

Sabin said Arkansas Fellows will be given the opportunity to build a professional network and accelerate their careers. 

The Arkansas Fellowship program offers participants:

  • Access to the host company’s senior leadership for mentoring and support.
  • Opportunities to build deep relationships with peers and business and community leaders.
  • Invitations to lectures with renowned speakers.
  • Civic engagement opportunities.
  • Accelerated paths to professional development.
  • An annual salary of $40,000 paid by the mentor company. (May also include additional benefits and bonuses provided at the discretion of the mentor company.)

The criteria for consideratioin into the program calls for candidates who:

  • Possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Have graduated from an Arkansas college or university, or be a native Arkansan graduates from an out-of-state school.
  • Demonstrate leadership potential and a bias toward entrepreneurship.
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.
  • Seek to familiarize themselves with a host of business specialties, such as marketing, finance, sales, etc.
  • Nurture the development of a network of like-minded cohorts and invest in meaningful peer relationships during the two-year fellowship.
  • Relish (and capitalize on) the opportunity to meet and work alongside senior leadership in some of Arkansas’s most dynamic companies.
  • Embrace risk, responsibility, and independence.

More information is available at ArkansasFellowship.org.

 

 

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