The University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation is very pleased to welcome Innovate Arkansas as the newest affiliate in the Arkansas Research and Technology Park (ARTP). Funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Innovate Arkansas is being implemented by Winrock International's U.S. Programs Unit. Located in the GENESIS Technology Incubator, the Innovate Arkansas office is staffed by Karen McSpadden. Karen recently graduated from the Walton College of Business with an MBA and holds a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. Innovate Arkansas' presence in the ARTP offers our corporate partners direct access to the services that Innovate Arkansas provides including:
- Product assessments
- Market feasibility analyses
- Commercialization strategies
- Business plan development
- Product/concept valuation
With the shared goal of fostering and retaining a technologically skilled workforce, the UATDF is looking forward to working with Innovate Arkansas to lower the barriers faced by emerging technology companies especially in the areas of recruitment of managerial talent and equity capital. Aside from working with existing ARTP corporate affiliates, Karen and her team will work with new technology-based entrepreneurs across Northwest Arkansas to move new innovations and high-tech service concepts toward viable commercial enterprises. By doing so, Arkansas will benefit from an increase in higher-paying jobs and better opportunities for its college-educated youth, as well as entice young professionals from outside the state to relocate to Arkansas.
Winrock International is a nonprofit corporation created in 1985 when three Rockefeller-founded organizations merged: the Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center, the Agricultural Development Council and the International Agricultural Development Service. Winrock operates programs is over 60 countries worldwide with the mission to improve lives worldwide by empowering the disadvantaged, increasing economic opportunity and sustaining natural resources. Winrock International is headquartered in Little Rock, and its U.S. Programs unit brings global expertise home to benefit Arkansas, the Midsouth and the United States. Rural and enterprise development programs, technology assistance and environmental services provide crosscutting strategies to address challenges facing the region and nation.
Innovate Arkansas is a perfect complement to Winrock's portfolio of projects. By providing training and technical assistance to help develop industry based on new technology, Innovate Arkansas is reinforcing and expanding the Winrock mission. Winrock is proud to be a partner in this exciting initiative that will increase economic opportunity in Arkansas.
If you are interested in learning more about the services that Innovate Arkansas offers, visit http://www.innovatearkansas.org. Karen McSpadden is located in the Genesis Technology Incubator, Room 1003B at 700 W. Research Center Blvd, Fayetteville, AR 72701. She can be reached at 479.575.5488 or email@example.com. Information on Winrock International and its programs may be found at http://www.winrock.org.
(This article was originally published in the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation's June 2008 newsletter, Cultivating Big Ideas.)