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David Sanders Named Director of Innovate Arkansas

2 min read

Winrock International on Thursday named David Sanders director of Innovate Arkansas, the statewide initiative that helps scale promising Arkansas technology ventures.

Sanders is a Republican state senator from Little Rock. He previously worked 11 years as director of institutional advancement for the Baptist Preparatory School, a private college-preparatory school in Little Rock.

“Winrock has recognized that entrepreneurs are a driving force for the Arkansas economy,” Sanders said in a news release. “The Innovate Arkansas team is dedicated to helping tech startup founders grow their businesses in Arkansas. I am excited to come on board and add my experience to this proven team.”

The 10-year-old Innovate Arkansas program is funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and administered by Winrock, a global nonprofit named after Winthrop Rockefeller that focuses on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Innovate Arkansas aims to accelerate business growth for technology-based startups and other companies in Arkansas.

As director, Sanders will lead a team of business advisers who help companies grow. He’ll also focus on growing existing Innovate Arkansas initiatives and developing new programs that support entrepreneurship as a way to create jobs in Arkansas.

Innovate Arkansas’ client companies include SpotRight of Little Rock, Menguin of Fayetteville and Lineus Medical of Fayetteville. SpotRight, an audience insights and targeting platform for brands and agencies, announced this week week it had raised $6.75 million in an equity and debt funding round. Menguin, an online rental tuxedo company, was acquired last week for $25 million by competitor Generation Tux of Louisville, Kentucky. And Lineus, which develops intravenous catheter technology, announced Sept. 14 that it closed a $1.4 million Series A funding round

“Ten years ago, the team at Winrock launched Innovate Arkansas to build the start-up ecosystem that is now thriving in our state,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a news release. “Under David’s leadership, Innovate Arkansas will continue to provide access to experienced growth advisers and expand the resources available to our state’s tech-based entrepreneurs.

“David has proven his leadership abilities in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. I am looking forward to the added value he will bring to Innovate Arkansas.”

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