The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub announced Wednesday that it will partner with Startup Junkie Consulting of Fayetteville to expand and enhance the services each organization provides to early-stage startup ventures in the state.
“Working together, we can leverage our respective strengths to bring a full complement of resources, services, and expertise to further build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arkansas,” said Warwick Sabin, executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, in a news release. “Startup Junkie has a proven record of success in Arkansas and the Ozarks region with early-stage venture development, and we look forward to working with them to create infrastructure and programming that can have a statewide impact.”
The nonprofit Hub opened the Argenta Innovation Center in 2013. The center, located at Broadway and Poplar in downtown North Little Rock, consists of the Launch Pad maker space, the Silver Mine co-working space, the STEAM Lab educational space and the ART Connection, a student arts program that introduces kids to entrepreneurship.
Startup Junkie was founded in 2008 by Innovate Arkansas adviser Jeff Amerine, former director of Technology Ventures at the University of Arkansas. Working with Innovate Arkansas and Winrock International, it has coordinated G60 pitch contest events across the state and provided startup resources for entrepreneurs in northwest Arkansas.
Startup Junkie is working with John James of Hayseed Ventures to develop the Old Post Office Building in Fayetteville into a startup hub. Amerine said the partnership with the Innovation Hub will enable both organizations to expand their reach.
“This teaming agreement will allow us to build real depth to the startup and creative movement in the south central United States,” he said. “The Startup Junkie team is humbled and honored to be working with the world-class team Warwick has assembled at the Arkansas Innovation Hub.”
Through the partnership, Amerine and Sabin plan to develop and share new facilities, events and programs that will support and advance startup ventures in Arkansas, according to the release. Services will include consulting, education, mentoring, events and networking for the startup and creative communities in the state.
The programming developed by the Innovation Hub in its Launch Pad maker space around advanced manufacturing and fast prototyping will be complemented by Startup Junkie’s expertise in mentoring, counseling, training, and assistance to startup founders, technologists, creatives, investors, and corporate innovation clients, Sabin said.
“These combined efforts will provide the infrastructure and support needed to conceive, develop, validate, and launch new innovative products, services, and ventures in less time with a greater probability of success,” he said.
Sabin added that Startup Junkie will be visible and active at the Hub’s center in the Argenta district, as well as in new locations around the state as they are developed.