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David Hinton

David Hinton, 39

Executive Director, Technology Ventures

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville

Professional achievements
• Top 25 U.S. nonmedical universities in technology transfer and commercialization.
• Deployment of $1.4 million annually to invest in faculty-led research.
• Record high metrics associated with technology transfer.

Community involvement
Co-instructor, UA New Venture Development program; development of UA economic development strategy; commercializing innovations such as groundbreaking energy harvesting technology; member of Fayetteville Airport Board.

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“The top challenge facing Arkansas is being able to strategically take advantage of the momentum and growth to ensure we are intentional. Arkansas is growing so quickly that it is a challenge to do it right.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“I have led Technology Ventures to be ranked among the top 25 universities in the country without a medical school in technology transfer and technology commercialization. Technology Ventures has moved up 50 spots since I started at the university.”

One word to describe you
“Curious.”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“Once people visit, it is easy to get them to stay. We need more opportunities for people to come and have their first experience of Arkansas.”

First job and lesson learned
“My first job was as a summer school paraprofessional for children with special needs. I worked with one student who I was told was nonverbal. Every day at recess, she would run out to the monkey bars and hold on to the first bar and then just drop. I began to work with her to learn how to do the monkey bars. On the last day of the summer school program, she ran out to the monkey bars and yelled, ‘Watch me!’ and made it all the way across. I had never heard her say anything before this moment. It was incredible to see her confidence grow. This taught me to be patient, persistent and invest in relationships and people because they will surprise you!”

Learning from a mentor
“My mentor is Dr. Doo-Sup Choi. Dr. Choi runs the laboratory where I completed my Ph.D. at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Choi took a chance on me and taught me that it is OK to go with your instincts.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“Taking on an even larger leadership role within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Professional “aha” moment
“I had the opportunity to observe a deep brain stimulation surgery for a patient with Parkinson’s disease who was not responding to the current medications. An electrode was implanted in the brain. During this surgery, patients receive local anesthesia and are awake during the procedure. Once the electrode was turned on, the tremor instantly stopped. The patient looked at their hand and said this is the best they felt in 20 years. This was an aha moment because 1) science is cool and 2) it reiterated that scientific innovations can impact patients’ lives.”

Career dream as a child
“Professional athlete.”

Professional inspiration
“My professional inspiration is my family. My wife and kids push me every day to continue to grow.”

Best thing about Arkansas
“The overall activity and energy of the state. People in Arkansas are really passionate and care about the state. Everyone is here to work together and make Arkansas a great place to live, work and play.”

Advice for your 18-year-old self
“It is OK to pivot, adapt and adjust your plans so you continue to grow. It is important to take risks and own your mistakes.”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Do not become complacent. There are always new goals that you can set to better yourself.”

Most valuable lesson
“Never stop learning.”

How you define success
“Success really is happiness.”

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40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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