Arkansas Startups: From Dirt Roads to Interstates - Innovate Arkansas
Arkansas Startups: From Dirt Roads to Interstates
By Mark Carter, 12/3/2012 12:00:00 AM
From an entrepreneurial dirt road to an interstate — that's how Movista co-founders April Seggebruch and Stan Zylowski describe the emerging startup culture in northwest Arkansas.
The two UA Walton College MBA grads founded Movista in 2010 as Merchant View and have grown their retail tracking firm to the cusp of startup stardom. Earlier this year, Movista signed its first national client, Tempur-Pedic, the mattress makers.
Seggebruch said the environment for growing a business in Arkansas, specifically northwest Arkansas, is booming. She cited the creation of Gravity Ventures' Arkansas Fund and the success of the recent ARK Challenge business incubator that brought startups from the state, country and beyond to Fayetteville.
Things have changed a lot, even since Seggebruch and Zylowski hatched their idea for what would become Movista in a Walton College classroom almost three years ago.
"We love to joke that we grew up on the entrepreneurial dirt road and northwest Arkansas folks are now born on the interstate," Seggebruch said. "The ARK, Gravity and, for the most part, Innovate Arkansas have grown up along with us. We are terribly proud of all the work these folks are doing and try very hard to give back when we can."
Speakers include moderator John James, founder of Innovate Arkansas client firm Acumen Brands; Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust; John Silvia, the managing director and chief economist for Wells Fargo and Kathy Deck, director of the CBER.
InterveXion Therapeutics LLC, a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences BioVentures startup company, has received two federal grants totaling $14.5 million for development of drug therapies that can help methamphetamine drug abusers break their addiction.
The firms making the announcement with Gov. Asa Hutchinson from downtown Conway were Metova Inc., of Franklin, Tennessee; Atlanta-based Big Cloud Analytics; and Conway's Eyenalyze.
The Northwest Arkansas Council announced a three-year development plan for the region at its winter meeting Tuesday in Rogers.