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."
Qbox is a cloud-based, search database for businesses. Formerly known as StackSearch, it won the ARK Challenge accelerator in 2012. The funding round was led by Vulcan Ventures and other funds based in Silicon Valley.
Semiconductor manufacturer Cree Inc. has rebranded its power and radio frequency division, which includes the former Arkansas Power Electronics International of Fayetteville, as Wolfspeed, the publicly traded company announced.
Promoting startups owned by women, minorities and military veterans is the aim of the 2.7.0 accelerator from Fayetteville's Startup Junkie that began its 14-week run on Tuesday.
Cree Inc., the LED and semiconductor manufacturer that purchased Arkansas Power Electronics International of Fayetteville in July, received a $4.1 million contract from the U.S. Air Force.