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."
Ozark Integrated Circuits of Fayetteville has received two grants from NASA to develop heat-resistant circuits that can operate on the surface of Venus and AEDC board approval to further develop its patent-pending UV detector.
The Venture Center launched its Pitch 'N Pint series of startup pitch contests at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock's River Market District.
Before founding EquityNet in 2005, Judd Hollas was division manager for Beta-Rubicon Inc. of Fayetteville, a consulting firm specializing in technology assessment and business due diligence services. He has 20 years of experience as an independent technology analyst and investment manager in the private and public domains.
What can the rest of us businesspeople learn from the success Amazon had selling so much stuff in one day? I believe Amazon’s leadership made at least three good decisions when creating and planning its first Prime Day.