Sign up for Enews

Enter your e-mail address to receive our free monthly e-newsletter.

Arkansas Fellowship Announces First Class, Host Companies - Innovate Arkansas

Arkansas Fellowship Announces First Class, Host Companies

By Mark Carter, 6/4/2014 12:21:00 PM

The Arkansas Fellowship has released the names of its inaugural class and the host companies at which they'll intern over the next two years.

The Arkansas Fellowship is a program that matches graduating Arkansas college seniors and with Arkansas host companies. Its mission is to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders by keeping the state's best talent at home.

Arkansas fellowship director Warwick Sabin told Arkansas Business this week that leaders in state business, government and education have recognized a need to retain the state's top technical talent in order to keep pace with other regions in the country.

The participants and host companies will be recognized at a formal, invitation-only reception hosted by Gov. Mike Beebe on Wednesday night at the Governor's Mansion.

The inaugural class, which consists of 11 recent graduates of six Arkansas colleges and universities, and their host companies are:

  • Keenan Abner, University of Central Arkansas: Sumotext, Little Rock
  • Jeremy Enders, John Brown University: Stone Ward, Little Rock
  • Travis Finch, Hendrix College: Circumference Group, Little Rock
  • Will Gilbrech, University of Arkansas: DataRank, Fayetteville
  • Maggie Good, Arkansas Tech University: Collective Bias, Bentonville 
  • Christopher Hembree, John Brown University: CFO Network, North Little Rock 
  • Timothy Luff, John Brown University: Treatsie, Little Rock
  • Brandi Mikula, University of Central Arkansas: Moxy Ox, Tontitown 
  • Jacob Moore, John Brown University: Acumen Brands, Fayetteville 
  • Sreesh Reddy, Hendrix College: Perks, Little Rock
  • Kurt Shemanske, University of the Ozarks: Dillard's, Little Rock

Sumotext, DataRank, Treatsie, Acumen and Perks are client firms of Innovate Arkansas.

The nonprofit Arkansas Fellowship program is modeled after the Orr Fellowship in Indiana and is funded by the Little Rock Regional Chamber's Fifty for the Future, the Northwest Arkansas Council and Winrock International. It attracted more than 80 applicants for its inaugural class. 

"We are extremely pleased with the caliber of the inaugural class of Arkansas Fellows and the host companies where they will be placed," said serial entrepreneur/investor Kristian Andersen, Arkansas Fellowship board chairman. "This is a great way to launch a program that we expect to grow and ultimately make a difference in keeping our most talented young people in this state."

Sabin said the program is designed to provide "world-class entrepreneurial experiences" for the recent graduates, providing them with opportunities to "kick-start their professional futures."

Arkansas Fellows will be exposed to events such as monthly speaker series, mixers and civic engagements.

"With executive-level mentorship, Arkansas Fellows will have the opportunity to build a reliable and meaningful network of business leaders, co-workers and peers," Sabin said. "The Fellows will have ample opportunities to accelerate the development of their personal careers."

Latest News

  • Harvey Hughes' 5 Tips for Startup Success

    Founder Harvey Hughes of Mountain Home's SEAS Education, an Innovate Arkansas client firm, likes to keep things simple. Here are his five tips for startup success.

    Read More »

  • Foreign Patent Trolls Threaten Arkansas Economy (Warwick Sabin Commentary)

    “Patent trolling,” the practice of obtaining large buckets of intellectual property rights with the intention of using them to extract damages and settlement revenue rather than to protect innovation or produce anything, is not a new idea. Over the past 40 years, lawmakers have tried to strike a balance between defending research and advancements while dissuading offensive use of patents that negatively impact our economy.

    Read More »

  • IA Client Firm SEAS Education not Typical 'Startup'

    One Innovate Arkansas client firm stretches the "startup" tag. SEAS Education of Mountain Home has been around since 1995 and quietly has become a leading national provider of education plan management software.

    Read More »

  • ARK Challenge: My Color of Beauty Aims to Fill Niche

    Eyona Mitchell is experiencing first hand how the other half lives. A one-person team competing in the fourth installment of the ARK Challenge startup accelerator in downtown Little Rock, Mitchell used to help businesses at previous stints working with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership and Alt.Consulting in Pine Bluff.

    Read More »