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Power Technology Open House Set for Oct. 3

9/18/2014

Innovate Arkansas' own Power Technology Inc. will host an open house at its Alexander facility on Friday, Oct. 3, as part of the third-annual Manufacturing Day.

(For those of you who don't often stray south of the tunnel, Alexander is central Arkansas' Lowell. Sort of.)

Manufacturing Day in Arkansas is being held in coordination with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

PTI, for those not familiar, is a leader in the field of laser manufacturing. Think Scotty from Star Trek. (Original Series, of course.) 

Anyway, the open house will commence at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 3 and run through 4:30. Personal tours are available for those who pre-register here.

The plant is located at 16302 Alexander Road just off I-30. If you're coming from Little Rock, it's the first exit past I-30 Speedway, just past the county line. Take the Alexander Road exit and go south

Here's more info:

Power Technology, Inc., established in 1969, is a leading manufacturer of lasers for OEM analytical, biomedical, industrial, semiconductor inspection, defense & security, and machine vision applications. The open house will provide an in-depth look at electronics manufacturing, metal fabrication, and optical assembly, and will address questions that visitors might have concerning laser construction, semi-conductor laser technology, diode-pumped solid state lasers, gas laser technology, and more.

Because PTI is a Department of Defense contractor, pre-registration is required. Please register 24 hours in advance. This event is only open to US Residents. For proof of citizenship, please bring a two of the following: valid drivers licence, social security card, birth certificate, voters registration card, naturalization papers, or passport. One ID must be a photographic ID. Minor's (those under 18 years old) do require proof of citizenship. PTI reserves the right to refuse admittance to anyone, at anytime.

For more information, contact Walter Burgess at waburgess@powertechnology.com.

 

 

 

IA Client Nerdies Offering Adult Learning Sessions

9/18/2014

Never too late to nerd up.

Innovate Arkansas client firm Nerdies of Fayetteville, a tech-based, alternative learning provider, now is providing opportunities for old dogs to learn new tricks.

Four new sessions geared for adults will be offered this fall by Nerdies and its Arties spinoff:

  • TECH 101 with Head Nerd in Charge Brad Harvey
  • PHOTOSHOP & LIGHTROOM with professional photographer Maliah Pinkleton
  • Junk Paint DIY with owner of Trashley's Junk Emporium, Ashley Henry
  • Lighted Marquee with owner of Trashley's Junk Emporium, Ashley Henry

More details here. First come, first register, so if you're interested, don't be a grown-up and procrastinate.

Here's more:

Since we opened we have had so many people adults and parents ask us if they could learn too. Starting in October you can and just like with everything else we do the sessions will be a little different from what you are used to. We hate classrooms as much as you do so come to Nerdies with the right mindset to be social and learn so cool new stuff. Our morning sessions will include Coffee and Pastries and our evening sessions will include Beer and Wine (if you so choose).

 

IA Client NanoMech Announces $12M Funding Round

9/17/2014

Innovate Arkansas client firm NanoMech of Springdale announced on Wednesday a $12 million, Series B funding round.

It's been a good year for NanoMech, a giant in the field of nano (couldn't resist). In March, it began work on a $10 million, 25,000-SF expansion of its corporate headquarters in Springdale.

This latest round of investors include Meadow Lane Investments, Hendricks Investment Holdings, Advantage Capital Partners and Spring Creek Investments, according to the news release.

And here's a sample from the release. Keep up the good work, guys:

Today’s announcement represents significant strategic investment in NanoMech and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors.

Building on continued momentum, NanoMech will use the financing to expand its global reach, invest in additional sales and marketing resources, and increase investment in its market leading nanotechnology platforms, nGlide, TuffTek, and nGuard. In order to take advantage of opportunities immediately available, the Company also has approximately 60 days to consider additional private placements of its stock in this round. The proceeds will be used to rapidly increase its sales and marketing infrastructure and activities, continue to expand and protect its intellectual property, and for working capital.

NanoMech is shipping novel nano-engineered products globally to Fortune 100 companies as well as to emerging companies who have chosen to innovate their way to the top by incorporating NanoMech’s nano-engineered solutions into disruptive and far more competitive products. NanoMech has brought revolutionary and transformative innovation to world leaders in energy manufacturing, exploration and service; auto, truck and marine manufacturing; Indy and NASCAR racing; agriculture and construction equipment manufacturers; refining and formulating lubrication manufacturers; aerospace manufacturing; textile manufacturers; and advanced military applications.

NanoMech also is a client firm of the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority and a portfolio company of VIC Technology Venture Development

 

Connect Arkansas Donates 47 Computers to Students

9/16/2014

Through its Computers 4 Kids program, Connect Arkansas has awarded Internet-ready computers to 47 students in Pulaski County.

Students from Lisa Academy North participated in the program. Earlier this year, the program donated 20 Internet-ready computers to students from Crystal Hills Elementary.

It's all about access to the Internet. We may take Internet access for granted, but it's a luxury if not still a pipe dream for many in our society.

Connect Arkansas, part of the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, is trying to fix that.

Here's more:

47 Internet-Ready Computers Provided Free to Families from Pulaski County
Computers donated through Connect Arkansas’s Computers 4 Kids program

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Connect Arkansas, a project of the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, announced the donation of 47 Internet-ready computers to families who completed the Computers 4 Kids program held at the Lisa Academy North in North Little Rock, Ark.

Computers 4 Kids is a three-day digital literacy program that educates Arkansas children and families about the Internet and its relevancy in today’s society.

Connect Arkansas received federal stimulus grants and state funds to increase Internet awareness, education and use in Arkansas. As part of those grants, Connect Arkansas partnered with the University of Arkansas at Monticello to develop the Computers 4 Kids program and worked with Arkansas-based computer distributor, eSCO Recycling, to provide refurbished, Internet-ready computers. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,100 families have received digital literacy training and free computers.

“We are very pleased with the success of the Computers 4 Kids program,” said Sam Walls III, president of Connect Arkansas. “The families who receive the computers are now better equipped for success in today’s educational environment.”

Connect Arkansas, established in 2007, is dedicated to increasing high-speed Internet subscription and improving and sustaining Internet adoption throughout Arkansas. The Connect Arkansas Broadband Act was signed into law on March 28, 2007, with the goal of improving personal lives and creating economic opportunity for Arkansans. Act 604 of 2007 states that Connect Arkansas’s mission is to “prepare the people and businesses of Arkansas to secure the economic, educational, health, social, and other benefits available via broadband use.” Connect Arkansas seeks to advance that goal through community- based initiatives. 

 

1 Million Cups Highlights Entrepreneurial Week

9/16/2014

Everybody's in Startup Weekend recuperation mode this week.

Another successful SW Little Rock went down over the weekend, where six startups were formed including winner Kick It Little Rock.

(That David Allan kid needs some hobbies...ha)

So it's probably just as well that it's a relatively light week for entrepeneurial events this week.

But we do have the Arkansas Venture Center's weekly 1 Million Cups program Wednesday morning at 9 from the Little Rock Chamber. It'll feature presentations from Chauncey Holloman of Harlem Lyrics and Geovanni Leiva of Leiva's Coffee.

Plus, the Pre-Flight program from AVC continued this week. Pre-Flight is a pre-accelerator program for early-stage entrepreneurs that originated out of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

The 4-month program will culminate in an elevator pitch day on Dec. 16. The AVC is the first "licensee" of the program outside Nashville, by the way.

And up in NWA, Launch Retreat continues. Launch Retreat, from David Baker and James Eldridge, is part accelerator, part SW.

Things heat up next week. On deck: Women founders, MondoDB, LR Tech Fest, BSides and more. Check out the Arkansas Startup Digest for more info.

[Editor's note: I'm a dummy. Left this out. Creation Jam is Friday in Fayetteville. Register here.]

 

 

ARK's Creation Jam is Friday in Fayetteville

9/16/2014

We highlighted the entrepreneurial week ahead earlier today, and danged if we didn't leave out Friday's Creation Jam in Fayetteville from the ARK Challenge NWA and Max Farrell's Create Reason.

Here's more about it from this space last week.

This "cross between a Startup Weekend and a day in the life at the ARK"  goes down from Centerspace on the square from 8:30 to 4:30. Register here.

Again, here's more info:

On Friday, September 19th, the ARK Challenge is teaming up with Create Reason to present a one-day function combining ARK alumni/accelerating teams and small businesses to participate in a one day Creation Jam -- a high energy experience that allows for ARK Challenge alumni to interact directly with each other as well as the Create Reason team to advance their ideas, address their issues and move the needle forward on key objectives.

Think of the day as a fusion between a Startup Weekend, an internal hackathon, and your time with the ARK Challenge.

Three facilitators from Create Reason will be preparing, leading the function and arranging the follow up items:

  • Max Farrell
  • Jordan Carlisle
  • Dustin O. Williams

What Is Create Reason?

Create Reason provides a strong acumen in facilitating experiential events, developing products, developing marketing content/strategy, building sales pipeline/strategy, UI/UX optimization and providing guidance around lean startup methodology and design thinking.
The event will kick off at 8:30am at Centerspace in Fayetteville and run until around 4:30p.

What You Might Want to Work on During This Time

  • create a new landing page for your customers
  • clean up your sales pipeline
  • create a case study
  • create some new emails for an email campaign
  • develop a new feature for an existing product
  • develop your company's story: get out of the building to find what connects ith your customers
  • take a new approach at metrics / KPIs for your company
  • pick something from the backlog that you've been wanting to get to and just do it.

 

 

Swimming in a Sea of Data: The Impact of Small Footprint Retail with Fernando Salido of IRi

9/15/2014

This week's Swimming in a Sea of Data with IA adviser Jeff Amerine offers up some fascinating insight on small footprint retail from Fernando Salido of global market research and predictive analysis firm IRi.

Swimming in a Sea of Data is part of 8th & Walton's Saturday Morning Meeting show, and IRi quite sensibly maintains an office just down the street in Bentonville.

Jeff and Fernando talk the impact of small footprint stores, which Fernando says comprise 68 percent of all stores and 75 percent of retail growth. Dollar stores and drug stores like Walgreens are hot right now, he says, and Fernando likens their relationship with stores like Walmart to that of a whale and barnacles.(He means that in a good way.)

More nuggets: There are 17 small footprint stores, on average, within a 10-block radius of each Walmart, he says. 

Really, very interesting stuff. As usual, the 6-minute Swimming segment kicks in at about the 4:30 mark.

The show airs every Saturday morning at 6:30 on KNWA in northwest Arkansas and worldwide each week right here and on the 8th & Walton YouTube channel.

Enjoy:  

Joi Ito of MIT at TED: Innovate in the Now

9/12/2014

Joi Ito of MIT believes innovators should live more in the "now" -- build quickly and improve constantly without waiting for permission or validation.

Hmmm. Sounds like what a lot of Innovate Arkansas client founders will tell you.

Ito's TED Talk from March is an endorsement for "bottom-up" innovation: Don't be a futurist, he says, but rather, a "now-ist." 

Startup Weekend Little Rock: Insight from Mentors and Organizers

9/12/2014

A lot of talented, creative people are behind Startup Weekend Little Rock.

Seriously, what we may lack in depth (and that's changing), we don't lack in quality.

SWLR rolls this weekend -- it begins tonight at 6 from Acxiom's River Market HQ and wraps up around 9 on Sunday night -- and there's still time to sign up

The cache of expertise lined up behind this event is impressive: startup founders, developers, lawyers, media specialists and more.

Organizers include Jordan Carlisle of the Little Rock Chamber, Max Farrell of Create Reason and Lukas Deem of RetroCat Media.

The mentor lineup includes Arlton Lowry of Few, David Allan of Acorn Hours (winner at last year's SWLR), startup lawyer Jamie Fugitt of PPGMR Law, Abby Sims of Idestini Dev Studio, serial investor/entrepreneur Marvin Maurras, Calvin Bramlett of EAST Initiative and Jeston George of Apptegy.

Check out the SWLR blog for mentor and organizer insight from each. Fugitt's advice for prospective Startup Weekenders was included in this Arkansas Business look at SWLR from Thursday.

And here's a sample from Allan, who offers good advice to aspiring entrepreneurs on taking that first step:

Start. Even if you don’t know what to do, or suspect that you are doing the wrong thing, start making stuff. The faster you can get from reading books to talking to customers or building the product, the faster you will start learning. Don’t worry too much about all the advice on how to get from a small company to a big company, a lot of it will distract you. The best way to get off the ground is to just start doing something.

All great stuff.

Even if there's just an inkling of entrepreneurial curiosity lurking inside, do yourself a favor and come to SWLR. Even if just to watch the Demo Day pitches on Sunday night.

After all, that's how many successful startup founders got their start.

ARK Challenge NWA Creation Jam Scheduled for Sept. 19

9/11/2014

The ARK Challenge and Create Reason, the latest venture from Arkansas' own Max Farrell, will host the Creation Jam on Friday, Sept. 19.

Not a concert featuring evangelical Christian artists, per se (wink wink), but more of a cross between a Startup Weekend and a day in the life at the ARK. But, hey, if the former happens to break out, then all the better...MaxontheTrack certainly could lead the jam.

The event is free and open to ARK Challenge teams, alumni and local startup founders. It goes down from 8:30 to 4:30 from Centerspace on the square in Fayetteville. Register here.  

Here's more info:

On Friday, September 19th, the ARK Challenge is teaming up with Create Reason to present a one-day function combining ARK alumni/accelerating teams and small businesses to participate in a one day Creation Jam -- a high energy experience that allows for ARK Challenge alumni to interact directly with each other as well as the Create Reason team to advance their ideas, address their issues and move the needle forward on key objectives. Think of the day as a fusion between a Startup Weekend, an internal hackathon, and your time with the ARK Challenge.

Three facilitators from Create Reason will be preparing, leading the function and arranging the follow up items:

  • Max Farrell
  • Jordan Carlisle
  • Dustin O. Williams


What Is Create Reason?
Create Reason provides a strong acumen in facilitating experiential events, developing products, developing marketing content/strategy, building sales pipeline/strategy, UI/UX optimization and providing guidance around lean startup methodology and design thinking.

The event will kick off at 8:30am at Centerspace in Fayetteville and run until around 4:30p.

What You Might Want to Work on During This Time

  • create a new landing page for your customers
  • clean up your sales pipeline
  • create a case study
  • create some new emails for an email campaign
  • develop a new feature for an existing product
  • develop your company's story: get out of the building to find what connects ith your customers
  • take a new approach at metrics / KPIs for your company
  • pick something from the backlog that you've been wanting to get to and just do it

 

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