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Deadline to Apply for SXSW Accelerator is Nov. 7


Little Rock startup guru Mike Steely of Sparkible is the state's representative on the SXSW Interactive Advisory Board.

SXSW Interactive 2015 is scheduled for March 13-17 in Austin. Deadline to apply for the 2015 SXSW Accelerator is Nov. 7. Entry info here.

And here's more detailed info from Mike:

2015 SXSW Accelerator:
Entry Deadline Is Friday, November 7, 2014

Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your emerging technology product or service in front of industry leaders by participating in the 2015 SXSW Accelerator. This event takes place on March 14th and 15th as a part of the SXSW Interactive Festival, during which you can improve your product launch, attract venture capitalists, polish your elevator pitch, receive media exposure, build brand awareness, network, socialize and experience all that SXSW Interactive has to offer. The deadline to register is Friday, November 7, a few months away, so visit today.

1) Deadline:

Friday, November 7, 2014


2) Launch date eligibility requirements:

a. A company’s product / service must have launched no earlier than March 16, 2014.

b. A company’s product / service must not be launched after June 16, 2015.

c. Companies will be allowed to submit only one product / services to the SXSW Accelerator event.

d. Companies who submit more than one product / services will not be eligible to participate in the SXSW Accelerator pitch event.

e. Founders of the applying startup must retain some portion of ownership in the company to be eligible to participate.

f. Company must not have raised over five million in funds from combined funding sources.

g. Product or service must fall within one of the SXSW Accelerator pitch event categories.


3) Is there an application fee?

a. Yes, a non-refundable $200 entry fee will be required from all applicants who would like to be considered for participation in the event. (Talk to me about the fee for potential wavier.)


4) Applicants must be within one of the six categories:

  • Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies -- The Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies category encompasses applications and technologies that facilitate comprehension and application of information. These startups seek to improve productivity and management of data, analytics, text, documents, and engagement for business and individual use.
  • Entertainment and Content Technologies -- The Entertainment and Content Technologies category highlights applications and technologies for gaming, music, film, television, video, news and publishing, streaming and digital storytelling, as well as new and hybrid forms of entertainment. These are reinventing the ways in which we learn, relax and enjoy our time. This category also contains technologies that focus on other cultural sectors such as sports, travel, mapping, publishing and food as they pertain to entertainment
  • Digital Health and Life Sciences Technologies -- The Digital Health and Life Science Technologies category involves patient-centric health applications and technologies that connect patients, families, physicians, pharmacists, care providers (hospitals, clinics) and benefit providers. These products and services enable people to collect and share timely, relevant health data and drive better outcomes at affordable and sustainable cost levels. These may include Internet of Things and wearable devices, but such devices may be more appropriate in the Wearable Technologies or Innovative World categories (see below).
  • Social Technologies -- The Social Technologies category includes applications and technologies that enable personal connections. With this category we’re looking for new and interesting uses, cases, products and services, as well as messaging that push the boundaries of how we find, follow and share our lives with others. If your business or service has a social component but is primarily focused on Entertainment, Health or Wearable Technologies, then you should enter one of these other categories instead.
  • Wearable Technologies -- The Wearable Technologies category focuses on technology worn on, in, or around the body. As this major technology cycle advances we are seeking all types of wearable products that advance human performance and wellness, as well as those involved in apparel, accessories, fashion and lifestyle. If your product is focused on patient/clinician information, please apply in the Digital Health and Life Sciences Technologies category.
  • Innovative World Technologies -- Any creative and innovative technology that does not fit in another category is encouraged to apply here. We are currently seeing lots of innovation in the Internet of Things, payments and virtual currencies, data security and privacy, transportation such as autonomous vehicles, energy, space, robotics, and artificial intelligence, If your business / service / application applies to one of these fields (or something not on this list that is even more ground-breaking), then this is your category.


5) Does SXSW announce the Judges and Emcee before the event?

Yes, the Judges and Emcees who are industry experts and/or investors from the financial community will be announced later this year on the SXSW website. Here is an example of past Judges and Emcees – Tim Draper of DFJ, John Sculley of Apple/Pepsi, Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media, Paul Graham of Y Combinator, Naval Ravikant of AngelList, Guy Kawasaki of Alltop, Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital, Chris Hughes of New Republic/Facebook, Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures, Albert Wenger of Union Square Venture, Scott Weiss of Andreessen Horowitz, and Bob Metcalfe of Ethernet/3Com.

6) Where can I get more information?

Visit the Accelerator website at


Little Rock Named Google's 2014 eCity for Arkansas


The momentum of having Georgia visit War Memorial this Saturday to take on the Hogs is paying off.

Little Rock has been named Google's 2014 eCity for the state of Arkansas.

Here's more from Google:

Google has named Little Rock as the 2014 eCity for the State of Arkansas. The eCity Awards recognize the strongest online business communities in all fifty states. The businesses in these communities are embracing the web to find new customers, connect with existing clients and fuel their local economies. Little Rock joins the ranks of America’s leading cities in the digital economy.

“Little Rock serves as a prime example of how innovation and growth in e-commerce can successfully contribute to bolstering economic progress and competitiveness,” said Emma Ogiemwanye, a representative from Google. “Google is proud to recognize Little Rock’s accomplishment, and the role it plays in creating Arkansas jobs.”

More info on Google's eCity program, and the full list of state winners, here. Oh, and Wooo, Pig.

IA Client Power Technology Hosting U.S. Sen. John Boozman


Innovate Arkansas client firm Power Technology Inc. of Alexander, a laser manufacturer and Defense Department contractor, will host U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) this week as part of his Arkansas Defense Tour.

PTI, by the way, has developed a new laser-illuminated projection system called iLLUMINA that it believes could help change the movie industry.

Here's PTI's official release on the Boozman visit:

Power Technology Inc. to Host Senator John Boozman

LITTLE ROCK, AR, October 15, 2014 – As part of his Arkansas Defense Tour, Senator John Boozman will visit Power Technology, Inc. this week. Power Technology, a leader in the laser industry for 45 years, will provide Senator Boozman and his staff a firsthand look at the laser and photonics industry and their importance to state and national defense programs. The tour will provide an in-depth look at laser manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, metal fabrication, and optical assembly techniques.

“Facilities tours like this one provide valuable feedback to our citizen representatives in Washington. The insight gained during the tour, will help Senator Boozman make educated decisions in supporting our military and local companies,” said William Burgess, Vice President of Operations.

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 companies diverse product portfolio includes space qualified lasers as well as lasers for supporting fighter aircraft, laser guided munitions, and portable aiming devices.

As a DOD contractor, Power Technology is a restricted access facility and is closed to the public.

For more information about Power Technology, visit the company’s website at


Applications Accepted Through Friday for Second Class of Arkansas Fellowship


Applications are being accepted through Friday for the second class of the Arkansas Fellowship program.

The program is for graduating seniors at Arkansas colleges and universities with an entrepreneurial bent. It places fellows with Arkansas host companies in two-year internships that pay $40,000 annually.

Host companies for the inaugural class were Dillard's, Collective Bias, CFO Network, Stone Ward, Circumference Group, Moxy Ox, and IA client firms Treatsie, Sumotext, Acumen Brands, Perks and DataRank. 

Apply here

The UA Newswire has more on the program here. A sample:

The program has the financial backing of Fifty for the Future, the Northwest Arkansas Council, and Winrock International. Modeled after a successful program in Indiana called the Orr Fellowship, the Arkansas Fellowship identifies and recruits the most promising graduates at Arkansas colleges and universities and keeps them in the state through networking, mentorship and career enrichment activities.

The Arkansas Fellowship invites applications from thousands of graduating seniors and reviews them to identify the very best. The selection team will rigorously vet the applicants and select a small group of finalists. Then the finalists and the host companies participate in a day of interviews and a match process determines the outcome. The fellows and host companies make a two-year commitment at a $40,000 annual salary, and the Arkansas Fellowship will organize the supplemental activities that will connect and root the Fellows in the community.

And here's more from IA and Arkansas Business about the program's launch and its inaugural class:


Here's More on Picasolar's SXSW Eco Win


Like the national champion Razorbacks of 1964 did before it, UA startup Picasolar went into Austin last week and came out with a win.

Picasolar, sister firm to IA client Silicon Solar Solutions, was named the winner (with a California startup) in the Greentech category of the prestigious SXSW Eco Startup Showcase.

INOV8 shared the news last week, but here's more from the UA Newswire. And here's a sample:

The third annual Startup Showcase spotlighted innovative early-stage companies in the areas of “Greentech,” “Cleanweb” and “Social Impact.” Picasolar tied for the win in the Greentech category with Pax Pure of San Rafael, Calif. Eight companies per category competed at the conference, which ended Oct. 8 in Austin, Texas, in front of a live audience and panel of judges made up of top investors.

Picasolar’s technology, a hydrogen selective emitter invented by chief technology officer Seth Shumate — a doctoral student in the microelectronics-photonics graduate program at the University of Arkansas — could improve the efficiency of solar cells by 15 percent. It is a key innovation in the fastest-growing segment of the fastest-growing energy source in the world.Picasolar was only Arkansas company in the Startup Showcase, which featured 32 companies. Each company delivered a four-minute pitch, followed by four minutes of questions and answers with a panel of judges. The judges included representatives from Target, Shell Technology Ventures, the Whole Planet Foundation, New Enterprise Associates and Sprint.The Greentech category included startups that offered a diverse range of products and services that fulfill a market demand while significantly reducing or eliminating environmental impact.

  To everyone at Picasolar, well done. Keep up the good work.

Inventors Club of NE Arkansas Plans First Meeting


The Inventors Club of Northeast Arkansas will hold its first meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. from Wild Hog BBQ on East Highland in Jonesboro.

This inaugural meeting will serve as an introduction and explain the group's goals, which include helping local inventors and entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas.

Good stuff. Check it out and enjoy some barbecue. (That's what we call a win-win.)

Here's the group's official presser including an agenda:

The Inventors Club of Northeast Arkansas to host Inaugural Meeting

JONESBORO, AR. - The Inventors Club of Northeast Arkansas will host its first meeting on Thursday, October 16, at 5:30 p.m. at Wild Hog BBQ, located in the Highland Center strip mall at 2810 E Highland Dr.

Below is the meeting agenda:

5:30-6:00 -- Eating
6:00-6:15 -- Fellowship and networking
6:15-7:15 -- Guest speakers and a Q&A session
7:15-7:30 -- Fellowship and networking

Guest speakers John Melescue of 3D Precision Enterprises, LLC, and Robert Bahn of the Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center, will provide information about why the Inventors Club of NE Arkansas was established and what the goals of the club are.

Those interested in joining the club are encouraged to attend the inaugural meeting. Dues are not required at the first meeting; however, attendees are responsible for paying for their own meal.

For more information regarding the meeting, please contact Melescue at (870) 275-6534 or Bahn at (870) 972-3517.

About The Inventors Club of NE Arkansas
The Inventors Club of NE Arkansas was formed in 2014 as a cooperative effort by the A-State SBTDC and 3D Precision Enterprises, LLC to help inventors take their ideas from concept to commercialization. Our resources include business consultants, CAD designers, engineers, manufacturers, patent attorneys and marketing groups. We ARE BUILDING a network of experts to provide the capability inventors need to review, patent, design, manufacture, and market their ideas. 


The Week Ahead: Startup Market Research, Veterans to Venture Leaders


The week ahead in the Arkansas startup ecosystem includes some recurring events plus some important new ones.

The ARK Challenge cruises on in both Fayetteville and Little Rock; Launch Retreat continues in NWA; the AVC's Pre-Flight pre-accelerator program resumes Monday night; and the weekly 1 Million Cups will roll Wednesday morning at 9 from the Little Rock Chamber.

This week's 1MC presenters are Max Sprinkle of Clerk Up and Spencer Jones of ARK Challenge and IA client firm Jones Innovative Medical Solutions. 

Jones, a medical surgical nurse at St. Vincent in Little Rock, has developed an intravenous device targeted primarily for diabetics that will cut down on the number of blood draws. More to come on Spencer...

In the meantime, here's a look at three singular big events scheduled for this week:



Swimming in a Sea of Data: Scott McClymonds of Nehemiah Worldwide


It's Monday, and that means Innovate Arkansas adviser Jeff Amerine's Swimming in a Sea of Data, the data-driven segment that makes up part of 8th & Walton's Saturday Morning Meeting.

(Today, at least here in Little Rock, "Swimming" is uber-approrpriate. Lots and lots o' rain...).

This week, Jeff welcomes Scott McClymonds of Nehemiah Worldwide to talk data-driven decision making.
Saturday Morning Meeting airs at 6:30 a.m. each Saturday on KNWA in northwest Arkansas, on the 8th & Walton YouTube channel and on Mondays, right here.

This week's segment begins around the 4:10 mark. Enjoy:

Arkansas Code Festival Bringing 'Wooo Code Soooie' to Fayetteville Oct. 24-26


The weekend of Oct. 24 in Fayetteville promises not only a lot of Woooo Pig Soooie, but 36 hours of "Wooo Code Soooie."

The Hogs take on UAB that Saturday, and the Arkansas Code Festival will provide the Wooo Code Soooie all weekend, Oct. 24-26 from Centerspace, 1 East Center on the downtown square (shown at right).

ACF is open to all high school and college students and promises:

A three day event for student developers and designers. Over the course of 36 hours, you'll work with other students and our top-notch mentors to build awesome projects with code. 

While you're here, we'll keep you well fed and give you the chance to hear from Neal Sales-Griffin, founder of The Starter League.

Registration is just $10. This promises to be a fun event. More to come. Register here.

So, let's all call stand up and Code. Those. Hogs........


EAST Initiative to Highlight Tech Programs at Participating Schools


EAST Initiative, the Little Rock-based education program focused on environmental and spatial technology, will hold its annual open house at participating schools across the country.

The events will highlight EAST programs and projects at each school.

EAST is teaming with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub to launch the STEAM Room training lab for students in the soon-to-open Argenta Innovation Center in downtown North Little Rock. A recent gift from AT&T is enabling EAST to furnish the space

Here's more from EAST about East Night Out:

Annual EAST Night Out Set for October 14

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – EAST programs in schools across the country will open their doors Tuesday, October 14, to showcase projects students have been innovatively working on using some of the latest technology available today.

EAST Night Out is a national open house celebration of EAST programs where family, friends, community leaders and the general public are invited to see how EAST students are making a difference in their community and share about the work already underway.

“EAST Night Out is an opportunity to see EAST in action and catch a glimpse of the incredible projects students are working on,” said Jessica Dunham, the EAST Initiative Events Coordinator. “More importantly it is a chance for EAST programs to educate the community, network with potential clients and partners and celebrate their hard work.”

During EAST Night Out, EAST programs demonstrate to guests the power of student-driven, service-based, technology-infused education. EAST Initiative staff will also attend several events to visit with students and guests.

For more information about the event, visit or contact Dunham at On the website, click the “View Schedule” tab for locations and times for participating EAST schools.

About the EAST Initiative
EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) is unlike any other model in modern education. It is a project-based, service-learning oriented program that provides students with high-end technology available in the most progressive fields in the world. At its heart, EAST is a coordinated effort to provide today’s students with an educational atmosphere that allows them to gain insight into their own abilities to acquire and use information, solve problems and gain valuable experience. Since its inception in 1996, the EAST model has expanded to over 220 schools in five states (Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania). For more information about the EAST Initiative, visit



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