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WordCamp Fayetteville Set for Aug. 1-3


WordCamp Fayetteville is just around the corner.

The event has been scheduled for Aug. 1-3 with the main conference set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, from the Donald W. Reynolds Center at the University of Arkansas Walton Business College.

More info here

A $30 general admission ticket will get you:

  • Admission to the Welcome Meet-Up Friday Night
  • Admission to WordCamp Fayetteville on Saturday
  • Lunch on Saturday Afternoon.
  • A WordCamp Fayetteville 2014 T-shirt
  • Admission to the after party on Saturday Night
  • Admission to the Guru Gallery on Sunday Morning

The full press release is published at Cotton Rohrscheib's blog

Entrepreneurial Nuggets: BarCamp LR, Overwatch at 1MC, Women Founders Meetup


Entrepreneurial nuggets ready for the deep fryer on a sunny Tuesday:

  • BarCamp Little Rock goes down Saturday from noon to 5:30 at UALR with an after party at Creegan's Irish Pub in Argenta. More info here.
  • The next Women Founders Meetup through the AVC in Little Rock is scheduled for Monday, July 28, beginning at 5:30 p.m. from the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. It'll feature Juliana Echeverri of More info here.
  • IA client firm InvoTek is at it again, helping people with disabilities become more mobile. (Our hats perpetually are tipped to Tom Jakobs and his crew.) The firm received a $175,000 federal grant to develop the Quad Rider. More here from
  • 1 Million Cups on Wednesday will feature wunderkind Josh Moody of IA client Overwatch and Brian Carpenter of 4DSales. Register here
  • And in case you missed it, the Noble Impact program at eStem High School in Little Rock resumed with the start of the 2014-15 school year last week. This year, Noble students at eStem are being kept in the Vault. And no, it's not for D-Hall. (Really, though, what an awesome D-Hall that could be. But we guess entrepreneurship is a good use of it, too....sigh.) Plus, video here on Noble from KARK

Video: KARK Features Noble Impact Program at eStem


KARK visited the Noble Impact student entrepreneurship program at eStem High School in downtown Little Rock on Monday. 

In case you missed it, "visited" Noble again on Monday as well. Here's a look at Noble's move into the eStem "Vault."

The good folks at Channel 4 visited Noble co-founder Chad Williamson in class, inside the Vault, and featured Noble-inspired student startups The Hole Thing (a regular in this space) and Tow 'N Stow (a High School Startup Weekend winner). 

Here's the "Education Matters" segment from Monday featuring Noble and eStem:

Swimming in a Sea of Data: Jeff Amerine Talks Retail with Kathy Deck


This week, Innovate Arkansas adviser Jeff Amerine takes the helm in his weekly Swimming in a Sea of Data segment on 8th & Walton's Saturday Morning Meeting show aired Saturdays on KNWA. 

The segment was launched last week with Amerine -- Director of Technology Ventures at the UofA, serial entrepreneur and investor -- focusing on some of the macro-economic issues facing the retail and CPG industries, which, you know, are sort of clustered in NWA.

This week, Amerine welcomed UA economist Kathy Deck to the segment, which runs roughly from the 4:30 mark to about 10:30. Saturday Morning Meeting, by the way, is aired Saturday mornings at 6:30 (yikes) on KNWA and posted to the 8th & Walton YouTube channel by the following Monday.

Jeff and Kathy discuss the current housing market, the "retail funk," the 2.9 percent GDP setback for 1Q 2014, knowing your consumers, and much more. The entire 30-minute program is great and well worth the time, but again, Jeff's segment runs for about six minutes starting at about 4:30.



Growth and Expansion for IA Client Nerdies


Nerdies, the IA client firm from Fayetteville that offers tech-based alternative learning, is expanding both physically and otherwise.

A quick rundown: the fall session fast approaches, the firm is opening another location in Bentonville, plus it launched a new program called Arties and opened a gaming studio.

Here's more from Nerdies founder and "head nerd" Brad Harvey:

Fall Sessions: Registration for Fall Sessions Will Open on August 1st. With limited spots make sure you jump on it quickly. We have nearly a third of the sessions sold out already. More info to come.

Nerdies Bentonville: Due to demand, we are opening a 2nd location in Bentonville just in time for Fall Sessions. We have a great spot which will allow us to further the Nerdies Revolution to all the great people in the Bentonville / Rogers Area.

Arties: At Nerdies we are announcing the formation of Arties! Same awesomeness of Nerdies but focusing on the art and creative side of life. More info to come.

Nerdies Gaming Studio: Earlier this week we launched our Nerdies Gaming Studio at our Fayetteville location. Perfect for birthday parties because hey that's all us Nerds want to do anyway is game. If you book your slot before Aug 1st (for anytime within the next year) use promo code GrandOpening and get 50% off the booking fee. Trust me your kids will love you for it.

Growth. We love it. Keep up the good work, guys. Or better yet, the nerd work....



Forbes: UA Trademarks Hog Call


By Mark Carter

Football is in the air.

Literally, it feels like football season. The streets of downtown Little Rock are unseasonably cool this July day, and the if the past week's SEC Media Days hadn't officially kicked off the football preseason, we would've been longing for the gridiron anyway.

Which brings us to this nugget from Forbes: The University of Arkansas has trademarked the Hog Call. (Shout out -- an expression we hope the kids still use -- to the fine folks at Arkansas Fight for bringing our attention to it.) 

From Forbes' sports biz contributor Darren Heitner:

Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted registration of the sensory mark to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. The type of mark is atypical among commonly registered trademarks. Instead of it consisting of a word or design, it is a sound. Specifically, the University of Arkansas has received federal protection of Arkansas-influenced crowd cheers consisting of the “Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!” chant in conjunction with providing collegiate athletic and sporting events.

The claimed first use in commerce of the mark stems back to December 31, 1929. The application for ownership of the trademark, submitted on July 26, 2013, had to overcome a USPTO examining attorney’s Office Action, which stated that “[b]ecause crowds commonly chant encouraging words at sporting events, consumers of the sporting event would not recognize the chant as a source indicator for the event.”

Arkansas’ response included a substitute specimen that consisted of a video of former University of Arkansas Athletic Director and coach Frank Broyles leading a crowd in the Hog Call. The examining attorney deemed the substitute specimen sufficient to warrant registration of the applied for mark despite prior concern that chants consisting of encouraging words are quite common at sporting events.

(And here's coverage of the Hog Call trademark from SI.)

Heinter asks what benefits the UA could reap from the decision to trademark the Hog Call, and wonders if other universities will follow suit. Read the full post here.

As to the first question, here's a take from Robert Boyd at Arkansas Fight:

So why trademark an expression like the Hog Call® ? I don't really know, but if I had to speculate, if many people started trying to use the Hog Call or other universities etc. it would blur the lines on where the Hog Call® originated, where it came from, and who the identifying entity it's associated with was. This is just the U of A's way of saying "This is ours". 

That sounds about right to us. You just never know when those Javelinas from Texas A&M-Kingsville might get a little sneaky. Anyway, read Boyd's full post here

The Hog Call trademark hasn't hit the USPTO site yet, but we mine it each week for Arkansas patents and will keep an eye out.  

In the meantime, let's enjoy this wonderful reminder of fall crispness and the fast approach of God's sport...College football. 

And while we're at it, let's stand up and Call. Those. Hogs......

BarCamp Little Rock Scheduled for July 26


BarCamp is coming to Little Rock on Saturday, July 26.

Bar Camp, of course, is an "ad-hoc unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees."

It'll go down from 12-5:30 p.m. on the campus of UALR with an after party at Creegan's Irish Pub in Argenta.

Organizer Jordan Carlisle, director of entrepreneurship for the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, says attendees can expect to hear good stuff from local creatives, techies, entrepreneurs and designers.

Registration is free and, perhaps most importantly, includes food.

Sponsors include IA, the Little Rock Chamber, the Arkansas Venture Center, the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, UALR and RetroCat.

Visit for more info and to register.

BarCamp has been to Fayetteville, Conway and Jonesboro, but this'll be its first official stop in Little Rock. Help make it a big one and register here...


Jeff Amerine Debuts 'Swimming in a Sea of Data' on 8th & Walton's Saturday Morning Meeting


By Mark Carter

Jeff Amerine, director of Technology Ventures at the University of Arkansas and an adviser for Innovate Arkansas, is a regular on 8th & Walton's Saturday Morning Meeting that runs each week at KNWA in northwest Arkansas and, well, worldwide on YouTube.

Amerine is taking his guest panelist spot a step further, and last week debuted his "Swimming in a Sea of Data" segment on the show.

The 5-6 minute spot will run weekly, and Amerine tells us it will feature "thought leaders from academia, major corporations and innovative startups that can shed light on the strategies, tactics and technologies that can support better retail and CPG decision-making in an increasingly complex world that is inundated by more and more data."

"We’ll talk about the macro drivers of supply and demand along with tactics and technologies that can help make sense of it all," he said.

The segment runs on Saturday mornings at 6:30, at least through the end of the summer, as part of 8th & Walton's half-hour Saturday Morning Meeting show on KNWA.

Each show will be posted to 8th & Walton's YouTube channel by noon the following Monday, and we'll run it here in the INOV8 blog Monday afternoons. 

Plus, 8th & Walton -- the "premier destination for Walmart supplier education" -- is podcasting the show on its blog and at iTunes.

The segment debuts at about the 4 minute mark, but the show is chock-full of good stuff for Walmart suppliers and retail-based entrepreneurs as well. Enjoy...

ASTA Issues Call for Research Proposals; APEI to Host Award Unveiling


Our partners at the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority have issued a call for proposals for its basic and applied research programs.

Plus, ASTA and IA client firm APEI is hosting a reception to unveil an award Friday at 1 at the Arkansas Research & Technology Park in Fayetteville.

Here's more from our friends at ASBTDC's Lab2Launch blog on the ASTA RFPs. 

Both programs are competitive, cost-matching grants with awards ranging between $5,000 and $50,000. Neither has been funded since 2001. 

More information on the programs is available from ASTA here. A few basics on the programs from ASBTDC:

The Basic Research Program supports basic academic research and is intended to support growth and development of Arkansas scientists. The Applied Research program is intended to enhance opportunities for collaborations between Arkansas colleges and universities and business or industries. Applied Research grants must be sponsored and officially submitted by an Arkansas college or university.

So, university researchers, aspiring entrepreneurs.....the ball's in your court.  And if you're in the neighborhood, join the folks at APEI for their big unveiling at 1. 


Bio+Nano+Arkansas Event Ignites Potential Collaborations


By Brian Umberson

The first networking event of the newly formed Bio+Nano+Arkansas consortium was very successful.

It was held at the new facility of Now Diagnostics, one of Arkansas's newest biotech companies. The next event will be at the UofA’s Institute of Nanoscience and Engineering Conference room on August 8 from 5-8 pm. Please visit the Bio+Nano+Arkansas website for more details.

The event that was held on June 24 was attended by Arkansas’ unique blend of companies and institutions that support the new product development and commercialization focused on medical diagnostics, food monitoring and disinfection, water purification and monitoring, bio-pharmaceuticals, recombinant proteins, skin care products, contract research organizations, animal tissues and organs, banks, law offices and much more.

The first networking event  was attended by entities from all over the state: Arkansas Research Alliance, Arkansas Bioplex, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, World Trade Center (Bentonville office), University of Arkansas Ignite and HiDEC.

Arkansas biotech and nanotech companies from Little Rock and NWA attended with a promise to drive commercial collaborations and employment. The networking event ignited multiple discussions between entities that learned they could buy or exchange services and products in Arkansas.

This first networking event has already ignited numerous one-on-one meetings as well as group discussions for collaborations, consulting, and cooperative agreements towards new technology and new IP developments.

The blend of the companies that supported the event is very unique. It offered a rare presence of multiple companies focused in nanotechnology that are at the junction of revolutionizing biotechnology, drug/vaccine delivery, tissue regeneration, robotics, therapeutics, theranostics, gene therapy, organ transplant, nanoparticle based assays and cell-based assays with a promise for improvements beyond what conventional science and technology has ever delivered.

The companies involved in biotechnology and nanotechnology seek to collaborate to discover, describe, and manipulate the unique properties of matter at the nanoscale to develop new capabilities with potential applications across all fields of science, engineering, technology, and medicine.

The Bio+Nano+Arkansas networking structure hopes to properly and meticulously harness and manipulate the unique properties of nanomaterials that are envisioned to lead to novel tissue substitutes, biological electronics such as bio-nanosensors, sensitive diagnostic systems, and controlled smart drug delivery systems with significantly improved performances.

The founders of BNA -- Brian Umberson; Beverly Graham; Dr. Ellen Brune, PhD (of IA client firm BMB); and Dr. Zoraida P. Aguilar -- were united with the common goal of pushing technology development in Arkansas to drive economic growth and prevent brain drain in the state.

All four represent the first conglomerate of biotechnology and nanotechnology experts and enthusiasts with a common dream of making Arkansas the new bio-nanotech hub. Visit for the most recent updates.

Please contact me at with further inquiries. 

(Brian Umberson is the spokesman for BNA. He has worked with numerous Arkansas tech-based startups and helped found IA client firm Vivione Biosciences.)

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