UA, Startup Junkie Partner for New Science Venture Studio

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Students will be able to get hands-on experience with early-stage technology startups through a new program being launched by Startup Junkie in collaboration with the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Innovate Arkansas and the Northwest Arkansas Council.

Funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the Science Venture Studio supports early-stage technology ventures in their pursuit of milestones needed to receive non-dilutive federal funding. The grant includes support for two student fellowships per semester for the next two years. 

Each fellow will be partnered with an SVS client company to work over the course of a semester to conduct market research, customer discovery, and other duties as needed to reach the milestones the companies have identified for a successful Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposal. 

"The SVS team will encompass a group of experts that are highly skilled in helping small businesses apply for federal research grants," said Katie Thompson, the CEO of Rooted Startups, who has been tapped as SVS director. 

"Having students on our team that are learning from a distinguished entrepreneurial program at the U of A and being able to apply their knowledge with our clients will be invaluable for a successful SBIR or STTR submission," Thompson said. 

These students will be selected based on the alignment of their skills and interests with SVS client companies' needs. They will be an essential member of the team during that time period and will receive training and coaching through the SVS and the U of A's Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation during the period of their fellowship.

"Immersive experiences that embed students in the fast-paced, ambiguous environment of an early-stage venture are an essential ingredient of entrepreneurial education," said Sarah Goforth, executive director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

"The SVS program will provide essential support to companies at their stage of highest risk, and the fellows — in addition to getting a front seat on that ride — will be selected for their potential to bring tangible value and expertise to these teams."

Applications will open in late August, and fellows will receive a stipend. The fellowship is intended for graduate students from any discipline, but exceptional upperclassmen will also be considered.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are key to driving economic diversity in our region," said jeannette Balleza Collins, the entrepreneurial development director for the Northwest Arkansas Council. "Strong connectivity between industry leaders driving innovation and entrepreneurs developing ventures is important to increase the federal commercialization funds flowing to Arkansas, and SVS will be a critical partner in helping inventors in startup mode gain access to resources.”

About Startup Junkie: Located in Fayetteville, Startup Junkie is building entrepreneurial ecosystems in Northwest Arkansas through providing no-cost, one-on-one consulting; events, workshops, and programs; and access to capital and talent. 

About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio and Startup Village, OEI provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions, and startup coaching. OEI also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.

Contacts

Brandon Howard, communications and social media specialist
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
479-418-4803, bjhoward@uark.edu

Sarah Goforth, executive director
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
479-225-7185, goforth@uark.edu

Headlines

Pryor Center Presents Lisa M. Corrigan: 'Feeling Riots: The Emotional Language of Urban Rebellion'

Lisa M. Corrigan, professor of communication, will give the first of four lectures focusing on racism, social justice, and policing hosted by the Pryor Center. It will be at 6 p.m. Thursday.

UA Rome Center to Provide Student Access to NASA Leader's Event

Douglas Terrier, chief technologist for NASA, will discuss space technologies at 11:30 a.m. CDT Sept. 23. U of A students will have access to hear the discussion through the university's Rome Center.

Register Now for Mary Gentile's Talk, Part of 'Let's Talk About Integrity and Race'

Mary Gentile, author of Giving Voice to Values, will speak via Zoom at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, as part of the Let's Talk About Integrity and Race program.

Landscape Architecture Professor Appointed Visiting Professor, Wins Sustainability Award

Carl Smith will be a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield School of Architecture. He was also awarded the 2020 Green Medal Sustainability Award by Garden Communicators International.

U of A Greek Life Participates in National Hazing Prevention Week "Reshaping the Process"

University of Arkansas Greek Life will offer a variety of programs and activities to inform the Greek community on the dangers of hazing.

News Daily