Thursday, August 27, 2009

Marketing Northwest Arkansas as an entrepreneurial hub

If you've spent more than a minute in Northwest Arkansas, you know it's the place to be. Unfortunately, it's often an uphill battle selling this idea to outsiders, but the proof is in the pudding: once people visit our community and spend a little time here, they get it.

Similarly, if you're remotely familiar with Northwest Arkansas, you know that our region attracts some of the very best and brightest for careers with Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Transportation and local outposts for hundreds of internationally-recognized Consumer Product Companies such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Unilever and 3M. The caliber of these world-class companies make Northwest Arkansas an undiscovered gem for innovative people, ideas and cutting-edge development.

This October, Rogers will host the region's first Startup Weekend to bring developers, startup and dotcom enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists, legal minds and entrepreneurs together for a one-of-a-kind event. Startup Weekend is an intensive, 54-hour event held in cities worldwide to encourage and incubate business propositions and startup projects. Typically held in cities such as Seattle, Washington (where a recent Startup Weekend event was hosted at the Google offices), the events are hosted in areas known for their critical mass of technology infrastructure, emerging talent and entrepreneurial spirit.

Attendees will will descend upon the University of Arkansas Global Campus in Rogers for NWA Startup Weekend on October 2 – 4. Throughout the weekend, individuals with diverse backgrounds, skill sets and work/life experience pitch, tweak and solidify business propositions, with events often resulting in as many as half a dozen viable projects which teams may pursue
beyond the weekend. Attendees range from 35 to 200+ depending on location.

While a startup venture is the technical goal, many attendees attend for the opportunity to mingle and learn from others and for the intense experience, which may supplement their current career or support them in future endeavors. Many employers support the participation of their employees, understanding that the event stimulates innovation which may benefit the attendee’s current company.

The NWA Startup Weekend will be presented by Rockfish Interactive( at the University of Arkansas Global Campus at the Arkansas World Trade Center in Rogers ( Tickets are $75 per person for the entire weekend (including meals) and are available at A limited number of opportunities for companies desiring to meet and mingle with highly-motivated entrepreneurs in a dynamic, intimate setting are available through meal sponsorship for attendees. The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce serves as a partner and catalyst in bringing this unique event to Northwest Arkansas.

To say the least, we can't wait for this meeting of the minds. Get your tickets, tell a genius you know to attend or simply follow event updates on Twitter: @NWAStartupWknd.

No comments:

Post a Comment