Fayetteville Recognized as City of Distinction for Support of ARK Challenge

December 23, 2014

The city of Fayetteville has been recognized as a 2014 Arkansas Business City of Distinction in the category of workforce development for its efforts to support the ARK Challenge startup accelerator.

The AB City of Distinction awards program recognizes cities across Arkansas for their efforts in the categories of tourism development, technology advancements, workforce development, quality of life, Main Street preservation and green/energy conservation initiatives.

Cities are recognized in two divisions -- under 20,000in population and over 20,000. Fayetteville was a winner in the workforce development category for cities over 20,000.

The ARK, of course, started out in 2012 as a federally funded startup boot camp administered by IA whose third and fourth installments this year were funded privately and by the state. All ARK alumni startups become IA client firms.

AB has profiles of each winner. Here's an excerpt from the piece on Fayetteville and the ARK:

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan noted interesting tidbits that reveal the city’s entrepreneurial growth:

  • Fayetteville is in the top 10 percent of U.S. cities in terms of capital investment in new businesses.
  • Half of the intellectual property produced in the state originates from Washington County.
  • Eighty percent of companies located in Fayetteville have 20 or fewer employees.

“Fayetteville is a destination for new investment and has become the hot spot to live for new tech entrepreneurs, the tech-friendly and innovative culture developing in Fayetteville is helping quell ‘brain drain’ of graduates moving out of Arkansas, venture capitalists are investing in startup businesses here, and many of these successes link to the success of the ARK Challenge and partners linked to it,” Jordan said.

Read the full thing here, and view the entire 2014 City of Distinction special publication, out this week, here



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