A Look Ahead for the Innovation Hub, Venture Center

February 11, 2015

Central Arkansas techpreneurs, real and aspiring, who haven't caught on to the myriad of resources now available in the region perhaps haven't been paying attention. 

Much of the buzz coming out of metro Little Rock has been generated by the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, now settling into its Argenta Innovation Center on East Broadway in NLR, and the Arkansas Venture Center, itself newly minted into new digs at Little Rock Tech Park @ 107 (the former ARK Challenge space at 107 East Markham in downtown LR). 

In fact, AVC hosted its first 1 Million Cups on Wednesday with Rod Ford of XCelerate Capital. (Check out Rod's Tuesday post in this space that forecasts a big year for techpreneurship.) 

Like the first subtle hints of spring, activity at both the Hub and AVC is beginning to stir.

Here's a taste at what's coming up at both, starting with the AVC:

  • Kristian Andersen of Gravity Ventures is scheduled for next week's 1MC. You'll want to catch this one. More info here. (More on KA coming soon...)
  • The Venture Center recently brought on Steve Rice as program coordinator and digital strategy director, with additional "key personnel" to be added in the next few months.
  • The next installment of Code IT will go down Feb. 24 and feature 
    Taylor Otwell, the developer of the Laravel PHP Framework.
    Laravel 5 has just been released and Taylor will be discussing how Laravel provides a dynamic "out of the box" framework that allows developers to create powerful web applications. Register here.
  • A special Build IT event on March 3 will feature Acxiom founder Charles Morgan who will sign his book, "Matters of Life and Data." Morgan grew Acxiom from an early-stage tech startup to an international data giant. More info, and register, here.

 Meanwhile, across the river:

  • The Hub-UB series resumes tonight (Wed.) at 6 from the Launch Pad maker space at the Hub in Argenta. Artist Guy Bell will share progress on the levitating, multimedia sculpture he's creating at the Hub and how the Launch Pad made it possible. It's free. More info here.
  • The launch Pad's MAKE series continues this week with a Valentine's theme. MAKE Love will go down Friday at 7, full of romance with laser-cut gift boxes and LED-decorated Valentine's cards. Register and get more info on the monthy MAKE series here. Last month, MAKE Resolutions familiairized local makers with soldering, quadcopters, 3-D printing and robots.
  • Speaking of makers, the Hub is offering some great after-school opportunities for young makers. Kids ages 10 to 17 can buy an after-school warrior membership and spend a couple of hours each week gaining new skills in these areas: All About Electricity (Tuesdays); Computer Tech (Wednesdays) and Fab Lab (Thursdays).
  • The next CARL meeting -- Challenge Arkansas Robotics League -- is scheduled for Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. from the Launch Pad. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month, and robotics lovers are invited to attend.


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