Arkansas' top accelerators and incubators handpicked for you

Learn from Arkansas' foremost start-up experts who know the ins and outs of scaling start-ups.

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Choosing The Right Accelerator

Start-ups are hard. Choose an accelerator that guides you in the right direction.

Patrick Collison, Founder of Stripe

"I doubt that Stripe would have worked without YC. It's that simple."

Patrick Collison, Founder, Stripe

Chris Lynch, Founder of Atlas Venture

"Accelerators claim they are in it for the long haul — I call bullshit"

Chris Lynch, Founder, Atlas Venture

Raj Aggarwal, Founder of Localytics

"The network we built with Techstars was incredibly valuable during and after the program."

Raj Aggarwal, Founder, Localytics

What truly matters

Strategic depth in their thinking

Look for partners not investors

Do they know why they succeeded in the past?

Mentor quality over quantity

Discover your perfect match

No accelerator or incubator is perfect for every start-up. Your business’s context and constraints matter. Identify your perfect match by answering this short questionnaire.

Arkansas's Top Accelerators By Neighborhoods

Comparing Accelerators

NameAerial ScoreAddress#Investments#ExitsDetails
Fuel7.7Arkansas, USA49Learn more
The Venture Center Spark5.0417 Main St, Little Rock, AR 72201, USA599Learn more
The Venture Center4.8417 Main St, Little Rock, AR 72201, USA49Learn more
Conductor4.71201 Oak St, Conway, AR 72032, USALearn more
University of Arkansas - Office of Entrepreneurship4.5123 W Mountain St, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USALearn more
GENESIS Technology Incubator4.5700 W Research Center Blvd, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USALearn more
University of Central Arkansas - Innovation & Entrepreneurship4.5201 Donaghey Ave. COB 102, Conway, AR 72035, USALearn more
HealthTech Arkansas4.5Arkansas, USA3Learn more

This page covers the top accelerators and incubators in Arkansas.

However if geography isn’t a hard constraint, and you are only looking for the best incubators and accelerators across the US, check here.

Brief Overview Of Different Accelerators

1) Fuel

Fuel - promoting the start-ups of tomorrow

Fuel is a 12-week enterprise-ready accelerator run by Startup Junkie. It matches seed and growth stage tech startups with key enterprise partners to accelerate the adoption of tangible technology solutions. The accelerator, also known as Fuel Accelerator, accepts 8 to 10 high-growth startups per cohort, focusing on specialization domains such as HealthTech for healthcare breakthroughs and AI/ML for artificial intelligence and machine learning innovations. With 7 previous accelerators and 61 portfolio companies, Fuel has secured 116 pilots or contracts with enterprises, offering access to funding opportunities. Strategic connections with corporate partners, investors, and mentors are facilitated, providing startups with 12 weeks of specialized coaching and mentorship from the Fuel team and network. Industries served include Healthcare Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Logistics and Supply Chain, and Agriculture Tech. The program duration is 12 weeks, and its goal is to empower startups to become enterprise-ready through valuable resources and connections.

Fuel's Website
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2) The Venture Center Spark

The Venture Center Spark - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Arkansas

The Venture Center Spark is a 10-week accelerator program based in Central Arkansas. It was co-founded by The Venture Center and the Little Rock Regional Chamber. The program focuses on supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs by providing a platform for empowerment. The accelerator program accepts up to ten local startups annually and offers a curriculum covering sales, marketing, and business finance to equip entrepreneurs with essential skills. Participants benefit from mentorship, strategic planning for brand visibility, insights from subject matter experts, and valuable connections to resources and opportunities. Industries of focus for Spark! include Gaming and Fintech. The program, led by founder Lee Watson, runs for 13 weeks and aims to propel startups to new heights by offering the right support and resources. Spark! has a track record of being a valuable platform for learning and growth, as attested by past participants.

The Venture Center Spark's Website
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3) The Venture Center

The Venture Center - promoting the start-ups of tomorrow

The Venture Center is an entrepreneur support organization formed through a partnership between FIS and key figure Lee Watson that focuses on helping startups become viable, high-growth businesses. Their award-winning accelerator programs cater to early-stage startups and growth-stage companies, specializing in fintech domains. The programs offer a unique opportunity for startups to validate solutions, accelerate go-to-market strategies, and connect with global executives in the financial services industry. In collaboration with the Independent Community Bankers of America, the organization hosts the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, the first community bank-focused fintech accelerator globally. While specific metrics are undisclosed, alumni have notably raised significant funding and engaged with numerous financial services decision-makers. The accelerator programs typically run for 12 weeks, providing premium mentorship, networking opportunities, and introductions to investors. The Venture Center's initiatives aim to foster innovation in fintech, gaming, edtech, and general tech, contributing to the growth and success of startups within the industry.

The Venture Center's Website
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4) Conductor

Conductor - building Arkansas' entrepreneurial future

Conductor is a public-private partnership that drives innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment. The accelerator focuses on a range of domains, including technology, healthcare, sustainability, and more, with specific interests in biotech, artificial intelligence, fintech, and clean energy. It aims to foster innovation by providing resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to early-stage companies. While the exact number of startups associated with Conductor, investors involved, and funded startups are not explicitly disclosed, the accelerator typically supports startups over several months, offering mentorship, a co-working space, networking events, investor introductions, educational workshops, and demo days. Notable aspects include providing startups access to experienced mentors, collaborative workspace, industry networking, investor connections, and educational workshops covering various business aspects. Conductor has successfully funded several startups and continues to support emerging businesses in developing their products, refining business models, and attracting investment.

Conductor's Website
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5) University of Arkansas - Office of Entrepreneurship

University of Arkansas - Office of Entrepreneurship - building Arkansas' entrepreneurial future

The Bounds Accelerator is an Arkansas-based startup accelerator affiliated with the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. It focuses on leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) to drive digital transformation in sectors like retail, transportation, logistics, manufacturing, and supply chain systems. The program culminates in a Demo Day, offering participating start-ups the opportunity to compete for a significant non-dilutive cash award. The accelerator provides access to a network of investors, including local and seed-stage venture capitalists. Additionally, participants benefit from mentorship, dedicated interns, educational resources, exposure to potential customers, and validation through warm introductions. The accelerator is supported by key partners like Cartwheel Startup Studio, the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, AI Foundation, Coinbase, and Haun Ventures. Start-ups in industries such as Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Logistics and Supply Chain have thrived in this ecosystem.

University of Arkansas - Office of Entrepreneurship's Website
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6) GENESIS Technology Incubator

GENESIS Technology Incubator - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Arkansas

Located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, GENESIS Technology Incubator is known for its mission to drive economic growth by nurturing technology-based ventures. The flagship program at the institution is the Enterprise Program, specifically designed for technology ventures with high growth potential. Led by entrepreneurs experienced in spearheading early-stage ventures, this program offers crucial resources and mentorship to foster the success of the startups. GENESIS provides a variety of programs that cater to startups at different developmental stages, from ideation to scaling. The organization supports startups in various emerging technology fields such as software, hardware, biotechnology, and clean energy, with a primary focus on technology-driven innovation and growth. Although specific metrics like the number of startups and investors are unspecified, the institution has played a pivotal role in helping technology-based entrepreneurs achieve economic viability. Startups benefit from IP support, office spaces, and access to research laboratories equipped with specialized facilities like wind tunnels and industrial automation, enhancing their capabilities for success. Notable industries that the organization caters to include Biotech, Edtech, and Clean Energy.

GENESIS Technology Incubator's Website
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7) University of Central Arkansas - Innovation & Entrepreneurship

University of Central Arkansas - Innovation & Entrepreneurship - building Arkansas' entrepreneurial future

Located in Conway, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) offers an Innovation and Entrepreneurship major designed to prepare students for success in various business contexts. The curriculum blends marketing and management courses, focusing on innovation and creative thinking in areas such as product development, human resources, small business finance, marketing, and new venture creation. Graduates acquire crucial skills like creativity, problem-solving, and ambition essential for the modern global market. This initiative is powered by The Conductor, a public-private collaboration supported by the Central Arkansas Venture Team, UCA, Startup Junkie Consulting, and Community Venture Foundation, providing support to startups and small businesses in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of central Arkansas. The 20-week accelerator program, with sessions on Tuesday evenings in Conway, emphasizes fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, culminating in Demo Day. Students benefit from expert faculty, professional networking opportunities, and practical skills development, including internships, study abroad programs, and engagement with industry professionals. The specialization likely covers a broad range of fields, aligning with the program's focus on creativity, problem-solving, and new venture creation. Industries associated with the program include Edtech and Fintech.

University of Central Arkansas - Innovation & Entrepreneurship's Website
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8) HealthTech Arkansas

HealthTech Arkansas - accelerating exceptional start-ups in Arkansas

HealthTech Arkansas is a healthcare accelerator and investment fund that connects early-stage healthcare companies with disruptive technologies to Arkansas healthcare providers. The organization targets the intersection of technology and healthcare in three categories: digital health (software), connected medical devices, and diagnostic platforms. The accelerator collaborates with the ten largest hospitals and health systems in Arkansas to drive innovation through accelerator programs and internal initiatives. They offer specialized support through initiatives like the HeartX Accelerator focused on cardiovascular technologies, providing guaranteed pilots and upfront investments. The BioAR Trial Accelerator supports biotherapeutics companies in late pre-clinical to early-clinical stages, assisting with clinical trials. HealthTech Arkansas stands out by having provider-driven selection, offering upfront investment capital, and being a virtual accelerator with no geographic restrictions. Notable industries supported include Biotech, Healthcare Tech, and Fintech.

HealthTech Arkansas's Website
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Top Reasons Start-ups Participate In Accelerators

Business management skills

Reaching the top is relatively easy. Staying there for years is difficult.

Investor connect

Accelerators give an opening to many locked doors.

Peer learning

There’s not enough time in the world to learn from one’s own mistakes. Peer learning helps.

Accelerator brand power

Like Ivy-League credentials, your start-up’s story benefits from an accelerators’ brand.

Why an accelerator might not be right for you

It's usually helpful to consider potential pitfalls. Some common misconceptions

Rome wasn't built in 12-16 weeks

Every business needs a strong foundation, but while some businesses can figure the basics in 3 months, others need > 1 year.

One-size fits all model

Most accelerators don't focus on a specific niche, which may not be very helpful if you are looking for domain expertise.

What's the real value of your equity

There's a math behind how accelerators decide whether your start-up is worth investing. Did you run the calculation for diluting your equity?

FAQs About Start-up Accelerators

Author Bio

Michael Li

Michael Li

For the last 10+ years Michael has helped start-ups of all scales and sizes succeed. A 2X entrepreneur, he is now working on Aerial to help founders avoid costly mistakes. He regularly writes for publications like the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Harvard Business Review and others.

Last updated date 5/31/2024

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Accelerators and Incubators in arkansas

Looking for the best accelerators in Arkansas? There are numerous reasons to choose an accelerator to kickstart your startup journey. From access to funding and resources to mentorship and networking opportunities, accelerators provide a crucial support system for new ventures. In Arkansas, the startup culture is vibrant and thriving, with a supportive ecosystem that fosters innovation and growth. Entrepreneurs in the state benefit from a collaborative community, access to talent, and a lower cost of living compared to larger cities. When selecting the right accelerator for your startup, consider factors such as the industry focus of the program, the track record of success for past participants, the mentorship and networking opportunities available, and the terms of the investment and equity offered. It's essential to choose an accelerator that aligns with your goals, values, and long-term vision, to ensure a successful and rewarding experience. Notable start-ups from Arkansas that have thrived with the support of accelerators include Acorn Biolabs, a biotechnology company specializing in cryopreservation technology, and Swiftspeed, a transportation and logistics company that has revolutionized last-mile delivery services. These success stories highlight the impact that accelerators in Arkansas can have on the growth and success of startups, paving the way for future entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and make a significant impact in the business world.

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