The Venture Center Packs September and October Events Calendar With Educational and Networking Events for Entrepreneurs

The Venture Center today released their September and October events schedule featuring extensive programming for entrepreneurs and businesses. Community programs scheduled for early fall feature a highly anticipated Fireside Chat with Westrock CEO Scott Ford on October 16, 2019. Other programs include two Lift the Rock lunches, three Workshop events, and the 2019 JOLT Cyber challenge.

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The ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0: Go Far, Go Fast

All startups need one thing above all - interaction (and opportunities) with customers. The reality is that startups need many things, but customer engagement is king when building a new technology solution. This is why entrepreneurship is hard...because you have to deliver on multiple things simultaneously – capital, customers, product, new hires, partnerships, and the list goes on and on.  

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MK Decision Founder Q&A

As The Venture Center prepares for the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0, we’re looking back at the men and women who made the first ThinkTECH Accelerator so successful. Har Rai Khalsa, CEO & Founder of MK Decision, is one of those entrepreneurs who made the most of the experience, and MK Decision continues to find success in the market.

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Little Rock Takes Global Stage as Local Tech Organizations Vie for Fintech Award  

When I came to Little Rock to join The Venture Center team over two years ago, I knew I was walking into a unique opportunity. I’d always known that Little Rock was the birthplace of fintech since Systematics (now known as fintech giant Fidelity National Information Systems, or FIS) was founded here in 1968. What I didn’t know was the depths to which the Little Rock community would reach to catapult Little Rock into a globally recognized hub for fintech innovation.

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The Venture Center’s JOLT Cyber Challenge To Train Tech Workforce During “Techtober”

The Venture Center today announced its annual JOLT Cyber Challenge, a hands-on job training cyber competition held during Techtober, Arkansas’ annual season of tech celebration. The event will be held at the Walton School of Business, 119 Main Street in Little Rock from October 11 – 13, 2019. Last year’s event drew over 100 competitors and gamemasters, and this year’s event is expected to garner over 130 participants. A maximum of 40 teams may register, and those who register by September 27 will receive a free JOLT t-shirt.

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The Venture Center Finalist for Global Award

The Venture Center has been selected as a finalist in the Best Fintech Accelerator/Incubator category of the first annual Finovate Awards. Known across the globe as the pinnacle of fintech innovation, Finovate brings together thousands of fintech influencers, investors and financial services executives in order to showcase emerging industry solutions.

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ICBA and The Venture Center Announce ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0

The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today announced plans for a second ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator in partnership with The Venture Center and the State of Arkansas. The Little Rock, Ark. based program will accept applications from early-stage and startup fintech hopefuls from Aug. 12 to Sept. 30.

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Small Changes, Big Results

There isn’t any more personal than our personal health and our personal finances. I’ve spent the majority of my career helping people with both, making hard conversations more approachable and taking the stigma out of asking for help. It’s through this process that I discovered my passion for helping others by building a relationship based on trust and support. 

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Hackers Are Targeting Community Banks. Here's What You Need to Know.

While hackers target all financiers, local and community banks are becoming more frequent marks…and email attacks are a weapon of choice.  The truth is cyber bank theft is a daily occurrence, and the rate of breaches at financial services institutions (FSIs) has tripled in the past five years. According to a recent study by Accenture, a bank encounters about 85 cyber attacks each year. 

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#FounderFeature w/ David Potter, Cofounder + CEO of Curu

When I was a freshman in college at the University of Maryland, I met my roommate and future co-founder, Abb Kapoor. We both attended school on full scholarships, mine being a Bill Gates scholarship I’d worked incredibly hard to secure. After our freshman year, we started our search for off-campus housing to share. Abb and I had enough money to cover the expenses, but we came upon the same roadblock over and over. We didn’t have established credit scores, and therefore couldn’t secure housing. 

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2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator Demo Day: On Progress and Possibility

2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator Demo Day is just days away, and the excitement leading up to the big event is palpable. Demo Day is the culminating event of the 2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator and showcases the partnership between Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), the State of Arkansas, and The Venture Center. Together, we continue to make significant contributions with a global impact in the financial technology space.

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Using Social Media to Ignite Social Selling for Your Organization

Brands must reach consumers where they are — today it’s all about social media. Consumers want to hear a brand’s social voice, not the cut-and-dried one on TV commercials and billboards. In your quest to grab consumers’ attention in this distraction-heavy media landscape, build that social voice by letting your employees speak for your brand on social media. It’s called social selling and it works.

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#FounderFeature w/ Heather Holmes, Founder + CEO of Genivity

The idea for the company came to me when I was working in a hospital and was called in for a procedure. One day, we had a tough case that according to the doctor wasn’t looking good. After what seemed like a successful procedure, the patient’s pressure started dropping, and as it turned out, there was a lot of bleeding that we could not stop. The patient died as I was standing right there. As I was leaving the hospital, I walked past the patient’s family who were still unaware that their loved one had died. I remember all their legs and feet, and remember thinking the condition had a very strong family history component to it, which meant some of the family members had the same condition. 

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Top 5 Reads from the #FISFintech Entrepreneurs

It was a privilege to hear from five entrepreneurs participating in the 2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator program and as they shared insights on how to thrive in the fast-paced pursuit of startups. Each entrepreneur shared candid advice on how to navigate professional relationships, challenge self development by breaking out of their comfort zone and staying proactive as they scale. For those who missed this informative session, we’ve compiled a list of their top book recommendations that have shaped how they work and succeed personally and professionally.

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#FounderFeature w/ Ted Brown, CEO of Digital Onboarding

For an early stage company like my start-up, Digital Onboarding, being part of a program that fosters the relationship between 60+ bank partners is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. We have a great product to sell and the business development opportunity for Digital Onboarding at the FIS Accelerator Program is something our whole company is really excited about.

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From a Flame to a Blaze

Arkansas is home to a number of incredible museums, Fortune 500 companies, as well as an abundance of natural resources. But some may not know that Arkansas is also widely known as the birthplace of fintech, or financial technology.

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#FounderFeature w/ Thomas Beattie, Founder + CEO of Voleo

Motivating people and finding ways for them to start investing earlier makes a huge difference, which is where Voleo comes in. I used to be an investment banker and after consulting to startups for several years, I saw a prototype of Voleo. It was exactly what I needed when I was younger, with a fun twist we call DROID (definitive return on investment decisions), so we took the concept and developed a social trading platform that makes it easy for anyone to start investing by pooling their money and building teams with friends and family.

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#FounderFeature w/ ChangEd — Solving Financial Crises For Millennials

My brother Nick and I were born two years apart, and were raised in Chicago. Our mom was a hardworking single mom who had her own cleaning business. We grew up understanding what it was like to work, to really work. At ten years old, we learned to shovel lots of snowy Chicago driveways to earn money. Later we started a landscape business, and Nick even started an e-commerce business. We’ve always built businesses together, and have relied on each other as all around trusted partners.

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Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Mentor.

The Venture Center is dedicated to helping professionals in all stages of their careers grow. As we have already kicked off the 2019 program, and are hearing great feedback from those who were accepted this year, we thought we’d share the top questions that have been most helpful. Although you might not be participating in our program this year, we highly encourage finding mentors for your professional and personal growth. Here are a few questions we’ve borrowed from Forbes that our mentees have found helpful when meeting with theirs.

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