NEWS RELEASE: Venture Center Launches Lift the Rock


The Venture Center Launches Program to Drive Momentum in Local Business Community

Lift the Rock Raises the Bar in Little Rock

Little Rock, Ark., June 7, 2016 - The Venture Center announced the launch of a new program to increase momentum and to create targeted connections between the startup, business and investor communities in Central Arkansas.

Over the past two years, The Venture Center’s work has led to the creation of more than 153 jobs. In addition, member companies have raised $6.8 million in seed capital. With the launch of the VC FinTech Accelerator, The Venture Center created the first of several global, industry-specific business accelerators designed to create a sustainable engine for economic growth in Central Arkansas.

About Lift the Rock

Lift the Rock is a first of its kind, local program in Little Rock. From its content to structure, Lift the Rock is designed to seamlessly integrate viable startups into the local business community.

This program is a strategic play to build connections that lead to real sales and foster relationships leading to the long-term growth and health of our startup and business communities
— Lee Watson, CEO & President - The Venture Center

Held each Wednesday at 9 a.m. at The Venture Center, this new, one-of-a-kind program focuses on fostering connections that lead to traction and momentum (sales) for entrepreneurs and top business leaders. Bringing these two groups together is paramount to the growth of the entrepreneurial community in Little Rock.

For the last two years the broader business community has been eagerly and closely watching the phenomenal growth of businesses The Venture Center is creating in Little Rock. Lift the Rock is a great opportunity to bring together these rapid-growth companies and marry their products or services into our broader business community on a weekly basis.
— Mayor Mark Stodola - Little Rock

Each week, startup entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to present their company with a clear focus on driving sales. They will also have a chance to make a direct ask of the local business community. This focus leads to more valuable connections which result in increased business development through sales. Additionally, participants will connect, network and celebrate successes each week. Lift the Rock is the next phase for startup growth, evolution, learning and celebration of success.

For the first time, there is a dedicated program to integrate local entrepreneurial companies with the established business community. As an early champion of The Venture Center, the Chamber is proud to sponsor the next phase of growth with the launch of the Lift the Rock program.
— Jay Chesshir, CEO - Little Rock Regional Chamber

About The Venture Center

The Venture Center is a business-focused nonprofit with a vision to create an engine for economic growth in Central Arkansas. A best-in-class Mentorship Network along with a comprehensive Pre-Accelerator program and corporate, industry-focused Accelerator Programs leverage The Venture Center’s expertise in innovation to serve member startups, corporate partners, and the investment community. In the first two years, member companies have created more than 153 jobs and have raised a combined $6.8 million in seed capital. The Venture Center’s 56 trained mentors have conducted more than 389 mentorship sessions, screened 123 ideas and served 112 startups. As a clear leader, The Venture Center is shaping the economic development of the state and region. For more information, visit

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