THANK YOU: 2016 was Epic!

As we wrap up the end of an exemplary year, we want to give a special "Thank You" to our members, and also share a little holiday treat...

We kicked off the year with JOLT Hackathon, our hands on, gamified, experiential technical training & competition for developers and puzzle solvers.

Our catalyst mixers connected our membership with talented people, and resulted in several hires and sales!

In fact, with your help, we connected with talented folks and expanded our own team. (If you haven’t met Ashley or Brian yet, you are missing out!)

With the help of our dedicated expert mentors, we have screened 262 ideas and conducted 768 mentor sessions! Phew!

Our trained mentors are awesome, and as you can see, with this many sessions, we have room for more! In fact, our next mentor training session is just around the corner.

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Two exciting Pitch ‘N Pint programs awarded over $5000 worth of cash and prizes to the winners of these 60 second pitch competitions, thanks to our generous sponsors.

Our 4th & 5th cohorts of Pre-Accelerator companies completed the 14 week program and celebrated with pitch showcases. 61 companies have graduated from the Pre-Accelerator program to date, and applications for the 10 available spots for Spring 2017 are open now.

The inaugural VC FinTech Accelerator empowered by FIS introduced founders from 10 companies to Arkansas’ best and brightest, connecting them with both local and global businesses. This strategic partnership with the world's leading financial technology company was a first for accelerators worldwide.

Our full time, on site, immersive 12 week program accelerated participating companies to significant growth, and the buzz leading up to the finale was palpable. Demo Day allowed portfolio company founders to give their pitches to a standing room only crowd, where Governor Asa Hutchinson & FIS CEO Gary Norcross took the stage together to announce their commitment to two more years of the program. We are excited to announce that 2 of the portfolio companies have opened offices right here in Little Rock!

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We launched an innovative new program designed to connect the entrepreneurial community with the existing business community, and Lift The Rock has been a huge success! Targeted asks mean that attendees create real impact via directed connections and networking, and featured entrepreneurs grow through these connections. It’s a fabulous way to spend Tuesday mornings. We can’t wait to start up post holiday! Make plans to join us on January 10th at 9am.

Not a bad highlight reel, eh?

The Venture Center team also contributed to numerous publications, conducted custom corporate innovation training, participated in SXSW & NOEW events, hosted The Mayor's Summit on Entrepreneurship in cooperation with The City of Little Rock and The Kauffman Foundation, spoke at the Arkansas Bankers Association conference, sat as panelists at Start Here Little Rock, SBA's Boots to Business, & Delta Entrepreneurship Network programs (to name a few), and entered into an ongoing agreement to provide entrepreneurial education to the entire 2016 Delta Regional Authority DEN fellowship cohort.

We weren't the only ones with full calendars. You and your companies have been plenty busy yourselves!

Together, we have generated over $11 Million dollars in revenue, raised over $19 Million dollars of capital, and created 268 jobs!

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All this, and we’re just getting started. THANK YOU.

Just like all of you, we are geared up for growth! Be on the lookout for exciting announcements about 2017 programs and memberships.

Wishing you a holiday filled with hustle, and a prosperous new year!