BioVentures and The Venture Center Launch Accelerator to Bolster SEDI Healthcare Entrepreneurship

Posted on March 27, 2024
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Applications are open online now through April 15

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 27, 2024) – BioVentures has launched the ACTIVE Program in partnership with The Venture Center to give socially and economically disadvantaged innovators (SEDI) in healthcare and technology the opportunity to thrive, focusing on diversity, innovation, and economic inclusivity. Interested entrepreneurs are invited to apply at before April 15. 

This initiative aims to enhance health outcomes throughout Arkansas, creating a supportive environment for the growth of innovative ideas and entrepreneurs. It positions Arkansas as a key center for healthcare solutions, backing early-stage companies with the potential to influence markets both locally and globally. Funding for the program comes from the Minority Business Development Agency’s Capital Readiness Program, with partnerships including the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Philander Smith College.

“This initiative represents a significant step towards equality and inclusion,” said Kevin Sexton, MD, principal investigator. “This isn’t merely a financial boost; it’s a clarion call for innovation and inclusivity in Arkansas’ health tech domain. With the Capital Readiness Program’s trust, BioVentures and ACTIVE are embarking on an adventure where the talents of our socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs will be the cornerstone of the next generation of health care solutions in the state.”

This year-long program accepts 25 participants annually, providing concentrated and personalized support. Entrepreneurs will benefit from a range of services to boost business growth and innovation. The program includes:

  • Entrepreneurship bootcamps for essential business skills.
  • Assistance in business setup for a strong foundation.
  • Guidance on funding options, including loans and grants.
  • Networking opportunities with venture capitalists.
  • Personalized mentorship for tailored advice.
  • Legal support in healthcare compliance and intellectual property.


“The Venture Center is excited to offer a skill training bootcamp for this initiative,” said Daniel Schutte, VP of Strategic Partnerships at The Venture Center. “Our goal is to equip promising healthcare innovators with the tools and knowledge they need to scale their businesses and make a lasting impact in the industry.”

The ACTIVE Program seeks entrepreneurs from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds with innovative, early-stage healthcare and health technology ventures. Ideal candidates are dedicated to creating a significant impact in health care and developing scalable solutions. Applicants must complete an online form detailing their business concept, team background, and how their solution brings innovation to health care. The selection process includes reviews of applications and interviews for those shortlisted. Criteria for selection emphasize the uniqueness of the healthcare solution, viability of the business model, and potential for societal impact. Ultimately, 25 participants will be chosen, representing a diverse, creative, and impactful cohort.

The ACTIVE Program’s commitment to SEDI individuals addresses the underrepresentation and unrealized potential in the health tech sector. By focusing on SEDI entrepreneurs, ACTIVE promotes equitable innovation in healthcare technology, driving economic growth, introducing diverse health tech solutions, and improving healthcare outcomes.

SEDI leaders of early-stage health technology ventures committed to making an impact should apply to the ACTIVE Program now through April 15, 2024. For details on how to apply, visit 



BioVentures: BioVentures, established by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), aims to promote a biomedical technology industry in Arkansas and translate research into products that benefit human health. Our mission is to foster commercial investment in inventions and discoveries from UAMS, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and the local VA Hospital to enhance healthcare and stimulate economic development in Arkansas. Serving as a nexus for innovation and an entry point for industry collaboration, BioVentures facilitates technology transfer and the development of startups based on UAMS technology, contributing to Arkansas’ economic growth. Learn more at

The Venture Center: The Venture Center’s immersive accelerator programs are designed to accelerate the growth of early-to-growth-stage companies and help validate their solutions for real-world problems. Our methodology provides a unique opportunity for early-to-growth stage fintech companies to connect with financial institution executives, receive investment, and learn from a comprehensive curriculum aiding in strategically addressing go-to-market, business, and finance challenges. Learn more at Follow The Venture Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@VentureCenter), and Instagram.


For more details about the ACTIVE Program and application process, please contact Viktoria Capek, 770.557.6196, or Joe Schaffner, active@uams.ed, or visit our website,