Spark! Accelerator Welcomes Seven Small Business Owners for 2022 Fall Program

Posted on October 26, 2022
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Sep. 29, 2022) – The Venture Center, in partnership with the Little Rock Regional Chamber, announced today its fifth Spark! cohort of leaders representing seven Arkansas-based small businesses. The 10-week accelerator helps participating founders scale their company through a sales, marketing, and business finance curriculum and connections with mentors.

Pamela Reed, managing director of community programs for the Venture Center, says working with this new 2022 cohort is a remarkable opportunity to support small business ventures in central Arkansas.

“Each founder participating in this fifth cohort has a vision for the future of their business,” said Reed. “They’ve put in the hard work to get them where they are today, and we’re thrilled to leverage our network of partners and supporters to provide these entrepreneurs with the resources needed to grow and succeed.”

The 2022 Fall Spark! cohort welcomes businesses that have been operating longer than two years and are seeking technical support to thrive. Selected businesses provide an array of services, including mental health care, travel consulting, software for builders and contractors, and more. The program begins today and runs for 10 weeks, ending on December 7. Near the program’s end, Spark! participants will pitch their businesses to a crowd at PitchNPint, scheduled for November 30 at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The selected companies for the 2022 Fall Spark! cohort are:
● Kathleen Lawson – Founder, Sprinkles and Spice
● Cheryl Humphrey – Founder, Candy Butta
● Bo Dillon – Founder, Builder Bid
● Will Tidwell – Founder, SpeakUPZee, L.L.C.
● Kenitra Jones – Founder, Kenitra’s Travel
● Mariah Brown, LPC – Founder, The Vision Project
● Marisa Cahill – Founder, Cahill Exterior Design

“We continue to be impressed by local small business leaders who are committed to learning and growing, and this year’s cohort is no different,” said Jay Chesshir, president of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “Little Rock’s future holds great promise for small businesses and we’re excited to support the growth of these seven exceptional entrepreneurs.”

Other benefits of Spark! include media exposure, mentorship, workshops, access to The Venture Center’s co-working space, and inclusion in the growing Spark! Alumni network. To learn more about Spark! please visit


About The Venture Center
The Venture Center is a globally recognized Arkansas-based Entrepreneurial Support Organization (ESO) that helps entrepreneurs turn their start-ups into viable, high-growth businesses. By leveraging the expertise of a world-class team of mentors, intensive programming, and introductions to the investor community, The Venture Center serves as an
engine for economic growth in Arkansas and beyond.

About The Little Rock Regional Chamber
The Little Rock Regional Chamber is the principal business-driven leadership organization responsible for fostering the economic growth and development of the Little Rock region to ensure that business and industry may operate profitably and enhance the earning opportunities and quality of life for every citizen.