#VCNews | The Venture Center and the Little Rock Regional Chamber Give Small Businesses a Spark!

Posted on August 12, 2020
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The Venture Center and the Little Rock Regional Chamber Give Small Businesses a Spark!

Following an outstanding inaugural program, Spark! is accepting applications for the second program through September 2, 2020 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. August 12, 2020 – The Venture Center and Little Rock Regional Chamber have opened applications for Spark!, a pre-accelerator program for small businesses in central Arkansas.  In its second year, Spark! will deliver mentorship, publicity, and subject matter expertise to selected small businesses over a virtual platform. The Spark! Selection Committee will accept program applications until Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.  The program will run from Tuesday, Sept. 15 through Wednesday, Nov.18. 

“The inaugural Spark! Pre-accelerator was exceptionally valuable for our participating companies, and the second year of Spark! will be no different,” said Wayne Miller, Executive Director of The Venture Center.  “Central Arkansas entrepreneurs have incredible support through today’s unique challenges in this virtual program. We are thrilled to work with a new class of local entrepreneurs seeking to adapt and grow despite the obstacles of an ever-changing landscape.” 

The 2020 Spark! program will accept up to ten local startups to participate in the 10-week virtual bootcamp. Led by The Venture Center, the Little Rock Regional Chamber, and local subject matter expert volunteers, the Spark! Cohort will gain critical business skills in areas ranging from business pitches and media to legal/IP and funding. 

“We co-created this program to give small businesses a targeted opportunity to receive real-time assessments, mentoring and strategies to boost their traction and growth,” stated Jay Chesshir, President and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “As with the 2020 cohort, these selected companies will gain knowledge and understanding which will enable them to better adapt to any market conditions.”

Qualifying applicants will be full-time founders/CEO of startup companies with verifiable revenue between $25,000 and $100,000 operating between one to five years and will be central Arkansas residents. Benefits of the program include matching founders with industry-specific mentors and the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in prizes by pitching at Pitch ‘N Pint on November 17. To learn more about Spark!, or to apply to be a program participant, please visit www.venturecenter.co/spark.


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.


For More Information

Becky Pittman, 501.658.8185