We’re having a full-circle moment: Why bringing back membership is a big deal for The Venture Center and the entrepreneurs it’s helping

Posted on May 10, 2024
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By Ashley Jones

The Venture Center is no stranger to the floundering entrepreneur. We’ve seen them, we’ve helped them, we ARE them!

Over the years, our goal has remained steadfast: to empower entrepreneurs by creating a supportive community engaged in economic development and innovation.

However, like many things, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our thriving membership and mentorship program. The shift to remote operations forced us to pause the vibrant, in-person interactions that fueled our community. But now, we’re thrilled to announce that it’s coming back, revitalized and better than ever!

Here’s what you’ll unlock as a Venture Center member:

  • Connect ($20/month): Dive into our community with access to an online network of resources, members-only events and discounts, a member chat channel, and discounted parking.
  • Collaborate ($30/month): Combine community and space with an online resource network, member perks, and two days of second-floor desk access each month.
  • Elevate ($40/month): Benefit from community and monthly 1:1 mentorship sessions, along with other member benefits.
  • Innovate ($50/month): Experience the full package with community, workspace, mentorship, and every benefit the other levels offer.

Our revitalized program draws from the success of our 2016 membership model, known for its dynamic atmosphere and palpable energy. Before Entrepreneur Support Organizations exploded in Arkansas, The Venture Center was already buzzing with activity—events, accelerator programs, and mentor sessions ensured there was always something happening.

I started at The Venture Center as a “community champion,” tasked with growing our membership base and mentor network. Eight years later, I’ve stepped into the role of director of operations, and I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact that membership and strong support have on entrepreneurs.

Probably the most remarkable aspect was seeing the impact of our mentor network.

Our initial mentor network began with just five professionals and, over four years, expanded to 86 experts across different fields, all dedicated to helping a new wave of business leaders.

When The Venture Center began to rebuild its membership and mentorship program, many of the original mentors stepped up. To participate, yes, but also to make the program the best it could be. They understand the value of mentorship for our members—not just the formal training, but the informal chats, shared experiences, and practical advice rooted in real-world experience.

But believe it or not, this isn’t just about business.

The Venture Center’s membership and mentorship program is about learning, growing, and sometimes failing together. I’ve seen entrepreneurs rise from setbacks, guided by the advice of those who’ve already walked that path.

Even though I’m not an entrepreneur, I’ve also learned a lot from the successes and setbacks of our members and mentors.

Reintroducing this program is about committing to our community’s future, welcoming anyone with a dream or vision to share. By building a space where people support each other, you never know who might provide the insight you need for your journey.

If you’re looking for a place that understands your goals, become a Venture Center member. We are here to help make them happen.

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