Dr. James K. Hendren has been the entrepreneurial champion for the advancement of technology startup companies and knowledge job development since the mid-1980’s. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Arkansas in 1972, providing a foundation for his successful career in sophisticated software development in both the defense and finance industries.
James was CEO, then Chairman of Arkansas Systems, Inc. (ARKSYS), one of Arkansas’ early “high-tech” companies. While growing that company from a small, home-grown company to an internationally known corporation, he served on the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority board of directors and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission where he led the charge for changing the economic development strategies to include high-tech startup companies.
He chaired the Arkansas Taskforce for Knowledge-Based Job Creation. He was a founder of the Knowledge-Based Companies of Arkansas. He was one of the founders of Accelerate Arkansas and the founding Chairman of the Arkansas STEM Coalition. As a key player, including Chairman of Accelerate Arkansas, Dr. Hendren has spearheaded the efforts to produce an excellent environment to encourage startup companies in Arkansas.
Dr. Hendren has served as CEO for four technology startup companies and worked with more than thirty. In early 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Fribourgh Award by UALR. He is currently the Chairman of The Venture Center, where he actively participates in the direction of the Center and as an active mentor to members of the Center.