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Our community programs provide community, education, connections, and mentorship to empower any entrepreneur to take a leap into the start up journey. At the Venture Center, we believe in equipping entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch, encourage inclusivity and diversity, and cultivate life-changing connections.


upcoming events 


community programs


Lift the Rock connects local economic development resources to entrepreneurs and inspires business professionals by sharing the stories of Arkansas entrepreneurs and small businesses owners – all over lunch! Whether you are an entrepreneur, business leader, investor, or just an interested community member, come connect and learn from our featured speakers about topics like starting a business, building strategic relationships, scaling your startup, and more.


The Venture Center’s Workshop instructors are from Arkansas’ biggest and brightest companies, and generously share real-world experience and insight in The Venture Center classroom each month. Developed by industry experts and tailored to meet the demanding needs of top employers, our workshops position candidates for professional and entrepreneurial success.


The Venture Center’s Fireside Chats feature Arkansas’ brightest stars and biggest economic drivers, candidly sharing their experiences, successes and even failures to foster and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in Arkansas. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to succeed in the fast-paced business world, this program is right for you.


The Venture Center’s Annual Pitch ‘N Pint pits entrepreneurs in a real time Shark Tank style pitch competition where winners leave with cash and connections. Entrepreneurs will deliver a 60 second elevator pitch to three investor judges, and a crowd of beer-lovin’ startup folks. Onlookers' votes are tallied instantly via state-of-the-art, text-your-vote technology.

mentorship program

Whether you’re a talented, proven, seasoned professional who has a passion for guiding local young talent or you’re looking for a coach to navigate your career, our VC mentorship program is for you! The Venture Center is dedicated to helping professionals in all stages of their careers grow. Sometimes this “growth” can mean giving back. Our Mentor program does both by matching professionals who are looking for career coaching with seasoned executives in the Little Rock area. Twenty Protégés and twenty mentors are accepted into the nine-month program that begins each year in March and ends in November.

What to Expect

Applications for Mentors and Protégés are accepted for review starting in early January. All applicants are then accepted into the program based on several factors:

  • Interests – Does the mentor have relevant experience in a variety of disciplines to provide direction on career goals, industry and work focus?

  • Attitude – Does the Protégé have the ambition and drive to fully participate in the program for the entire term, and drive their success through the program offerings?

  • Location – can both applicants meet regularly in-person within the Central Arkansas area?

This is an exclusive program within the Venture Center. Protégés benefit from one-on-one mentoring from directors and executives throughout the term of the program. In addition, there are four main events that help further the group participants in their career developments.

Program Results

Networking – establish a great, relevant base for ongoing networking. The relationships that develop through this program never end. Mentors and Protégés keep in touch for years after the program year is completed.

Learning – Mentors present their personal experience and career observations on topics picked by the Protégés at group events through a panel discussion. These insights into the next stage of your career help you grow while avoiding the pitfalls.

how to apply

We will be accepting applications for the 2019 program from February 2019 - March 8, 2019.