You’re listening to The Multiplier Effect: an Endeavor NWA Podcast production. Each week you’ll get a thirty-minute dose of entrepreneurial inspiration from authors, influencers, investors, and Endeavor Entrepreneurs, themselves. Successful high-impact entrepreneurs generate a multiplier effect: Young people everywhere, regardless of birthplace or background, hear their stories and begin to believe that they too can dream big, scale-up, and pay their success forward. Endeavor’s ultimate aim is a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone.
After featuring over 20 organizations with meaningful solutions to strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystems and foster inclusive community and economic development practices, Season 2 has come to a close! We wanted to spend our last episode speaking about what we know best here at Endeavor, supporting scaling entrepreneurs with Endeavor President Adrian Garcia-Aranyos. He shares how Endeavor unlocks the transformational power of entrepreneurship by selecting, supporting, and investing in the world's top founders around the world.
Today we are joined by Anna Mason, Managing Partner at Rise of the Rest. Revolution’s Rise of the Rest® Road Trip with Steve Case is a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. She shares her unique perspective on how the most compelling investment opportunities in the next decade will emerge from startups in cities based outside the coasts.
Through a diverse coalition of public and private partners, led by George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), Tulsa Innovation Labs is creating economic development programs that seek to make Tulsa the nation’s most inclusive tech community. They focus their efforts on five specific areas: energy tech, drones, cyber, analytics, and virtual health. As innovation moves more into America’s heartland, Tulsa is no exception, as it has become a growing hotspot for tech startups, small businesses, and nonprofits and is anchored by leading aviation, cyber, energy, and healthcare companies. In today's episode, Shauna shares how Tulsa Innovation Labs is launching big projects with transformative impact.
Robin Wallis Atkinson, CEO of INTERFORM, shares how art and innovation intersect, promoting the thriving economic development we see across the world and how her team at INTERFORM supports designers and artists in Northwest Arkansas by providing education and resources needed to create a self-sustaining design-led fashion and arts industry.
Devon Laney is a tech entrepreneur and also has over 15 years of experience in building thriving entrepreneurial & innovation ecosystems. Devon has also spoken in both the U.S. and internationally on entrepreneurial development, business incubation, and innovation, and currently serves as the Board Chairman of the International Business Innovation Association. And today, Devon talks with Canem about how his team is maximizing its momentum and finding new, fresh ways to serve and elevate the Tulsa community through entrepreneurial support made possible by 36 Degrees North.
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) is on a mission to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying our state and local economies, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout the State. And today, Katherine Holmstrom shares with us how her team has managed projects resulting in millions of dollars invested in the State, as well as new infrastructure and job growth in our local communities. Listen in to hear how AEDC is helping to create a growing economy for entrepreneurs and innovators to thrive.
Edward Haddock, District Director for the Arkansas District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is responsible for the delivery of all SBA programs and services as well as coordination between the SBA, the district’s Small Business Development Centers, SCORE chapters, and the Women’s Business Center throughout the State. And in this episode, he shares a variety of programs and services delivered by the SBA include the loan guaranty program, which is delivered through more than 50 eligible lenders, assistance in government contracting, export development, and entrepreneurship training.
In episode 33, Mary Beth Brooks, director of the ASBTDC at the University of Arkansas, shares how in 2020, 5,876 Arkansans in our region received consulting, cutting edge market research, and educational events at no charge through resources at the ASBTDC. Mary Beth and her team are a go-to resource for founders in Arkansas to expand their expertise and scale their companies.
In this week's episode, James Bell, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce, discusses the strategic and tactical approaches Northwest Arkansas has taken to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem through industry recruitment and how we support small businesses and startups as they scale.
Today, we’re joined by Katie Thompson, Director of the Science Venture Studio and Founder of Rooted Startups to learn how her team helps early-stage science and technology companies prepare and submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposals. She shares with us the process of submitting the proposals, how University students and companies are matched during the program, and virtual events available to those interested in learning more.
Today we’re joined by Katie Milligan from Heartland Forward. Heartland Forward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “think and do tank” focused on improving economic performance in the center of the United States. They believe that transformative research concentrates on factors that impact the American Heartland’s economy through innovation, such as research development and commercialization, human capital formation and labor force skills training, entrepreneurship awareness and capacity, access to early-stage risk capital, and issues around immigration, demographics, health status, and quality of place. Heartland Forward is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, but their work focuses on the entire Heartland region. Today Katie shares with us how they help to support communities through local programs and resources driven by their research and shares a sneak peek of their 2021 Heartland Summit as they bring together leading thinkers, innovators, and investors, to create powerful networks for forging paths of progress.
Ashley Wardlow is the Executive Director of the NWA Technology Summit hosted by the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce. This annual event has something for everyone – from "adventurepreneurs" to C-suite executives – anyone interested in how technology can help businesses and communities collaborate to solve common challenges are welcome to join as they explore answers to the question, "What's next…after next?". In this episode, Ashley gives us a sneak peek into what we can anticipate for 2021's NWA Tech Summit.
WeWork launched its first Arkansas location in October 2020 on the second floor of the historic Massey Building in downtown Bentonville. WeWork Labs is WeWork's global digital platform connecting and supporting early-stage startups and small businesses. And this week, we're joined by Carlos Estrada, Senior Manager of WeWork based out of Houston Texas, and Chandler Abbott, team lead of the local coworking space in Bentonville to discuss some of the exciting programs they have in store for small businesses in 2021.
To wrap our three-part mini-series discussing 'the power of corporate partnerships' in our entrepreneurial support community, this week, we're joined by Greg Kessman, Managing Director of Plug and Play. Plug and Play connects the largest corporations to the world's best startups through industry-focused accelerator programs in Bentonville, Silicon Valley, and beyond. They run over 50 industry themed accelerator programs in cities worldwide each year and partner with over 400 leading corporate partners to make it happen. In this episode, Greg shares trends he anticipates for the supply chain industry and discusses how Plug and Play programs support entrepreneurs in Bentonville and beyond.
To continue our three-part mini-series discussing 'the power of corporate partnerships' in our entrepreneurial support community, this week we’re joined by Wayne Miller, the Executive Director of The Venture Center. The Venture Center’s award-winning Fintech accelerator programs speed the growth of early-stage companies and help validate their solutions for real-world problems, fueling innovation in the financial services industry alongside their corporate partners FIS And the independent community bankers of America.
As part of Season 2, we are launching a three-part series focusing on the impact of corporate partnership programs in our region and how they play a critical role in building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. To kick things off, we were joined by Becca Shaddox, Partner at i2iLabs and Founder of Anchor. She shares insights on where she sees the future of retail shifting amidst the Covid-19 crisis, what opportunities founders have in engaging with new funding opportunities coming to NWA. Becca and her team help companies across the retail, food, pharma, and brand industries by designing strategic programs that enhance and grow companies at scale by connecting them with the enterprise partnerships they need to thrive.
In this episode, Yee-Lin Lai, Program Officer of the Home Region Program at the Walton Family Foundation, shares her inspiring journey to Northwest Arkansas from Singapore and speaks to us about how the Walton Family Foundation is helping to shape and empower economic development initiatives in the Heartland to support our regions scaling entrepreneurs.
Emma Willis serves as the Director of the Heartland Region at Venture Noire. She supports the tech development for Spectra, a group of black-owned venture studios with the collective mission to advance innovation for a better and more equitable world. And today, she shares with us how we can all work to close the racial wealth gap in the Heartland and elevate opportunities for empowering diverse founders in our region.
Experiential learning has risen to the forefront of entrepreneurship education. It plays a critical role at the University of Arkansas in building a culture of innovation through programs at the McMillion Innovation Studio and Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub. In this episode, Sarah Goforth, Executive Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, shares her entrepreneurial journey with us and how she discovered her passion for empowering students to become innovators and entrepreneurs. Students don’t just become ready to create their own futures — they become ready to change the world.
Last week, our Northwest Arkansas community lost a dear friend and entrepreneur, Francis Hwang, to suicide. Words can not adequately describe this tragic loss.
Entrepreneurs create new jobs, combat recessions, introduce useful products and services, and create prosperity. Through the ups and downs of innovating, they experience joyful celebrations but also suffer loss. As entrepreneur ecosystem builders, it is vital that we understand the causes of founder's strengths and vulnerabilities and share this knowledge to empower future entrepreneurs to prevail. A few months ago, our team at Endeavor hosted a ScaleUp Summit session featuring Brad Feld. He openly discusses his personal battle with anxiety and depression as a founder and shares insights on what we can all do to support entrepreneurs in vulnerable times. As we honor the memories of our brilliant, brave, and beloved friend, Francis, we share a clip of Brad Feld’s session with you today.
In today’s episode, Jeff Amerine, Founder of Startup Junkie, and Jeff Standridge, Managing Director of the Conductor, share how their method of ecosystem-building has proven to be successful, helping Northwest Arkansas become a destination of choice for startups in the retail, software, and supply chain sectors, as medical, data analytics, FinTech, and manufacturing companies migrate toward central Arkansas. Startup Junkie and the Conductor have championed a proven method for building entrepreneurial ecosystems by establishing a four pillar approach to programming and support and are now ready to share these insights they’ve learned over the years with regions worldwide.
Proof-of-concept funding is often one of the largest barriers entrepreneurs face when attempting to launch a company and access to high value mentors is a critical component of the success of any early-stage company. Winrock International's I-Fund provides both funds for technical assistance and training to enable entrepreneurs to make their ideas, research, and inventions a reality. In this episode, I-Fund Program Manager, Amy Hopper, shares how her team provides a platform for the creation and launch of high-growth companies, spurring economic development, and job creation.
In the middle of the American Heartland and headquarters, Northwest Arkansas has enjoyed national attention from Entrepreneur.com as an unexpected hub for tech startups, from DataFox as one of the best places to found a startup outside of Silicon Valley, and from FastCompany.com as a top place for minority-owned businesses. To kick off Season 2, we are joined by Jeanette Balleza Collins, Entrepreneurial Development Director of the Northwest Arkansas Council, as she shares with us some of her favorite organizations and initiatives that are helping to facilitate meaningful connections for entrepreneurs in the Heartland. Special thanks to the Northwest Arkansas Council and Startup NWA for sponsoring the Ecosystem Builders Series.
And that’s a wrap for Season 1 of The Multiplier Effect! Join the Endeavor NWA team as they discuss their favorite moments from the Investor Series, books they’re currently reading, and what’s in store for Season 2!
According to experts, the coronavirus pandemic is already leading to greater adoption of ESG and impact investing principles. Among the new norms that may come into view when the all-clear sounds are that ESG integration is likely to be considered foundational to assessing any company’s ability to weather major disruption. Tom Groos, Partner at City Light Capital and Endeavor Detroit Board Member, discusses how responsible investment and ESG strategies have performed amidst the turmoil of COVID– and what the future may hold for them.
In the fifteenth episode of The Multiplier Effect, we are sharing exclusive content co-hosted by our team and the Northwest Arkansas Council. Each talk in the You Love series explores a point of passion, covering topics from art to culinary experiences to the outdoors, music, and our team’s favorite topic, entrepreneurship. Canem Arkan moderates this lively chat between three rockstar panelists, Arlan Hamilton, Emily Heyward, and Linda Rottenberg. Together they share their views on startup culture and the path to creating dynamic and accessible entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world.
In the fourteenth episode of The Multiplier Effect, Laura shares her unique perspective for companies navigating the crisis and offers insights specifically for SaaS companies on how to prioritize people over pixels through agile operations and strategic investment planning.
In episode thirteen of our Investor Series, Claire England discusses the assets she has seen women investors bring to the table and what programs are impacting entrepreneurial education for growing cities outside the coasts.
In episode twelve of our Investor Series, Mervin Jebaraj, Director at the Center for Business and Economic Research of Walton College, addresses the economic impact of COVID-19 on the State of Arkansas, and more specifically how this is impacting Main Street America.
In episode eleven of our Investor Series, Linda Rottenburg, CEO and Co-Founder of Endeavor, interviews Kevin Ryan, Founder & Chairman at AlleyCorp. At AlleyCorp, the simple motto, "We Found Companies. We Fund Companies. We Pay It Forward," belies the incredible vision and fortitude Kevin Ryan has brought to his storied career as a serial entrepreneur. The results speak for themselves: Kevin has been the founder or CEO of more than five multi-billion dollar companies over the last 25 years, and he's not done yet! In this episode, Kevin shares his deep experience as a founder, operator, and investor in some of the most well-recognized brands on the planet.
In the tenth episode of our Investor Series, Founder and General Partner of Valor Ventures, Lisa Calhoun, discusses the power of habits being broken and how that creates more opportunity for entrepreneurs than ever before.
In the ninth episode of our Investor Series, Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social, discusses the impact of the crisis on mergers and acquisitions and how we should strategize building leadership teams in a virtual world.
In the eighth episode of our Investor Series, Softbank Group International CEO, Marcelo Claure shares his experience as a renowned "fixer" and how he is shepherding some of the world's most iconic companies through the current crisis.
In the seventh episode of our Investor Series, Clete Brewer, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner at New Road Capital Ventures, discusses trends he is seeing emerge as a result of the crisis and how COVID-19 has impacted companies in the Northwest Arkansas region.
In the sixth episode of our Investor Series, Kristian Andersen, Co-Founder and Partner at High Alpha, sheds light on accelerated trends across a variety of industries and how fundamentally flawed businesses being exposed during the crisis will foster the next wave of innovation.
In the sixth episode of The Multiplier Effect, Elise Mitchell, Chairwoman of the Endeavor NWA board, shares her tips on how to develop a process for making it far easier to make the best decisions in a crisis.
In the fourth episode of our Investor Series, Candice Matthews Brackeen, Founder and CEO of Lightship Capital, shares digital sourcing and networking strategies entrepreneurs should consider during the crisis.
In the third episode of our Investor Series, Earnest Sweat, Associate Partner at GreatPoint Ventures, answers all of our burning questions related to shifts he has seen in the VC landscape and how to identify and target venture capital firms for your company.
In the second episode of our Investor Series, Michael Basch, the Managing Director of Atento Capital, helps us unpack considerations Heartland entrepreneurs should take into account as they face the aftermath of COVID-19.
In this series of episodes, we offer listeners a glimpse into the decisions investors face when finding, evaluating, and scaling the next generation of great companies. Our first guest on the show is John Fein (@JohnFein), Founder and Managing Partner of Firebrand Ventures. John shares his insights on cash flow, cost-cutting, and the importance of leading with class during the crisis.
Coming April 27th, The Multiplier Effect brings intimate, unfiltered conversations about the challenges of scale from entrepreneurs, investors, authors, and influencers from around the world. In this trailer, Jessica Head, Marketing Director at Endeavor NWA, gives a quick peek into the journey of how this podcast came to be and the amazing lineup of guests we have coming.