Gov. Hutchinson enters public-private partnership on tech accelerators

by KUAR FM 89.1 ([email protected]) 273 views 

Jacob Kauffman with our content partner, KUAR FM 89.1 News, reports:

The state of Arkansas is investing $1 million in discretionary funds over the next two years in a 50-50 partnership with the financial tech company FIS to continue a program meant to bolster start-ups in the industry.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he’ll also ask the legislature for $2 million to expand the accelerator concept to industries beyond the financial sector. He made the announcement Wednesday at the Venture Center’s FinTech Accelerator Global Investor Demo Day at the Clinton Presidential Library.

“We’ve identified what we believe will be benefits to the state. One, it strengthens a great corporate citizen and job creator in FIS. It also has spin-off technology companies that we hope will result from it,” said Hutchinson. “It brings talent here and this is a reasonable cautions approach to help build that technology investment and sector in this state.”

Hutchinson has pushed for more computer coding in public schools and he’s participated in a series of tech-related announcements – including company locations and a new Arkansas Coding Academy – that seek to capitalize on producing more technology-oriented jobs in the state.

“What this means is that we’re bringing the best talent from around the globe right here to Arkansas to help make the case that we ought to be the technology hub for our region,” said Hutchinson.

The accelerator program, facilitated by the Venture Center, engages 10 tech start-up companies for 12 weeks and provides an initial $50,000 investment. The state and FIS have committed to keep the program running through 2018.

You can read more from Talk Business & Politics four-part series on the FinTech program at this link. Also, Venture Center CEO Lee Watson was a recent guest on Talk Business & Politics Daily to discuss in greater detail the FinTech program.