The University of Arkansas will open a co-working space and training center Friday (Sept. 29) in the former Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce building downtown at 123 W. Mountain St.
The Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub was made possible by gifts from Jerry, Kay, Clete and Tammy Brewer and will be open to students, alumni and faculty entrepreneurs, according to the UA.
The Entrepreneurship Hub will feature regular programming for students and alumni, including invited guest lectures and networking luncheons, as well as office hours provided by experts in fields such as marketing, design, accounting and the law, according to the school. The services were designed based on feedback from entrepreneurship program alumni.
The Entrepreneurship Hub also will provide full-time office space to a variety of university groups, including faculty and staff from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the student-run and managed business SAKE Forever Red, the Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design and STEAM-H, a program of the College of Engineering that bridges healthcare, the sciences and the arts, according to the UA.
The facility is equipped with 1-plus gigabyte/second bidirectional WiFi, made possible by Information Technology Services’ pilot installation of a Ubiquiti AirFiber connection to the campus network, according to the UA.
“Anyone in the university community with an interest in entrepreneurship qualifies for membership at the Hub, with special privileges reserved for active and alumni participants of the entrepreneurship program,” according to the school.
The university’s entrepreneurship program “boasts more victories in national business plan competitions than any other institution in the world — more than 22 since 2009,” according to the UA.
“I’m amazed by what our students have accomplished since the entrepreneurship program began 10 years ago,” Carol Reeves, associate vice provost for entrepreneurship and holder of the Cecil and Gwendolyn Cupp Applied Professorship in Entrepreneurship in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, said in the press release. “Together, they have now raised more than $60 million in investments to build their businesses, which employ hundreds of Arkansans. As a powerhouse research institution with a land grant mission, the University of Arkansas has a major opportunity, and I would argue obligation, to seed the virtuous cycle between commercialization and new avenues of discovery. The Entrepreneurship Hub will greatly accelerate our ability to drive that cycle.”
In addition to regular programming, a series of workshops on social entrepreneurship will be offered for the university community this fall, and it will host two upcoming community events. It will be a “featured stop” on the Northwest Arkansas Startup Crawl, organized by Startup Junkie Consulting, on Sept. 29, and it will host the UA’s Blockchain Hackathon on Oct.28.