Kim Lane has been promoted to chief executive officer of The Conductor, a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Fayetteville-based Startup Junkie Consulting. Since its launch in November 2016, Lane has served as the Chief Operating Officer of the organization.
The Conductor provides mentoring, consulting, training, capital readiness and technical assistance to startups, small businesses and emerging investors across the state of Arkansas. In addition, the Conductor is responsible for managing the UCA Makerspace on the UCA Campus.
“Kim has done an absolutely amazing job in leading the efforts of the Conductor over the past 15+ months,” said Jeff Amerine, Founding Principal of Startup Junkie Consulting. “She has established a cadence of programming and a level of quality that that have elevated the bar for all of us in the startup community. We are so fortunate to have Kim leading our work in Central Arkansas.”
In addition to providing training programs, networking and consulting for startups and small businesses, the Conductor has also begun addressing the need for talent development among primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities. This focus on talent development serves to inform teachers, parents and students alike that entrepreneurship is a very viable career path and that even established companies seek to hire innovative, entrepreneurial talent.
“The Conductor is doing extremely important work to reduce barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and innovators. In just over a year, we’ve influenced thousands of people of all ages to rethink the way they approach their businesses and lives. I’m extremely passionate about the Conductor’s mission, and am so energized by the opportunity we have to stimulate the economy and catalyze change in our community,” Lane said.
Prior to her role with the Conductor, Lane worked as director of operations for the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock. She served the Global Entrepreneurship Congress as a U.S. Delegate to their World Congress in South Africa in 2017 and will serve as a delegate to Istanbul in 2018. She is the director of Startup Grind Arkansas and a Regional Representative for the Kauffman Foundation’s “One Million Cups” program, overseeing all of the chapters in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Puerto Rico. Lane also serves on the boards of the Junior Achievement of Arkansas, the Arkansas Fellowship, the Young Professionals of Conway and Emerging Conway.