According to an SBA news release, RICs are geographically-concentrated networking hubs of small businesses, suppliers, service providers, and related institutions that work together to maximize resources, compete on larger scales, and drive innovation and job creation.
Other RIC award winners are:
- Acendian LLC, Chesterfield, Mo.; area of focus: pharmaceutical and biosciences
- AgLaunch, Knoxville, Tenn.; area of Focus: agriculture technology
- Development Capital Networks LLC, Oklahoma City, Okla.; area of focus: unmanned aerial systems
- Larta Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; area of focus: bioscience.
Awardees were selected based on their ability to deliver the most extended support to small business entrepreneurs in various areas. Startup Junkie’s focus area is innovation in retail, supply chain/logistics and food processing.
The SBA awarded the five new clusters $300,000 that can be used to pay for events, conferences, booths, webinars, salaries and operating costs.
The SBA now supports a dozen RICs.
“We are honored to again be selected for the RIC award and we are eager to continue the work of advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding region,” Startup Junkir founder ad managing director Jeff Amerine said in a statement. “This award is central to our ongoing support of the small business and startup scene in Arkansas. The SBA has been a crucial partner over the last many years and we are delighted to continue our work with their ongoing support.”