UA’s Heartland Challenge announces 12 semifinalists

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,120 views 

The University of Arkansas has selected a dozen student startup teams for its fourth annual Heartland Challenge Startup Competition.

The Heartland Challenge is a global competition designed to simulate the process of raising venture capital for a high-growth venture with a cash prize pool of $100,000. The UA’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI) manages the competition.

This year’s event is April 13-15 at the Ledger in downtown Bentonville. There were a record 90 applicants for the competition, which was narrowed down to 12 semifinalists.

“It brings me great pride to showcase Bentonville as an attraction and destination for student founders from across the country,” said Deb Williams, OEI’s senior director of operations and student programs. “The opportunities are endless for founders looking for an attractive place to build their businesses with support from investors, mentors, and a highly interconnected entrepreneurial community.”

The Heartland Challenge is the first global student startup competition in Arkansas and has awarded over $350,000 since it was first held virtually in the spring of 2020.

Past winners have included technology startups focused on the music industry and improving cancer detection, as well as a recycling-based building materials company.

More details about the teams—representing eight universities and seven states — judges and schedule are available at this link.