NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub (www.arhub.org) and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce (www.fayettevillear.com) today announced that they have formed a partnership to develop a new Innovation Hub in a building that the Chamber of Commerce is acquiring on the Fayetteville downtown square.
"I applaud this new partnership between the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce’s newly created NWA Innovation Hub for joining forces to better serve start-up businesses in Central and Northwest Arkansas," said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. "This is the type of partnership that links our state geographically, economically and intellectually. It also signals to entrepreneurs and creative thinkers outside our borders that Arkansas is fast becoming the 'innovation state.'"
"We are very excited about this opportunity to work with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce to bring our facilities and programs to Northwest Arkansas," said Warwick Sabin, executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. "Our mission is to extend access to entrepreneurial education and resources across the state, and this new partnership with the Fayetteville Chamber is a major step forward in that direction."
"The Chamber’s new maker space and Innovation Hub, in partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, is clear evidence of the growing entrepreneurial education opportunities and resources being created in our state," said Steve Clark, President and CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. "Our partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub will only make the Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas innovation ecosystem stronger and further elevate the innovation culture throughout Arkansas. The Fayetteville Chamber looks forward to assisting and promoting the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in its mission to extend access to entrepreneurial education and resources throughout our state. When we are working together, there is nothing Arkansas cannot do."
Through this new partnership, the Innovation Hub and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce will develop a new Innovation Hub that will have facilities and programming that are comparable to those already established at the Innovation Hub's main headquarters location in North Little Rock. This includes the Launch Pad maker space, the Silver Mine entrepreneurial co-working and incubation space, the STEAM Lab classroom, and the Art Connection program.
The new Innovation Hub in Fayetteville will be located on the main downtown square at 21 West Mountain Street, which is being acquired by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. After renovations, the building will have 4,500 square feet of space dedicated to the Innovation Hub and its Launch Pad maker space. All current tenants, such as Tiny Tim's Pizza and Jammin' Java, will remain in their current places.
The first phase of the new Innovation Hub will be the Launch Pad maker space on the lower floor of the renovated building. Like the original Launch Pad maker space in North Little Rock, the new facility will include 3-D printers, CnC machines, and other equipment for rapid design and prototyping. The Innovation Hub will direct the creation of the new space and assist with the development and implementation of the programming there.
Opening of the Launch Pad maker space is expected in the first quarter of 2016.
ABOUT ARKANSAS REGIONAL INNOVATION HUB
The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub (www.arhub.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing innovative and entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas by creating a collaborative ecosystem and pipelines that mobilize the resources, programs and educational opportunities necessary to develop, attract and retain talent and to build the state's economy.
ABOUT FAYETTEVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce (www.fayettevillear.com) was founded in 1889 and has 1,200 members. Its mission is to serve as the leader and advocate for our membership to promote a strong business climate and facilitate positive community interaction for continued economic development and enhance quality of life.