Feb 23, 2022

EMPOWER Accelerator in Full Swing with Cohort of Five Startups

Startup Junkie, which oversees The Science Venture Studio (SVS) has launched EMPOWER, an accelerator focused on all women and non-binary people in STEM in Arkansas. Now in its fifth week of the program, SVS has engaged with the entrepreneurs to help them take a deep dive into their innovation. 

The five entrepreneurs were selected from a very talented pool of applicants and have each been paired with 5 mentors that will provide support in understanding the industry and technical development. 

Marguerite Keating  Type A Travel. Group Travel, Refined – is focused on making group travel planning more efficient and streamlined with her online platform.

The purpose of my application, Type A Travel, is to streamline and simplify the process of group travel for all types of travelers; logistics nerds and non-planners alike. During the accelerator I plan to complete an MVP (minimum viable product) and robust sales pitch deck. The accelerator is an ideal environment to gain fast, objective feedback from experienced entrepreneurs who can help bring my vision to life.

Julia Davis – is continuing the development of a monthly sleep subscription box that has a key component that identifies which vitamins people could be deficient in that may be leading to insomnia and offers support to combat insomnia. 

I wanted to join the Empower Accelerator to bring my idea to market through learning more about SBIR and STTR proposals as well as being paired with technical and industry mentors. 2 years ago, I took part in the first cohort of the Venture Intern Program, and I am so excited to take part in the first cohort of the Empower Accelerator and see how this program grows in the coming years. 

Kristen Davidson – is creating an EMG biofeedback device that is user friendly and is affordable enough to be purchased for home use. 

I am honored to be part of this EMPOWER cohort and to have the opportunity to learn and grow with so much support!  I am excited to work with mentors to guide me in organizing a new business and turning an idea into a product.

Lisa Carroll – is improving her Soothie Frost ICE POPs, a patented oral tissue support supplement that is targeted to soothe inflamed mouth pain. 

It is a great honor to be a participant in the EMPOWER program! With excitement I am looking forward to learning from powerful industry/technology mentors, fellowship with other talented entrepreneurs and benefitting from the synergy of the team’s excellence to further advance our innovation, commercialization and technology development. As well as exploring opportunities for federal funding for R&D to accelerate Soothie frost’s patented product and market opportunities. 

Mahsa Haseli –  is expanding on an innovation that could improve cell manufacturing and cell therapy. 

I have a passion to help improve the quality of lives. I would like to use the gained knowledge in this program to develop my ideas. 

SVS alongside industry and technology mentors from across the region are walking together with each of the participants as they take a deep dive into their innovation by understanding the impact of their innovation, commercialization strategies, and technical milestones that need to be achieved to bring their innovation to market. 

I have always had a deep passion for supporting all-women and non-binary people in every season of their life, said Katie Thompson, Director of SVS who is leading this effort with her team. The numbers don’t tell a lie and they showcase that this key demographic is drastically underrepresented in the technology realm. I firmly believe, and the quality of the innovation that is being investigated in our program confirms, that this lack of representation is not because their innovative ideas are irrelevant to SBIR/STTR support. I am thrilled to be working with each participant as they create their own journey in developing their innovation and I am beaming over the potential that this type of support will not only have on each participants’ life but for the overall growth in our state.