Jun 20, 2024

Introducing ARise: Arkansas Innovators, Startups, and Entrepreneurs

ARise Arkansas Innovators, Startups and Entrepreneurs

Introducing ARise: Arkansas Innovators, Startups, and Entrepreneurs

Fayetteville, Conway, and Little Rock, Ark.- June 20, 2024 – Arkansas’s tech entrepreneurs have a new ally in their journey towards success with the launch of ARise – Arkansas Innovators, Startups, and Entrepreneurs. A fresh and expanded iteration of the Arkansas Statewide Technology Commercialization program formerly known as Innovate Arkansas, ARise is an ambitious initiative funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and led by Startup Junkie, aimed at propelling tech and tech-enabled companies in Arkansas to new heights of innovation and economic vitality.

Mission & Vision

ARise is on a mission to empower tech ventures in Arkansas to scale up, create high-wage employment opportunities, and drive world-class technological innovation throughout the state. With a vision of becoming the driving force behind entrepreneurial economic growth in Arkansas, ARise aims to establish the state as a premier destination for tech companies worldwide to start and scale their businesses.

Program Services

ARise offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to support startups and entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey:

  • Startup Consulting and Coaching

ARise provides personalized consulting and coaching to guide tech ventures toward success, from concept validation to scaling strategies. Differentiating itself from other programs, ARise provides its startups with coaching on a continued basis and regular check-ins to ensure each venture has a customized plan to receive services and support.

  • Capital Access Navigation

ARise helps startups navigate the capital landscape, connecting them with funding opportunities and providing the support they need to secure investment. Whether a startup is looking for venture capital or non-dilutive government support, ARise assists innovators with securing the best funding for the current stage of their company. The program also offers investor recruitment and education to support startups within Arkansas.

  • Advanced Subject Matter Expert (SME) Network

ARise’s network of SMEs and mentors offers invaluable guidance and support across industries, empowering entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. This SME network provides a breadth of knowledge for new ventures, including the expertise of those who have grown their own companies and those who have proficiency in highly specialized fields like biotechnology, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and retail value chain management.

  • Connection to Industry

As a collaboration between Startup Junkie, Conductor, and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, ARise facilitates connections between startups and established companies to foster growth and expansion.

  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resources

ARise strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arkansas through a comprehensive digital resource library, targeted events, and collaborations with other entrepreneurial support organizations.


The ARise program is open to tech and tech-enabled ventures that are Arkansas-based and scalable. All services are offered at no charge to entrepreneurs across the state. To enroll in the program, visit www.ARiseArkansas.org to (1) complete an onboarding application and (2) schedule an initial consultation with a program representative.


“Growing technology companies is critical for Arkansas’ long-term economic success. The ARise program is a key element of our strategy for providing support and resources for tech ventures as they scale up in the Natural State.” – Clint O’Neal, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

“Launching a tech venture is a challenging endeavor – and entrepreneurs do not always have the resources they need to succeed. Through the ARise program, we aim to provide tech entrepreneurs with the resources and expertise they need to grow and scale their businesses. We are excited to collaborate with Startup Junkie Consulting on the management of the ARise program to help tech entrepreneurs create high-tech business growth in the Natural State.” – Esperanza Massana Crane, Director, AEDC’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development Division

“ARise reflects our vision and brand promise to help AEDC drive an increasingly bright future for Arkansas-based tech and tech-enabled ventures.  We could not be more excited to be partnered with AEDC for this critical statewide program.” – Jeff Amerine, Co-Director at ARise & Founder and Managing Director at Startup Junkie Consulting

“We’ve built the ARise program and services to fill gaps for tech and tech-enabled entrepreneurs looking to scale within our state and to open doors for those entrepreneurs within our state – we want entrepreneurs to have access to all our state has to offer including SMEs, industry partners, and other resources.” – Grace Rains, Co-Director at ARise & Executive Director at Conductor

ARise – Arkansas Innovators, Startups, and Entrepreneurs is on a mission to empower tech ventures in Arkansas to scale up, create high-wage employment opportunities, and drive world-class technological innovation throughout the state. This is a collaborative initiative funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Organization and led by Startup Junkie. ARise is dedicated to empowering tech ventures in Arkansas through consulting and coaching, capital access, a subject matter expert network, industry connections, and ecosystem resources.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Kristopher Adams, ARise Program Manager



Tyler Hale, Communications Officer



For more information about ARise, visit arisearkansas.org.

Follow ARise on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates and announcements.

About Arkansas Economic Development Commission

At AEDC, we know economic advancement doesn’t happen by accident. We work strategically with businesses and communities to create strong economic opportunities, making Arkansas the natural choice for success. AEDC is a division of the Arkansas Department of Commerce. To learn more, visit ArkansasEDC.com.