Arkansas Economic Development Commission

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AEDC wins Economic Development Award by Business Facilities magazine

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (April 6, 2015) – The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) has received a 2015 Economic Development Award by Business Facilities magazine in the category of “Achievement in Innovation Hubs” for the agency’s work with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, located in North Little Rock. AEDC was one of five states honored in the category.

"The Innovation Hub is honored to receive this national recognition in partnership with AEDC," said Warwick Sabin, Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. "Our intention from the outset was to synthesize the best practices and models for entrepreneurial assistance from around the nation and create programming that is uniquely tailored for Arkansas. This award from experts in the field validates our approach and elevates our state among the leaders in talent and enterprise development."

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, known as “The Hub,” is a nonprofit organization that strives to increase entrepreneurial activity by creating a network of resources, programs, and educational opportunities that attract, develop, and retain emerging talent while building the state’s economy.

“Arkansas’s entrepreneurs are vital to the economic success of our state,” said Danny Games, AEDC Deputy Director of Global Business. “We have so much talent here, and The Hub creates an environment that allows these innovators to share ideas while growing their businesses.”

The Hub held a “wallbreaking” for its Innovation Center in February 2014. The center has four components:

  • The Launch Pad, a maker space with cutting-edge equipment and technology

  • The STEAM Lab, a classroom and laboratory space for science, technology, engineering, and math pursuits

  • The Silver Mine, a co-working space for entrepreneurs and startup incubation

  • The Art Connection, a program for high-school students that develops leadership and innovation through the visual arts

The location in the heart of North Little Rock’s Argenta Arts District at Broadway and Poplar Streets is not only convenient to downtown Little Rock’s proposed tech park, but it is also in a historic area known for coffee shops and galleries that blends art and technology. It is modeled after New Orleans’ Idea Village, which has provided direct support to more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, generated more than $100 million in annual revenue, and created more than 2,000 jobs in New Orleans since its inception in 2000.

AEDC is one of several partners in The Hub including Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, the EAST Initiative, the Arkansas STEM Coalition, Delta Regional Authority, Winrock International, and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

For more information on the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, including its Argenta Innovation Center, visit www.arhub.org.