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Episode 73: Is Northwest Arkansas The Next Silicon Valley?

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About the Show:

In this episode, we sit down with Bjorn “BK” Simmons, Managing Partner with Venture Noire to discuss the local Startup scene here in Northwest Arkansas. Bjorn is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and after raising $2M in capital he wasted no time getting his startup, Wyzerr Inc., off the ground. 

We connected with Bjorn after learning about the Big Pitch competition he recently did with the Walton Family Foundation.  They pulled together $30,000 for the Virtual Pitch Competition with Entrepreneurs of Color.  The event, which took place on June 4th, 2020, was a tremendous success.  We got a chance to witness the virtual coaching call before the event and the event itself.  Bjorn and his team at Venture Noire know what they are doing and are really good at coaching up entrepreneurs. 

In addition to Venture Noire and the Walton Family Foundation, several other local firms and organizations had a hand in the Big Pitch event including, the Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce, The Venture Center, Frost PLLC, Wright Lindsey Jennings, The Foundation for Social Impact, High Street Equity Ventures, and StartUP NWAR.   

Hear more about the Big Pitch event and Bjorn’s efforts with Venture Noire to help with diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to help build confidence and profitability in underrepresented founders. 

All of this and more on this episode of I am Northwest Arkansas.  

Important Links and Mentions on the Show*:

*Note: some of the resources mentioned may be affiliate links. This means we get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

This episode is sponsored by:

The Exclusive Real Estate Group – Serving all of Northwest Arkansas from Dickson St. to the Bentonville Square, Broker Chris Dinwiddie, and his agents are ready to provide first-class representation for any of your real estate needs. Click Here to contact them and be sure to mention that you heard about them from IANWA. 

Email info@iamnorthwestarkansas.com to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

Connect more with I am Northwest Arkansas:

Thank you for listening to this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast. We showcase businesses, culture, entrepreneurship, and the lives of everyday people making Northwest Arkansas what it is today. Please consider making a one-time donation to our production team through PayPal to help with the expenses of keeping this podcast running smoothly https://www.paypal.me/encouragebuildgrow

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