Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another way of encouraging business development

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 6:22 AM

NEW AGE: Robots move the goods at Acumen Brands in Fayetteville. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • NEW AGE: Robots move the goods at Acumen Brands in Fayetteville.

NEW AGE: Robots move the goods at Acumen Brands in Fayetteville.
  • Brian Chilson
  • NEW AGE: Robots move the goods at Acumen Brands in Fayetteville.
Please check out Lindsey Millar's cover story this week on young Arkansas innovators and their building of technology enterprises, particularly in Fayetteville. Loved this quote:

To understand why Arkansas hasn't flourished, Andersen offers a formula successful tech cultures share.

"There's a recipe that no successful start-up ecosystem has ever deviated from: You need capital, you need talent, you need a corporate patron and you need a culture of risk."

What he DID NOT say:


The way you encourage technology development is rip down a residential neighborhood, throw up a taxpayer-financed office building and wait for the entrepreneurs to flock in. If necessary, increase the government subsidy. Business hates risk.

Now back to other good things Kristian Andersen DID say:

"There's no shortage of really wealthy investors in Arkansas, but they're not predisposed to invest in high-risk tech start-ups. If you want to go start a community bank or a new subdivision, I've got a list a mile long who you could go talk to. But rarely is the wealthy commercial developer or banker writing checks to high-risk, early-stage firms."

See Bruce Burrow, whose idea for success was taxpayer handouts to help him build shopping centers. How could you lose?

Great stuff in this story, like Benton native John James, who's built on-line retail sites, starting with an outfit that sold Quiz Bowl questions, and uses robotic fulfillment systems in Fayetteville. He gave up a medical career to build businesses — and persuaded Dillard's to be an investor along the way.

Lots here, too, about the entrepreneurial culture and the like-minded people you can attract from that vibe. Andersen again:

"Why do people move to Portland? Why does a young entrepreneur go to Silicon Valley? Is it because they've got a new tech park? No way, man. If you're in San Francisco in the Mission District, all those start-ups, they're just in old ratty buildings shoved off the street somewhere. Even the big ones.

"The most vibrant start-up communities I've been in look like communities. Within two square blocks, there are 30 start-ups and 16 restaurants and four bars. That being said, I'm not saying [the tech park] can't work or is even a bad idea, I'm just saying there are better ideas."

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Board to hear tech park update today

    April 14, 2015
    Brent Birch, the director of the Little Rock Technology Park, will address the City Board of Directors soon after the meeting starts at 4 p.m. today. If you are interested in a summary of what the Tech Park Authority has been doing of late and the timeline for development of the park, you can watch at the link on the littlerock.org home page. /more/
  • $4 billion tech company calls it quits in Indiana over anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' bill.

    March 26, 2015
    Take heed, Arkansas: the same day Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana announced he would sign the state's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" — an anti-LGBT bill with disturbing similarities to Rep. Bob Ballinger's HB 1228 — a $4 billion tech company announced they're pulling up stakes there rather than "require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination." Ouch. /more/
  • Lindsey's Resort on Little Red River to close after 50 years

    March 23, 2015
    A note on the website of Lindsey's Resort, the popular trout-fishing destination on the Little Red River at Heber Springs, says the resort will be forced to close due to a bank foreclosure. /more/
  • Tysons give $5 million for UA agriculture research

    March 2, 2015
    The Tyson family and Tyson Foods have made a $5 million gift to toward the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences, a $16.3 million project of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. /more/
  • Tech companies want space now; park can't oblige

    February 12, 2015
    The Little Rock Technology Park Authority board on Wednesday night heard from park Director Brent Birch that two large tech companies and several small ones are eager to move into space on Main Street that the park is negotiating to buy. However, the buiilding, the annex to the Exchange Building at the northeast corner of Fifth and Main, probably won't be ready for occupation until the last quarter of 2015, Birch said. /more/
  • More »

Comments (14)

Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Suspect identified in Texas shooting at Muhammad cartoon contest

    Dallas Morning News has comprehensive coverage on the shooting of two men outside a Muhammad cartoon contest held in a Garland, Texas, public school building. The FBI reportedly has confirmed that one of the men killed was Elton Simpson of Arizona, who'd previously been investigated for terrorism ties.
    • May 4, 2015
  • Piranha caught in Lake Bentonville; not to worry

    A piranha was caught last week in Lake Bentonville, KATV reports, but a state Game and Fish Commission spokesman says it's no cause for alarm.
    • May 4, 2015
  • More »

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • UPDATE: State Board of Education to hold special meeting concerning LRSD waiver

    Something's up. The State Board of Education has announced a special meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. The lone agenda item concerns a request for a waiver of state law regarding the Little Rock School District.
  • Mike Huckabee is running for president

    That other man from Hope makes his announcement.
  • Here comes Huck

    God is telling him: "Run Huck, Run!"
  • City steps up police presence in Centennial Park

    The Little Rock Police Department has assigned an extra patrol to the Centennial Park area after a complaint by a property owner got Mayor Mark Stodola's attention. Paul Dodds, who lives on West 17th Street and Park and whose company Urban Frontier LLC has fixed up 10 properties for sale and rent and owns several more, emailed Stodola, the city board of directors and the police chief on Sunday. Stodola today directed City Manager Bruce Moore to increase "directed patrols" in the park area and "have Entergy light this place up like it is daytime. With summer break upon us we need to stifle this activity before it gets worse."
  • Cotton's tactics on Iran bill backfire

    Sen. Tom Cotton's unforced error ends up sinking GOP strategy on Iran bill. Cotton apparently getting comfortable with the idea of being Ted Cruz 2.0.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation