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That sort of synergy is already at work with graduates of The ARK. Beck, of Btiques, said her company was planning to talk about getting tech assistance from Truckily, a mobile app company that connects food trucks to eaters. SpareTime, a platform for advancing philanthropy and aimed at the millennial generation, plans to work with MineWhat to increase user engagement. SpareTime also seems well positioned to collaborate with Farmetto, a company that aims to connect small farmers with retailers in a streamlined manner, to address issues like food insecurity, said Jeannette Balleza, director of The ARK Challenge.
Asked if The ARK was like camp, where after weeks of living on junk food and caffeine, participants would hurry to their far-flung homes after the Crystal Bridges event, start-up guru and investor Jeff Amerine said he expects most of the companies to keep some presence in Northwest Arkansas because of the proximity to customers (like the hundreds of suppliers to Walmart with offices in Bentonville).
"We want to be a camp where we nail their feet to the floor," he said.