Part of StartupChick’s Beyond the Valley series.
When one thinks startups, we think Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston….not Arkansas. I was somewhat surprised to learn that Trivi.al originates from Fayetteville, AR.
Formerly known as the “Land of Opportunity,” Arkansas is home to pioneers like Sam Walton, Don Tyson, William Dillar, and JB Hunt. So, it’s safe to say that curating opportunities for starting up is deeply rooted in the state’s history. And it only makes sense that AR is an up and coming tech startup hub with the support of these Fortune 500 companies. These big names draw in a lot of talent, including a community of developers. Grass-root efforts by passionate entrepreneurs is stimulating a need to bring together coders, hackers, and engineers in the NWA area by means of social media.
Let’s get acquainted with the Arkansas’s Startup Scene!
Trivi.al is not the first taste of entrepreneurship for founders Joey Nelson (Launched TidyTweet and Couponfactory) and Matt Hudson (Founder of Lynergy, Inc a Microsoft BizSpark startup). While the area is big in Retail, Logistics, and Food Processing there seems to be an increase in the development of e-commerce and mobile ventures. NWA has already set up its first accelerator program, The ARK, boasting 8 investors with a vast array of experiences and resources. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the area has a new co-working facility called The Iceberg which hosts creativity named meet-ups, TechDrinks and Fireside Chats.
It’s very exciting to see tech efforts taking shape beyond NYC and Silicon Valley. And this particular effort has been growing for over five years now. Both Hudson and Nelson feel that NWA “could definitely use the outsiders influence of scalability and resources but all that is [also] growing very organically.”
So, should Arkansas be the next big startup scene? Nelson and Hudson think so—-“this is a by product of the folks here. They are creative, passionate, artistic and will over come any obstacle. We definitely work to put NWA on the map and at the same time embrace the culture on the fact that our ideas and products are made here and can shape the world we live in.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that Arkansas’s startup community is creating an environment that will foster a modern work culture of lots of hustle, success, and beer, of course!
On a personal note—-we all know that the face of a startup is its founder; before we see the actual product, we see, hear, and read from the parent. Some startups have ugly faces, others have mean ones while some have friendly ones. Trivi.al has a gem! My one Tweet about Trivi.al lead to various conversations and I’m so thrilled to have had the chance to get to know Arkansas’s startup scene through my correspondences with Matt. I have not only sensed a dedicated passion for his product and the NWA startup community but also a genuine appreciation of feedback, collaboration, and the people he connects with.
I look forward to challenging y’all on Trivi.al in the upcoming weeks!