Magazine September 2019 Startup AR

2019 NWA Startup Crawl Stops


Get your “startup on” at these 12 stops on the Crawl

by Lauren McLemore and Caleb Talley

Startup Junkie is leading Arkansas’ entrepreneurial revolution, helping turn great ideas into realities. The mission-driven, zero-cost entrepreneurial support organization works one-on-one with innovators and founders in an effort to start and grow their company and overcome challenges.

 Startup Junkie is an organization that exists to improve lives through entrepreneurship. Their mission is education and inspiration for entrepreneurs and innovators. Startup Junkie’s team of consultants help entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their company and help them tackle those challenges, and they do it for free.


Metova is a “boutique + scale” company that specializes in software development and developing solutions for technology integration. And it’s leading the charge in software development, making significant inroads in web connection and digital transformation.

 The company was officially founded in 2006 in Franklin, Tenn., but has since expanded to Conway and Fayetteville. Metova works on projects ranging from connected home devices to connected cars, in addition to developing apps for iOS. One of the company’s specialties is developing applications for the “Internet of Things,” which is the use of the Internet to connect objects that are used daily life with computing devices.


Zenwork is a digital tax compliance and reporting company headquartered on the Fayetteville square. It’s one of the fastest growing companies in the country. The company provides IRS-approved solutions for an array of services, including 1099-series information returns, W-2 payroll forms, W-9 and TIN matching vendor information services and heavy vehicle-use tax forms.

The company boasts tens of thousands of active users and is developing a following among small businesses, accountants and enterprise-level customers. In 2018, Zenwork made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the nation.


The Fab Lab is a public makerspace that provides the space and tools for people to make nearly anything they can think up. The concept was developed by MIT and was brought to the region by Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce President Steve Clark.

 Tools available at the Fab Lab include 3D printers, laser engravers, vinyl cutters, painting supplies, electronics, a woodshop full of equipment and the largest 3D body scanner in the state. According to Fab Lab Director Whitney Green, some of the primary focuses of the lab are education, collaboration, workforce skill training, entrepreneurship, problem solving and creativity.


Opened two years ago, the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub has become an invaluable center for collaboration for new Arkansas entrepreneurs and has also served as a co-working space and training center for students and alumni.

 Made possible by donations from Jerry, Kay, Clete and Tammy Brewer, the Brewer Family Hub was established to capitalize on the University of Arkansas’ highly successful entrepreneurship program, which has numerous victories in national business plan competitions.

Likewise, the brainchild of owners and artists Zac Trout and Mallory Berry, is a collaborative coworking space full of amenities where the Fayetteville community can work, dine and play. The space will serve the development of artists, maker spaces, event spaces, workspaces, a café, a speakeasy and much more.

Likewise provides the benefits of being able to connect and collaborate with others yet focus without distractions when needed. According to Trout and Berry, cafes have no environmental control and studios can have a high overhead with lengthy terms. They saw a growing need in Fayetteville for photography studios, offices and flex space with natural light, historic structure and raw aesthetic. 

Big Box Karaoke is a private-suite karaoke bar and restaurant, the brainchild of locals Mailena and Justin Urso.

 Unlike the traditional, open-style karaoke bar with one stage and one performance at a time, private-suite karaoke bars offer locals the opportunity to reserve private rooms where groups can get together to sing, drink and eat. Big Box opened in 2018, but the idea for the karaoke bar came to the Ursos after being introduced to the concept while living in Japan years earlier.  


After frustration with his patients’ IV lines becoming dislodged too often, registered nurse Spencer Jones founded Lineus Medical, a company that designs products whichcreate a controlled separation in IV lines to prevent having to restick patients whose peripheral IVs are dislodged.

 Saving money for hospitals and time for nurses, SafeBreak Vascular is a device that connects to the line between the IV pump and the catheter and when it breaks, sounds an alarm to alert nurses that the force is getting close to the point of impacting the IV line. The other product, Bifurcated Venous Access Device, allows patients who may need blood drawn multiple times a day to have the sample taken through a second catheter that can be attached to the patient’s IV.


Started by middle-school friends Alejandro Ayala and Ben Barling, AXIS Lounge serves Mexican food, cocktails and craft beer while doubling as a virtual-reality arcade.

 The virtual-reality area features HTC Vive VR headsets and gives users access to professionally trained guides, single- and two-player options and a long list of games from major virtual-reality publishers to choose from for their 10-minute session. The live action VR systems can be reserved for events at school, home, and work and alcoves at the lounge can be reserved for parties.

When it comes to starting a business, there are few things more valuable than guidance from those who have gone before you. The university-based Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center provides assistance for economic development to entrepreneurs around the state.

 Its offices are found on college campuses across the state and offer a variety of services from no-cost, confidential consulting to customized market research to any for-profit business. Along with its multitude of services, ASBTDC also provides niche workshops for everything from “Running a Great Farmers Market Booth” to “Holiday Marketing For Small Business.”


 As the state’s second largest commercial-brokerage and management firm, Newmark Moses Tucker Partners has been a part of some of the most notable developments in Arkansas including the remodeled Museum of Discovery in Little Rock and Bentonville’s 8th Street Market.

 The firm’s full set of services include property management, commercial brokerage, development and building solutions. Its real estate listings currently include both commercial and multi-family residence listings, enabling the company to help find a space for nearly anyone.


 Experts in web design and development, the team at Sharp Hue has been building “beautiful websites that work” since 2006 when the company was started by Shan Perasu.

 In addition to website creation, Sharp Hue has developed a line of its own products including real-estate website templates and a platform to make event registration easier and more organized. 


Northwest Arkansas Startup Crawl
 6-10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13
 Downtown square, Fayetteville

• Tickets are free but a beer cup with access to beer gardens and live music stages is $15
• Proceeds will support entrepreneurship education in NWA


Featured Breweries 

  Bike Rack Brewing Company

  Black Apple Crossing

  Fossil Cove Brewing Company

 Saddlebock Brewing 

  Ozark Beer Company

  New Province

  Hawk Moth 

  Ox Bend Brewery

  Colombus House Brewery 


Participating startups


  Active Shooter Response



  Attnd App

 B-Unlimited/Natural Threads


  Bold Retail

  Can Can Cleaners

  Complete Body Daily

 Digital Nitro Advertising

  Easy Bins




  Improv Lab



  Maker Made CNC

  More Technologies




  Ozark Integrated Circuits

 Provenance Creative




  RockHill Studios



  Supply Pike



  Unmanned Vehicle Technologies


Leave a Comment