Ultimately, the goal of The Venture Center is to inspire social and economic change in the state, says executive director Wayne Miller.
On a more tangible level, its mission is to help tech-based startups and early-stage companies not only refine their business models but create products and services that are ready for market and connect these entrepreneurs to potential customers and investors.
The Venture Center, located in the downtown Little Rock Technology Park, offers many programs and resources to help accomplish its mission including the FIS FinTech Accelerator it hosts each year in collaboration with the state and FIS, a global financial-services technology leader based in Florida but with Arkansas roots.
Launching its fifth cohort in 2020, the FIS FinTech Accelerator brings 10 startups from around the world to Little Rock for a 12-week program designed to accelerate the development and growth of promising, early-stage fintech startups.
Past graduates of the accelerator have raised more than $53 million in capital since participating in the program. Technologies explored by past participants include artificial intelligence, next-generation password authentication, blockchain-powered instant payments and consumer-lending credit verification using big data and social media.
“This program provides invaluable exposure and go-to-market opportunities for the startups while introducing new technologies to financial institutions and companies that will enable them to better serve their customers,” Miller says.