ic2

Northwest Arkansas EDGE Report is out: Innovate Again, Innovate Here!

What if you could solve the most common question in the U.S.? What are we doing for dinner?

Americans spend over $3,000/year on eating out and up to $2,500 on making lunch alone. If you think about over 300 million Americans – this is a BIG market.

Companies in NW Arkansas are in deep competition with the world of technology – Amazon, Google and the nearly infinite numbers of food delivery companies – to address this opportunity to “solve dinner.” Linking Arkansas’ agricultural expertise with technologies coming from the University of Arkansas creates incredible new innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities in NW Arkansas that could meet market need through protein producer, Tyson Foods, logistical and supply company, JB Hunt, and reach consumers through online and brick and mortar channels of Walmart. Such an integrated strategy can grow existing anchor companies in the region while fueling new innovative businesses, drawing in cutting edge talent and innovators to the region. By solving “dinner” the region can become a world leader in innovation.

This is but one specific recommendation offered by Dr. Greg Pogue as he presented findings from the IC2 Institute’s Final Report presented to over 230 regional leaders at the 2019 State of the Region luncheon held by the NW Arkansas Council in Lowell on November 5th. The Walton Family Foundation who funded this project desired to understand the assets, gaps and opportunities for the region and define targeted interventions to create a nationally distinctive strategy for regional entrepreneurship. The IC2 Institute team visited the region seven times, interviewed over 110 individuals and engaged almost 300 local leaders in events in NW Arkansas and in a visit to Austin in Spring 2019.

The  Innovate Again, Innovate Here roadmap provided to the region by the IC2 Institute will produce an entrepreneurial culture that offers:

  1. Diversification and sustained growth of the regional economy;
  2. Revitalization of the region through retention of youthful workforce;
  3. Continual re-invention of a business community adapted to current opportunities; and
  4. Increased regional coherence and collaboration.

 

Please follow this links to read the summary and the full report.

Executive Summary: Northwest Arkansas EDGE Final Report Executive Summary

Full report:

Northwest Arkansas EDGE Final Report

For more news about the report, follow the links to other news stories below.

https://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/128914/pogue-northwest-arkansas-needs-innovation-push

https://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/learning/northwest-arkansas-edge-report-innovate-again-innovate-here

https://talkbusiness.net/2019/11/austin-firm-outlines-plan-for-future-growth-in-northwest-arkansas/

http://www.nwacouncil.org/news/2019/11/6/state-of-the-northwest-arkansas-region?fbclid=IwAR3k7pN8gLZsNjK74IUaxBFP07ymofcr9c91p_XLwEXczx7yqiDvPX3O0WI