The Economic Development: Generating Entrepreneurs (EDGE) Program, funded by the Walton Family Foundation, was initiated in Northwest Arkansas in Spring 2018. The program, managed by the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) had the following goals: to assess policies, players and programs in the region; to engage in pilot, collaborative programs in entrepreneurship linking Austin and Northwest Arkansas; and to develop a nationally distinctive strategy for entrepreneurship for the region.
Through the EDGE studies, four underpinning needs emerged for strengthening the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in pursuit of technology-based growth. Addressing these needs can function as landmarks for organizing action strategies and measuring the region’s progress. These include the following: startup funding, university-industry engagement, building careers and sustaining workforce, and region-wide entrepreneurial support.
Read the Executive Summary here, Northwest Arkansas EDGE Final Report Executive Summary.