Following the trend of other successful local business incubators across the state, North Little Rock will be the new home to the latest entrepreneurial hub, the Argenta Innovation Center.
The center, which has raised $2.5 million from private sources, will be the first phase of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, which will house three inter-connected ventures that will work together to provide education, training, prototyping and startup and entrepreneurial opportunities.
“We strongly believe that by creating the Argenta Innovation Center, we are taking a significant step toward creating cutting-edge jobs that not only attract new talent to the area but also help us keep our brightest and most inventive entrepreneurs right here in Central Arkansas,” said Barry Hyde, campaign committee chairman.
The Argenta Innovation Center will house “a kinetic mix of talent and inspiration,” according to a news release related to the project.
Some features of the center include:
- The Silver Mine – a co-work community for creative entrepreneurs. Already, individual entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes are signing up to have employees placed in The Silver Mine in order to capitalize on the creative climate and exchange of ideas.
- Fab Lab – a space where youth and adults use advanced technologies to make ideas into something tangible and sellable. During daytime hours, the space will allow for field trips to enhance educational opportunities in introductory engineering. After hours, the Fab Lab will position itself as an “open-source” hub for projects.
- Art Connection – an innovative program that works with students from North Little Rock High School to create a future through art.
“Place is an important factor in creating innovative centers and hubs,” said campaign committee member John Gaudin. “Argenta already provides the hip, urban culture that attracts the next generation of highly-skilled workers, so it’s a natural location for the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. We’re excited to kick-start the project with the Argenta Innovation Center.”