5 Accelerators Outside Silicon Valley to Help Grow Your Business – NerdWallet

When you hear about an “accelerator,” you might think of an elite program in Silicon Valley focused on technology. But accelerators are opening across the country, helping promising entrepreneurs find success, and not just in the tech sector.

Accelerator programs help small, young businesses grow quickly. Jeannette Balleza Collins, director of the ARK Challenge accelerator in Arkansas, says they’re like a highly selective business boot camp for early-stage, high-potential companies. Entrepreneurs apply to participate, and those accepted typically receive “seed investment at founder-friendly terms, industry mentorship and resources to help entrepreneurs gain additional customer and investment traction within a brief period of time,” she says. Full article.

With The ARK Challenge, Northwest Arkansas Gets An Incubator Of Its Own – TechCrunch

It seems like there are tech accelerators and incubators popping up all over the place, spreading from major tech hubs like San Francisco and New York throughout the U.S. and internationally. But now they’re also appearing outside of major metro areas. Take The ARK Challenge, for instance, an accelerator program that’s just getting started in Northwest Arkansas.

The ARK Challenge is looking to recruit 15 startups, who will get all the same things you can expect from accelerators elsewhere, including funding, coworking space and access to mentors. All chosen to participate will receive $18,000 in funding in exchange for 6 percent of equity, and will have the opportunity to work out of the Iceberg CoWorking Space in Fayetteville, Ark. Full article.

ARK Challenge Gears Up, Deadline Approaches – The City Wire

There has been quite a bit of buzz in Northwest Arkansas’ tech sector recently regarding a nickname for the region. Everyone has heard of Silicon Valley, and with new areas such as Omaha and the Midwest region being called the Silicon Prairie, it’s certain that Northwest Arkansas is deserving of a good name that highlights the innovation this area is bringing to the industry.

When Northwest Arkansas became one of just twenty applicants chosen out of 100 by the Department of Commerce Acceleration & Innovation challenge to stimulate further business to the region, it proved to many that this area is truly a place for world-wide entrepreneurs to land their companies. Full article.

One Week Left to Apply for NW Arkansas Accelerator Challenge – TechJournal South
Northwest Arkansas probably does not come instantly to mind as a tech hub, admits Jeannette Balleza, director of The ARK Challenge Technology Accelerator.

But, NW Arkansas is cultivating its own startup ecosystem, building on its core strengths. The longstanding home to the corporate headquarters of Walmart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Northwest Arkansas is recognized worldwide for leadership and world-class expertise in the retail, food and logistics industries. Full article.

ARK Challenge Deadline Set for June 17th – NWAOnline.com
Technology startups wanting to take part in a mentorship-driven business accelerator program have until June 17 to apply. Full article (requires login).

Tech Startup Opportunity – The Garden Island
Kaua‘i entrepreneurs can use this opportunity to establish a business on the island, but must relocate to Northwest Arkansas for the 14-week boot camp this fall. After finishing the program, the founders can go anywhere they want, according to Jeannette Balleza, Director of The ARK Challenge. Full article.

NWA Entrepreneurial Programs Add Jobs with Smartphone Apps – The City Wire

Arkansas Launches New Tech Accelerator – Dallas Morning News
The ARK Challenge in the Ozarks is a tech accelerator that’s launching this year to provide more than $18,000 in seed funding, mentoring, networking and free office space. Full article.

Innovate Arkansas Works to Spread Entrepreneurship to Region – The City Wire

150 Resources for Tech Startups – DailyTekk
From getting inspired to hiring an awesome team to moving out of your garage into a more functional workspace, this post is designed to be a bookmark-able resource (that we’ll keep updated over time) to help you get a good start. Full article.

ARK Launched, Now Loading – Northwest Arkansas Business Journal / Arkansas Business
The ARK is a recently launched, mentorship-driven business accelerator program. The result of a $2.15 million federal grant, the ARK is designed to find Internet and/or mobile technology startups focused on new web-based or mobile technology products and services. Full article.

Been a Good Week for The ARK Accelerator - Innovate Arkansas Blog
The ARK Challenge accelerator has had a good week.

It released its key cluster insights, a report detailing “invaluable insights into the primary technology needs and trends in our three target industry clusters.”

Full article.

Deadline Approaches For Applicants To The ARK Challenge Accelerator For Tech Startups
New Tech Accelerator In Northwest Arkansas Offers Rare Access To Top Minds In Retail, Transportation/Logistics And Food Processing

One of only 20 national projects selected by the Department of Commerce Jobs and Innovation Acceleration Challenge to advance regional competitiveness, The ARK Challenge is a recently launched mentorship-driven business accelerator program for technology startups. A full member of The Global Accelerator Network, The ARK Challenge is open to startups worldwide. Interested startup founders can apply online anytime at http://arkchallenge.org through June 17th, 2012.

“All of a sudden there is something very sexy about being a startup. There used to be a stigma of not being with a ‘real’ company,” said ARK Challenge Mentor Phoebe Espiritu. Espiritu is Manager of the HackStars program of TechStars New York City, and she has been named one of 25 women driving New York’s Tech Scene.

“Now there is a lot more prestige in being a misfit or a renegade. Obviously there’s something nice and validating about having capital.”

Read full release here or at PitchEngine.