Anna Mason and Earnest Sweat participate in a “fireside chat” with local founders as part of the 2023 Heartland Challenge keynote.
Venture Capitalists Focused on Women Entrepreneurs and Arkansas Investors Seeking to Disrupt the World’s Biggest Industry Join Two Keynote Events at 4th Annual Heartland Challenge Student Startup Competition I will take up
Anna Mason launches the Heartland Challenge at a keynote event on April 14th at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Mason is currently managing her partner at Ingeborg Investments, her fund and platform focused on investing in women, a venture founded by Olivia Walton.
Prior to joining Ingeborg in 2022, Mason was Managing Partner of Revolutions’ Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. She helped grow the initiative from a bus tour of her community of startups to a fund with her $300 million under management and early-stage investments in more than 75 of her cities across the United States. bottom.
“Demographics such as geography and gender should never prevent anyone from seeing themselves as entrepreneurs. A full-fledged, collaborative ecosystem approach can help bridge this gap.” said Mason.
“The Heartland Challenge is a valuable platform to help drive systemic change and is the result of years of purposeful and thoughtful leadership that helped put Heartland on the map.”
Mason’s joins us for a “chat” with Carter Malloy, Founder and CEO of AcreTrader. With Rise of the Rest, Mason invested in his online platform that provides direct and streamlined access to investing in farmland.
Ernest Sweat, who grew up in Little Rock and is focused on investing in founders accelerating the world’s biggest industries, will be the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony on April 15 at Leisure.
Sweat is now a venture partner at GreatPoint Ventures, targeting what he coined as “value chain technology” – startups that improve end-user value within basic industries such as real estate, retail/e-commerce, logistics and manufacturing. to
“I am honored to participate in this year’s Heartland Challenge, which has quickly become the premier entrepreneurial competition in the United States,” said Sweat.
“It’s exciting to see my home state showcasing some of the best entrepreneurial talent in our colleges and universities.”
Sweat’s keynote is also a chat with Charu Thomas, founder and CEO of Ox, which provides human-centric automation for warehouse and retail operations.
Designed to simulate the process of raising venture capital for high-growth companies, the Heartland Challenge has awarded more than $350,000 since it first took place virtually in Spring 2020.
Student entrepreneurs from across North America will flock to Northwest Arkansas this spring for the return of the Heartland Challenge, an in-person event with a $100,000 prize pool.
The competition is again sponsored by the Sam M. Walton College of Business and overseen by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, with generous support from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
“For years, the University of Arkansas student team has taken advantage of the international student startup competition circuit to use the connections and prize money they make to launch and grow their businesses.
“The Heartland Challenge is a celebration of our own region’s entrepreneurial history and ecosystem, and we are very grateful to Anna and Ernest for helping us bring talented founders from around the world to Northwest Arkansas. I am grateful.”
Twelve semi-finalists will be selected for the final round in downtown Bentonville.
Overall winner will win $50,000. The second-place team will receive $25,000. 3rd place, $10,000. 4th place is $5,000. The first place and her second place winners of the elevator pitch competition, determined by audience votes, will win $3,000 and her $2,000 respectively.
The final round of competition and the Startup Expo are live events open to the public. The finals will feature presentations of the top four startup teams, while the Startup Expo will feature a public showcase of all competitors.
Held in Bentonville, these free events include appetizers and beverages and conclude with audience votes for their favorite startups. The winner will get him $5,000. If you would like to participate, please apply here.
Past winners of the Heartland Challenge include technology startups focused on improving cancer detection and recycling-based building materials companies focused on the music industry.
Past sponsors of the 2023 Heartland Challenge are:
Announced sponser — ArcBest and WhyteSpyder
premier sponsor — New Road Capital Sponsor and Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield in partnership with ECHO Innovation Alliance
picturevent sponsor—Cadron Capital Partners, SymBiosis, Natural Capital, Affirma Consulting
For more information on sponsoring the 2023 Heartland Challenge Startup Competition, please contact Deb Williams of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at email@example.com.
About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation:The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students of all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village, and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, OEI offers free workshops and programs for social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions, startup coaching, and more. increase. A unit of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Economic Development Department, his OEI also provides on-demand support to students becoming innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs starting new things.