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Innovation Hub + Junior Achievement Partner to Launch Program for Youth Entrepreneurs

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and Junior Achievement of Arkansas today announced the launch of HubX—NextGen, an entrepreneurial development program for high school students that offers them the opportunity to create and manage new business ventures in a team-based format.

HubX—NextGen initially will be hosted at the Innovation Hub for 15 weeks, from April 25 to August 5, under the supervision of Jeff Stinson, who also directs entrepreneurial programming at the Innovation Hub and is the executive director of the Fund for Arkansas’ Future, which is the state’s largest angel investment fund.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with area high school students to teach the fundamental principles behind starting and growing a business, while incorporating the lean startup methodology used in leading universities around the country,” said Jeff Stinson, director of entrepreneurship at the Innovation Hub.  “Additionally, these students will get to work alongside some of the most innovate healthcare founders in the country as part of HubX-LifeSciences, which will be taking place in parallel at the Innovation Hub.  We think the synergies between the two groups will be a special opportunity for both.”

During the duration of the program, 25 students aged 16-18 will be placed on teams to plan, develop and launch real companies.  To help them along the way, they will utilize Junior Achievement’s Company Program® curriculum.

“We’re excited to partner with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub on this new project,” said Chad Kauffman, president of Junior Achievement of Arkansas.  “We believe in the unlimited potential of young people and HubX—NextGen is going to provide those who participate with remarkable opportunities.  Marrying Junior Achievement’s time-tested curriculum with the Innovation Hub’s world-class staff and facilities will provide a one-of-a-kind platform for youth innovation.”

Participants also will have access to the Innovation Hub’s Make and Design resources for rapid prototyping of physical products and the creation of digital platforms.  HubX—NextGen includes mentorship by some of the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs in Arkansas.  Plus, students will have the opportunity to work with experts in public relations, marketing, legal, finance and accounting.

The cost to participate in HubX—NextGen is $750 per student, and scholarships are available.  Only 25 spots will be offered in this initial cohort, and the application deadline is March 28.

An informational session about HubX—NextGen for potential applicants and their parents and guardians will take place on Thursday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m. during an all-day Open House event at the Innovation Hub.  The address is 201 East Broadway in North Little Rock.

HubX—NextGen is the second HubX program introduced by the Innovation Hub, following HubX—LifeSciences, a health care business accelerator presented by Baptist Health and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Want to apply to HubX—NextGen? Visit the website.

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