FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In 2022, Fayetteville Public Library will begin their new “From Maker to Market” program, an initiative funded by the Walton Family Foundation focused on familiarizing product entrepreneurs with the technology in the J.B. & Johnelle Hunt Family Center for Innovation.

The goal is to show entrepreneurs how to build their own product prototypes, and to develop micromanufacturing runs of their products using Center for Innovation tools and equipment, according to a press release from the library.

Those interested can apply online through December 31 for the first cohort. Eligible applicants must have a viable product idea, such as jewelry, an app or a custom prototype.

Future application due dates will be announced for the remaining sessions.

The 12-week program is designed to support the microbusiness startup – similar to an Etsy store, website or local market seller, the library release states.

Phase one will support the business owner through product development, refinement and micromanufacturing runs by providing expertise, training, and access to tools and equipment that may otherwise be inaccessible to much of the community.

Phase two will guide participants through business plan development, marketing, funding options and more.

The program is scheduled to meet on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings with supplemental activities and events throughout each cohort.

“This program is the embodiment of what we hoped would take place in the Center for Innovation,” said Melissa Taylor, manager of the Center for Innovation at Fayetteville Public Library. “We are grateful to the Walton Family Foundation for such a generous support of the vision we have for the CFI. It is here to empower our community, and providing opportunities for the creation of innovative local products is one of the functions we are excited to see.”

“From Maker to Market” applications can be found at faylib.org/maker.

All participants will be asked to participate for the full 12-week period. Applications and accompanying materials are due by December 31.

Questions about the program and application process can be sent to centerforinnovation@faylib.org.