FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas educators, business leaders, and civic leaders will gather in downtown Fayetteville in October for the SEED Arkansas Summit.

According to a news release, SEED, which stands for Startups, Education, and Economic Development aims to “empower entrepreneurs across the state through higher education and other regional initiatives, spurring economic growth that retains local talent in communities across Arkansas.”

“Our goal is to help equip smaller universities in Arkansas with tools and resources that allow them to collaborate with community leaders to grow student entrepreneurs. These partnerships contribute to the attraction and retention of multidisciplinary students and keep entrepreneurial talent local,” said Tiffany Henry, instructional designer of training and workshops at the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which is organizing SEED. 

The conference will be held Oct. 11-12, and include workshops at the Fayetteville Public Library. Topics include entrepreneurial ecosystem building; innovative problem solving; funding strategies to implement entrepreneurial programming; and how to engage local business to bridge the town and gown divide. 

The summit will also reportedly include OEI’s fall seed funding pitch competition. Student innovation teams will be able to pitch their idea for up to $2,000 in funding toward customer discovery, prototype development, market research, legal, and design.