Phil Shellhammer, director of the University of Arkansas’ Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) is bullish.
Driving the news: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced who will guide the Natural State Initiative last week; Bryan Sanders, first gentleman, is chair and Shellhammer is a council member.
Why it matters: Business accelerators like GORP are helping build a network of entrepreneurs ready to add to Arkansas’ $3.5 billion outdoor recreation industry.
Context: GORP, offers both a la carte services to startups in the outdoor recreation industry and an application-only accelerator program with intensive training.
The latest: The third cohort of GORP’s accelerator program is approaching its halfway point of the 12-week program. Its six companies are:
By the numbers: The accelerator has graduated 11 companies since starting last year.
The bottom line: GORP and the Natural State Initiative are pulling in the same direction, but private investment in startups is still needed for the industry to mature and eventually fuel Arkansas’ GDP.
Go deeper: Watch the Arkansas Parks Centennial Celebration Wednesday at 11am.
🚲 The Shift is a regular feature to catch up quick on what’s happening in the state’s economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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