In this update:
* Save the date, AAoC Annual Banquet and Meeting is 10/28 & 10/29 in Fayetteville
* Nominations for new members ends 7/31
* FIS Accelerator – Academy members help drive entrepreneurship and business growth in our state
* Dues – A list of who has paid for 2016
SAVE THE DATE
Our 11th annual Academy banquet and business meeting will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas this fall. Here’s the details:
On Friday, October 28 on the University of Arkansas campus
– 05:30pm Cocktails, Inn at Carnall Hall, 465 N Arkansas Ave
– 06:30pm Dinner and New Member Inductee Banquet, Inn at Carnall Hall
– 08:30pm Program concludes
On Saturday, October 29, JB Hunt Building, 227 North Harmon Ave
– 07:30am Coffee/Breakfast
– 08:00am Business Meeting
– 08:30am Programs (past vs present theme – women in computing, education, banking)
– 12:00pm Program concludes
If you have questions or suggestions for the banquet, including potential speakers, please contact me directly at 614.404.4358.
NOMINATION FOR NEW MEMBERS
The nomination process for new members this calendar year ends July 31. We need your help to identify worthy members from all four corners of our state and beyond.
Qualifications: 20 years of experience + someone who has made a difference in computing in the State of Arkansas OR to the computing industry that attended an Arkansas public university or college.
If you know someone, please fill out a short form on www.araoc.org/nominate.
In December of 2015, Academy member and CEO of FIS, Gary Norcross, announced a partnership with the Venture Center (VC) to launch a FinTech (financial technology) accelerator in Little Rock. An accelerator is an often used Silicon Valley term for investing in promising young companies – money and time – to help drive innovation to the market.
FIS already has incubation/innovation centers in various parts of the world (San Francisco, New York, London, Bangkok and Bangalore). The selection of Little Rock reflects the birthplace of FinTech, Systematics, as well as the significant FIS employee base in west Little Rock. Another major driver was the leadership of the Venture Center (Lee Watson and James Hendren) with support from Jay Chesshir at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The VC FinTech Accelerator started in February in search of early stage FinTech companies for the program. By the end of March, the program had 150 approved applications from 11 countries. The Accelerator team (see below) narrowed that list to 23 and then jointly interviewed applicants with key members from FIS to select ten (10) companies into the program.
Key elements of the VC FinTech Accelerator:
* Selection of 10 companies into the program
* $50,000 investment into each company in exchange for equity ($500,000 total investment thus far)
* 12 week program – CEO/co-founders of the companies relocate to Little Rock for the duration of the program
* Intense curriculum combined with active mentorship, bank visits/discussions and FIS executives and subject matter experts
* Majority of funding provided by FIS
The objective of the VC FinTech Accelerator:
* Find, invest and build sustainable companies delivering innovation to the financial services industry
* Create potential opportunities for FIS to partner/leverage these companies/technologies to create new solutions for their customers
* Build an ecosystem of FinTech companies in central Arkansas (leveraging our Systematics and Arkansas Systems roots) to build the next generation of FinTech in Arkansas and create more high-paying jobs
The founders of the ten companies moved to Little Rock just before Day 1 which was May 16. The program concludes, in industry fashion, a with “Demo Day” on August 3 at the Clinton Library.
This program yielded a number of unexpected results and something our membership should be proud of!
1. Academy members are playing a leading role. Gary Norcross (CEO of FIS), James Hendren (Chairman of the Venture Center), Collins Andrews (FIS executive-in-residence for the program) and Gary Dowdy (Managing Director of the program). Non-Academy leadership includes Rob Lee, EVP FIS, Chris Cline, SVP FIS and Lee Watson, CEO Venture Center.
2. Academy members have been omnipresent from Day 1 through the duration of the program by volunteering time to help mentor the companies in the Accelerator: Collins Andrews, Johnny Burgess, Kent Burnett, John Chamberlin, Gary Dowdy, John Haley, James Hendren, Prakash Jalihal, Eugene Jones, Charles Morgan, Gary Norcross, Alese Stroud, Jim Womble and Kevin Zaffaroni.
3. In most accelerators, the financial backers and program organizers want a minimum 10% hit rate with an ideal target of 20-30%. Or in everyday terms, you want 2-3 out of the 10 companies to be sustainable entities, drive innovation and incremental revenue/earnings (e.g. financial justification). Over the past twelve weeks the Accelerator has had dozens of banks and many FIS executives articulate that all ten of the companies in the program are potential partners. Better yet, eight of these companies have expressed sincere interest to relocate or setup a major office in central Arkansas. While these companies are early stage, some are six months old and others two plus years in operations, the companies plan to generate 45 jobs in central Arkansas with combined revenues of $20 million by 2017. Going forward three years, these companies project 238 jobs and $239 million in revenue. Now – we can all probably agree the later number may be high, but even if the selected companies are off 80%, we are still looking at 47 potential new jobs in our state with combined revenue of $48 million.
As a person very close to the program, I will not further speculate on the potential of these companies other than to reiterate that which we have heard from bankers to mentors and industry executives – these companies and their founders are very impressive.
4. Central Arkansas deserves a lot of the credit. Success of this program is largely due to the contributions of FIS, the Accelerator leadership team, regional executives and Arkansas banks and civic leaders. The outpouring of local support and sincere interest in helping these companies network and meet the right people is the core driver behind many of these founders loving our state. The first day the CEOs arrived in Arkansas, we were able to introduce them to President Bill Clinton. At the half-way point of the program, the CEO of Walmart, Doug McMillan spent some time to hear about each of the companies. Other notable and local people involved in the program include Governor Hutchinson, Lt Governor Griffin, Mayor Stodola and numerous people from the City of Little Rock, the Chamber of Commerce and the Clinton Foundation. A special thanks also goes to the people at Bear State Bank, Arvest Bank, Centennial Bank, First Security, IberiaBank, Capital Bank, Southern Bancorp and Simmons Bank, as well the Arkansas Bankers Association and local leaders of the Federal Reserve and FDIC. This level of engagement by our community is something very special!
To learn more about the program please visit www.vcfintech.co.
More importantly, we would love to see you at Demo Day, August 3, 1pm – 4pm, Clinton Presidential Center (Clinton Library). Please RSVP at www.vcfintech.com/demoday.
The Academy moved to a calendar year on dues collection to simplify tracking and separate from our scholarship activities. We realize this may have confused some people. As such, below is a list of members that have PAID dues for 2016. To pay your dues now, please visit www.araoc.org/members/membership. If you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Billy L. Ashmore
Mr. Steve Baber
Howland Family Trust
Mr. and Mrs. Collins Andrews
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel F. Phillips
Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Hatfield
Mr. and Mrs. George E. Knight
Mr. and Mrs. James T. Womble
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry L. Moore
Mr. and Mrs. Kerry D. Kilker
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Hambuchen
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Bova
Mr. and Mrs. Terry M. Talley
Mr. Carl V. Frank
Mr. Charles Morgan
Mr. Charles W. McMurtry
Mr. Dave Cogswell
Mr. Dave Hampton
Mr. Eugene Jones
Mr. Gary A. Norcross
Mr. Gary Dowdy
Mr. Gary Speas
Mr. George K. Burnett
Mr. John G. Chamberlin
Mr. John R. Talburt
Mr. John Steuri
Mr. Johnny Burgess
Mr. Joseph Rarey
Mr. Joseph Roblee
Mr. Kevin R. Zaffaroni
Mr. Matt Dozier
Mr. Prakash R. Jalihal
Mr. Richard Remke
Mr. Robert T. Harriell, Jr.
Mr. Rodger S. Kline
Mr. Rowland Stewart
Mr. Steven Brothers
Mr. Thomas B. Walker, Jr.
Mr. Vance Moore
Mr. Walter V. Smiley
Mr. William K. Bruton
Mrs. Alese J. Stroud
Mrs. Karen S. Halbert
Ms. Carrie A. Nicholas
Ms. Cynthia J. Ashcraft
Ms. Kim Clower
Ms. Kymberly D. Patterson
Ms. Louise Miller
Ms. Susan Norton
Mr. Lang Zimmerman