New ‘accelHERate’ event offer startup advice for women


Women who are looking to start their own technology-based companies can hear from fellow women excelling in research, innovation and business at “accelHERate,” a free forum presented by the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, the center will hold simultaneous “accelHERate” events in Little Rock at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences BioVentures and in Jonesboro at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute. Both begin at 4:30 p.m.

“Since about 80 percent of tech company founders are male, we want to encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship and view it as a viable career,” said Laura Fine, ASBTDC state director. “We hope women – particularly students in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math – will attend accelHERate and be inspired by what they hear.”

Four women will speak at each location and then answer questions. The panelists in Little Rock include the following:

  • Dr. Amy Hester, co-founder of HD Nursing, LLC and UAMS director of nursing research and innovation
  • Alese Johnston Stroud, CEO of Corporate Insight Strategy
  • Tina McCord, founder and CEO of ZUNI Learning Tree
  • Erin Bush, CEO of Salusions, LLC

Their talks will touch on lessons learned and advice for budding entrepreneurs. Topics will include management and growth strategies, startup mistakes and how to avoid them, key skills for entrepreneurial success and commercialization funding opportunities through the federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program.

Admission is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, call (501) 683-7700 or visit

The outreach and technical assistance ASBTDC provides to science and technology-based businesses is supported by Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with SBA through a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business and other institutions of higher education. All programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Shannon Roberts at (501) 683-7700.

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