The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub announced that Jeff Stinson will become the director of The Silver Mine, which will provide facilities and programs to support entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures in Arkansas.
“We are very pleased that Jeff Stinson will be joining the Innovation Hub to direct The Silver Mine,” said Warwick Sabin, executive director of the Innovation Hub. “His depth of experience in the public and private sectors, his background in entrepreneurial education, and his continuing role as manager of our state’s largest angel investment fund make him the perfect fit to develop and oversee our business-related programming.”
“I’m honored to be joining the esteemed Innovation Hub team,” Stinson said. “The Launch Pad and Art Connection have paved the way with innovative programs touching thousands of Arkansans, and I’m pleased to be leading entrepreneurial training and development at the Innovation Hub. Warwick and I have planned a number of unique programs which we look forward to unveiling in the coming weeks. In short, it’s a very good time to be a current or prospective entrepreneur in Arkansas.”
Stinson currently is the Director of TechLaunch at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and he also is the Executive Director of the Fund for Arkansas’ Future. He will leave UALR, but will continue to direct the Fund for Arkansas’ Future in his new role at the Innovation Hub.
Through his role at TechLaunch, Stinson has worked with university researchers to help them protect and commercialize their technologies and inventions, as well as lead other economic development activities on behalf of UALR.
At the Fund for Arkansas’s Future — an angel investor fund that focuses on early-stage, Arkansas-based companies — he leads the administration of two funds that have over 100 combined individual investors and investments in over 25 technology-based businesses. Stinson helped to organize and structure the first fund in 2004, and has led the management of both funds since that time.
Stinson will officially start in his new position at the Innovation Hub on Sept. 8th. He also will direct a related program for the Innovation Hub that will be announced next month.
The Silver Mine will officially open in early 2016 as an entrepreneurship resource center for co-working, startup acceleration, and other programming to support new and growing business enterprises.
Earlier this year, the Innovation Hub received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to complete the development of The Silver Mine at its Innovation Center in the Argenta district of downtown North Little Rock.