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Origin: Ideas Start Here

Guest blog post by Wayne Miller, executive director of The Venture Center


Driven. Passionate. Resilient. Creative. Persistent.
These are just a few words synonymous with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, and only a few of the qualities I see in the men and women I work with at The Venture Center every day. As executive director for The Venture Center, I’m incredibly fortunate to spend my days and weeks working with entrepreneurs from as near as the next floor down to as far away as India, all to find the best ways to help them succeed.
While we know entrepreneurs as driven, passionate and creative, we also know that sometimes resilience, persistence and confidence in decision-making can be strengthened with a supportive community. Lucky for Central Arkansas residents, our entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing stronger by the minute, and with the help of community partners like the Little Rock Regional Chamber, entrepreneurs at all levels can count on support from a passionate network of business leaders and other entrepreneurs.
And as this support ecosystem grows, so do The Venture Center’s program offerings. Just last week we launched a brand new program to support entrepreneurs in the ideation phase. We see incredible ideas from passionate people daily and knew the tools to help them succeed are available in our community. We just needed a way to provide access to those tools in the most seamless way possible. So our extraordinarily driven community program manager, Ashley Jones, and the chamber’s directory of business retention and expansion, Eddie Mraz, teamed up and formed a new program called Origin: Ideas Start Here.
For any budding entrepreneur, being part of an Origin idea session starts with a simple questionnaire. They will then meet with a representative from The Venture Center and the Little Rock Regional Chamber to talk through the concept and to identify helpful resources.

Each business idea is as unique as the person building it, which means there are no one-size-fits-all formulas for success. As such The Venture Center and the Little Rock Regional Chamber welcome the challenge of working through the particular circumstances of each entrepreneur and idea during an Origin idea session.


The know-how of taking an idea and creating an actual business from it is something that can only come with experience. Taking that first step to figuring out what you don’t know, who you do know, and how to put those things together to create a successful business may be the toughest part. That’s why we are so passionate about Origin, and the potential impact of providing support from the ground up and when people need it the most.


As is true for even the most successful entrepreneurs, there will always be what some people call failures. However, we like Thomas Edison's view that there are no failures, just ways that haven’t worked yet. There is no limit to what a person with a dream and the drive to execute can achieve.


For anyone interested in starting a business, take that first step and visit

Need more information?

If you have questions about how the chamber can help your business or how you can get involved in growing our regional economy, drop us a line.