Impact & History



GROW! 2021


ROOTED: 2019

BEYOND: 2018

A History of Startup Success

The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation was established in 2009 by Dr. Carol Reeves, who held the Cupp Applied Professorship in Entrepreneurship in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and who served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Reeves’ accomplishments have earned her international recognition for her bold instructional style in the University’s New Venture Development courses, which she taught until 2019. Graduate students in this program, now led by OEI executive director Sarah Goforth, count more wins at state and national business plan competitions than any other university – 30 national wins and 67 awards at the Arkansas Governor's Cup. Since 2002, students have won more than $3.9 million in prize money and raised more than $130 million to build their businesses. The greatest success stories, however, are the 70+ startup companies and organizations founded by the program's alumni.

Today OEI oversees on-demand training, programs, and curricula serving students at every stage of their academic experience, from freshman year through postdoctoral training. Since 2019, the office has expanded and now offers more than a dozen programs across four locations: the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village, and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative.