In recent years, Startup Crawl has become an institution in the Arkansas entrepreneurial community, drawing startups and early-stage companies from around the region for a one-night event to showcase their innovations.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Startup Junkie to innovate in order to adjust to new public health realities. As a result, Startup Crawl is morphing into NWA Startup Week, a five-night series of virtual, televised events and food pairings.
From Sept. 14-18, Startup Junkie Foundation will hold a variety of different events featuring entrepreneurs and startup-related videos. The videos will be shown on Fayetteville Public Television (FPTV) as well as on YouTube.
“Startup Crawl is all about bringing the Northwest Arkansas community together and rallying around all the incredible entrepreneurs that make our region special,” Caleb Talley, Startup Junkie Foundation’s director of marketing and events, said in a statement. “The pandemic may prevent us from having a Startup Crawl, but it won’t keep us from celebrating entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially after so many have been hit so hard.”
Each night, viewers can watch the public television and YouTube content for free. There will also be special programming each night that can be viewed for $20 per night or $75 for the whole week. This cost includes the price of the featured food and drink.
On Monday, Sept. 14, the special programming will be the first televised IdeaFame Pitch compeititon, in which entrepreneurs have 60 seconds to pitch an idea, which will be voted on by a panel of judges and the audience. The judge’s choice and audience winner will each receive $1,000. Ticket holders will receive a $20 gift certificate to local participating restaurants.
On Tuesday, Startup Junkie will premiere special GameChangers episodes in which company founders discuss their entrepreneurial journeys. Viewers will receive a $20 gift card to a participating brewery of their choice.
The special programming on Wednesday will be a panel discussion focusing on female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. Ticket holders, who must be aged 21 or older, will receive a wine and cheese kit from Sweet Freedom Cheese along with fresh bread from Rockin’ Baker Academy. The kits from be picked up from Fayetteville and Bentonville locations on Wednesday.
The Thursday special event will be another special GameChangers premiere. For this night, local breweries will deliver beer and cider to ticket holders within an established delivery region. Ticket holders will also receive Startup Week merchandise.
On Friday, there will be a socially distanced outdoor concert at George’s Majestic Lounge.