The first ARK Challenge garnered 83 applicants seeking one of 15 positions in a 14-week entrepreneurial boot camp, according to a statement from the Northwest Arkansas Council.
“We’re seeing some really interesting ideas that address issues in retail, transportation/logistics and food, using mapping, social data, gaming, video, search and more,” Jeannette Ballaza, the ARK Challenge director, said in a statement. “Additionally, there are a number of promising applications from teams with compelling ideas in the consumer Internet space. We definitely have a good group of candidates.”
Teams selected to participate will receive more than $18,000 apiece to cover cost-of-living expenses while in Arkansas. At the end of the bootcamp, two teams will receive access to an additional $150,000 apiece in startup funding. The bootcamp begins Aug. 6 and ends Nov. 9.
The 83 applicants include 18 from outside the U.S. Those teams are from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Romania, the Russian Federation, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The ARK Challenge is a Global Accelerator Network that will provide mentorship, training, seed capital and customer access to a small group of startup companies. The ARK plans to select up to 15 tech startups from around the world that solve problems in three key clusters, including: retail, transportation and logistics and food processing.
The program seeks to find and develop entrepreneurs and startups interested in developing technology to benefit retail, food processing and logistics companies.
The ARK Challenge will involve more than 60 mentors who will assist the selected bootcamp participants in the development of their startups. Among the mentors are Collins Hemingway, a former Microsoft Corp. marketing director and best-selling author; Jinhee Kim, co-founder of Snapette Inc.; Dan Sanker, CEO of CaseStack, one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies; Greg Lee, a former top administrator at Tyson Foods; and Rick Webb, senior vice president for global business processes at Wal-Mart.