Congratulation to the Northwest Arkansas StartUp Cup on their successful kickoff event. We also want to welcome the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance and NorthWest Arkansas Community College to the local team. A great example of teamwork!

Below is their official release which can also be found online via PitchEngine.

Media Release – May 17, 2012

A new and unique business competition called the StartUp Cup Business Model Competition has been licensed for launch in Northwest Arkansas in 2012. Local entrepreneur, Tonya Nkokheli has teamed up with Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance and NorthWest Arkansas Community College to bring this job-producing program developed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the region.

StartUp Cup is a grassroots, locally driven, business model competition open to any type of business idea. This local initiative has helped launch more than 46 successful businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma, its place of origin, since its creation in 2007.

Local residents with a good business idea are invited to enter the competition via the NWA StartUp Cup Websitebetween May 17th and June 22nd, 2012.

An information presentation is slated for Thursday May 17 at the newly opened Iceberg Coworking facility in Fayetteville, AR from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., featuring a presentation by Startup Cup Founder Sean Griffin on “How to Win the Startup Cup,” as well as refreshments and opportunity for networking.

“StartUp Cup offers the correct focus for people with new business ideas,” said Mark Tocco, President of the Arketype Consulting and Board Member of the Northwest Arkansas Entrepreneurship Alliance. “Furthermore, it will support our community efforts to expand innovative programs for startups, create local jobs and establish NWA as a center for entrepreneurship.”

“I’m excited to see an approach that walks entrepreneurs through an extended process that provides coaching and feedback from others with proven success,” said Chairperson Tonya Nkokheli, co-producer of the NWA Startup Cup. “This supports a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to nurture creativity in all sectors, including but also reaching beyond our signature high-tech industry.”

The first phase of the judging process will begin July 18th and 19th, followed by a coaching session for the Top 12 semifinalists on July 25th, 2012.

There is a significant difference between the NWA StartUp Cup and other business plan-based competitions. The NWA StartUp Cup is designed to help the entrepreneurs with the best ideas get their businesses launched. The program includes hours of coaching and feedback from expert business owners and entrepenuers – at no cost.

“We are very excited that the StartUp Cup is arriving in Northwest Akansas,” said Sean Griffin, CEO  of StartUp Cup and founder of StartUp Cup. “StartUp Cup exists to help communities grow their local economy, while providing the competitor with an amazing program of support throughout the process.”

About Startup Up
StartUp Cup is a community-based local business model competition. It is a proven model to build businesses and create jobs. It’s objective is to launch more than 50 local competitions resulting in growth of 150 viable businesses with more than 20,000 jobs every year. NWA Startup Cup is one of five competitions from around the world.  Information about the NWA StartUp Cup can be found at