Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
    Arkansas Carves Niches in Fintech and Electric Vehicles Industries

    Arkansas is making significant strides in establishing itself as a leader in both the fintech and electric vehicle (EV) industries. One organization at the forefront of these efforts is the Venture Center, which recently hosted its second VenCent Fintech Summit in Little Rock. The event brought together banking leaders and financial technology innovators to discuss challenges and opportunities in the fintech sector.

    With around 300 attendees, this year’s summit featured appearances by prominent figures such as U.S. Rep. French Hill, executives from banking institutions, and a variety of entrepreneurs. The Venture Center aims to support entrepreneurs in building sustainable businesses of all sizes, with a particular focus on fintech. The center has developed expertise in this area through its FIS Fintech Accelerator, which is backed by financial services giant FIS and the state of Arkansas.

    The summit showcased several innovative solutions, including Tapcheck, a service that allows employees to access a portion of their paychecks before payday, and Money on Demand (MOD), an app being tested by Southern Bancorp that provides cash advances with minimal to no fees. Discussions at the summit also covered important topics such as cybersecurity, fraud prevention, and cryptocurrency regulations.

    Arkansas, and specifically Little Rock, is positioning itself as a hub for fintech innovation. The city has a strong history in the finance industry, with Systematics Inc., a pioneering data services company for financial firms, having been founded there. The Venture Center, along with events like the VenCent summit, is working to maintain Little Rock’s status as a fintech leader and attract further investments.

    In addition to fintech, Arkansas is also making strides in the EV industry. Canoo Inc., a California-based EV manufacturer, plans to establish a research, development, and manufacturing corridor from Oklahoma to northwest Arkansas, where it will relocate its headquarters. Canoo follows a niche strategy, only building vehicles that have been pre-sold to meet specific customer requirements. The company primarily targets commercial customers, including companies and government entities looking for zero-emission electric fleet vehicles.

    While challenges may exist for Canoo, such as financial constraints and the need to generate revenue and profit, the company’s focus on a specific, potentially lucrative market sets it apart from competitors pursuing mass-market approaches.

    Overall, Arkansas is carving out important niches in both the fintech and EV industries. The Venture Center’s efforts in fostering fintech innovation and the emergence of Canoo’s EV manufacturing corridor highlight the state’s commitment to attracting innovation and investment.

    – Arkansas Business
    – Venture Center VenCent Fintech Summit