FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas. Two startups founded by current University of Arkansas students are among three of the newest companies in Startup Village, which provides free co-working space in downtown Fayetteville for startups.
Located in the historic Hathcock Building at the corner of Block Avenue and Dixon Street, Startup Village offers reservable desks and office space, as well as shared services including a meeting room, kitchen, printer, Wi-Fi, phones and mailboxes . The Village also shares space with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.
The companies are Nyarai Skincare, Rejoicy and Crimson Fox Design Co. — are joining tech startup AutoWillow, which is developing an autonomous lawn care robot.
Nayari Skin Care was founded by Warrenesha Arnold, a student majoring in nutrition and dietetics in the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences. She was inspired by personal skin care issues to start the vegan-based company that offers products that fight acne, dark spots, scars and fine lines.
The Startup Village will provide a space for brainstorming and problem solving while providing quality work time, Arnold said.
“I look forward to connecting with more entrepreneurs and gaining access to resources that will guide and help elevate my brand,” she added.
Grace Underfanger, a junior studying graphic design and business, created Crimson Fox Design Co. to help businesses connect with and grow their communities. A specialist in fashion design, Underfanger has collaborated with national brands and local companies.
Founded in 2021, Rejoicy was co-founded by U of A Luke Brown and Edwin Ortiz. The company helps promote online sales by empowering business owners to create a fast and affordable website.
The Startup Village opened in November 2019 with two companies, Lapovations and MORE Technologies, which have since “graduated” from the space. Lapovations has developed a laparoscopic device called AbGrab that allows surgeons to lift the abdomen less invasively and more reliably before surgery. In June 2021, the company was awarded a $100,000 Phase II Innovation Research Grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
Meanwhile, MORE Technologies, which specializes in 3D printing robots, sold its technology assets and patents in March 2021 to a Colorado-based company that makes programmable robots and educational tools for science, technology, engineering, art and math. — or STEAM fields.
Startup Village membership is free and companies are selected through a competitive annual membership application process. The lease covers six months and has a maximum of one year.
“My favorite part of the Village is that it’s home to companies from a wide variety of industries, but each member is able to interact with each other while experiencing the ins and outs of running a startup,” said Morgan Walker, Program Manager for Entrepreneurial Initiatives at OEI. which oversees the Startup Village as part of OEI’s business incubation function.
“The Village also provides an ideal environment for collaboration,” added Walker. “Is your company in need of graphic design expertise? Well, Crimson Fox Design Co. is the next table!”
About the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and oversees innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, OEI hosts free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation teams, enterprise internships, pitches and startup mentoring. OEI’s Sam M. Walton College of Business and Economic Development Division also offers on-demand support to students who will become innovators in existing organizations and entrepreneurs who are starting something new.