Boot Camp alumni have received numerous awards in entrepreneurship; many have changed career paths and/or pursued entrepreneurial initiatives due to the camp. Two student teams that graduated from the 2017 camp went on to compete in the 2017 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition. One team won the first-place prize of $25,000, and the other won the Undergraduate Innovation Award at the competition. Overall, four alumni have established new healthcare startup companies in Arkansas. An alumni team also participated in the Regional I-Corps program in Austin, TX, following the Boot Camp.
Students at the camp work closely with mentors and subject matter experts from the University of Central Arkansas, UAMS, and the business and entrepreneurship community. Additionally, Conway Regional Health System invites the students to come into the hospital and conduct customer discovery and research during the problem identification portion of the boot camp. The students are given access to nearly 70 mentors and experts throughout the week.
The lodging, food, and programming are at no cost for accepted students and are funded through Arkansas INBRE, BioVentures, and the Conductor. Students are accepted from a diversity of backgrounds and majors. Eligible students must have an interest in healthcare, complete at least their sophomore year of college at the time of the camp, and be a student from an Arkansas college or university. Space permitting, spots may be available for immediate graduates and graduate students.
The week-long camp will conclude with a Demo Day on May 22, during which the public is invited to attend virtually as the teams present their new venture ideas.
The application period begins on December 14, 2020, and candidates may find more information and apply at www.arconductor.org/bootcamp. The early consideration deadline for the Camp is Monday, February 15, 2021. All other applications are due by Monday, March 22, 2021.