FAVORITE METRO LOCALS: Wayne Miller, Downtown
Wayne Miller spent much of his life in the mid-Atlantic region before moving to Little Rock five years ago. He joined The Venture Center with the purpose of accelerating the growth of technology-based startups and increasing the level of technical talent in Arkansas
The Venture Center helps entrepreneurs turn their startups into viable, high-growth businesses through a team of mentors, intensive programming and introductions to the investor community.
“It was an opportunity to come here and do the work that I do with startups and accelerators,” Miller says. “We have a lot of people that are very wise about how to build a business, whether that’s the Arkansas Economic Development Commission or universities or programs like The Venture Center, there are plenty of resources to start a viable business,” Miller says.
“When I first came here, even on the first week, I met half a dozen people who were important people for the city and also for the state, but who cared about what we were doing. They wanted to extend their hand to me and say, ‘Thanks for coming here. We need good people like you. How can we help you?’ and it’s genuine here. It’s not genuine everywhere you go.”
Miller thinks that what differentiates Arkansas from everywhere else is the people, the access, the cost of living and the quality of life.
“It’s a small state with 3.5 million people. If you don’t know somebody, there’s a real hot likelihood that the person standing right next to you does. I’m talking about whether it's the governor, the mayor or a state legislator. Arkansas gives us access and that’s the big differentiator that I’ve noticed.”
Arkansas has many programs that are highly competitive when it comes to tax and regional priority (RP) credits, especially the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.