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Applications are being accepted through Sept. 4 for up to eight central Arkansas startups to participate in "Spark!," a pre-accelerator program that offers free office space and other perks.

Qualifying applicants must be central Arkansas startup companies with full-time company founders and annual revenue of at least $50,000.

In addition to office space at The Venture Center in Little Rock, the 14-week program will provide the startups with mentorship and other resources designed to propel small businesses to the next level of growth, according to a news release. Local subject matter experts will mentor participants in areas including business pitches, media, and legal, intellectual property and funding issues.

The program also offers the opportunity to pitch at Pitch 'N Pint on Dec. 10, as well as deeply discounted parking fees and conference rooms for meetings.

More information and applications are available at

"Spark!" is jointly sponsored by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and The Venture Center.

-- Noel Oman

Breakups possible, FTC tells tech firms

The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said he's prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers as his agency investigates whether companies including Facebook Inc. are harming competition.

FTC Chairman Joe Simons, who is leading a broad review of the technology sector, said in an interview Tuesday that breaking up a company is challenging but could be the right remedy to rein in dominant companies and restore competition.

"If you have to, you do it," Simons said about breaking up tech companies. "It's not ideal because it's very messy. But if you have to, you have to."

Simons is overseeing a tech task force to examine conduct in the industry and could move to unwind mergers if investigators find the deals were anticompetitive. The agency has opened a broad investigation into Facebook, including whether the company acquired startups to thwart competition, according to people familiar with the matter.

-- Bloomberg News

Arkansas Index rises 6.37, ends at 415.21

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 415.21, up 6.37.

"Investors remain skittish, yet jumped in and bought stocks on Tuesday after the dollar strengthened and Treasury prices rose on news that the United States would delay tariffs on some Chinese products," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 08/14/2019

Print Headline: Little Rock-based program will assist startups


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