McMillon Innovation Studios

Free Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshops for Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni

The McMillon Innovation Studio at the Sam M. Walton College of Business is joining forces with the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to bring a series of workshops and services to university students, faculty, staff and alumni during the spring 2019 semester. The workshops and services focus on building skills needed for innovation, creative problem-solving and meaningful collaboration.

Free Workshops
This semester’s events include:

  • Creative Confidence – Participants learn how to strengthen team dynamics by applying art and theater principles like improvisation that build trust and agility. This 1-hour, interactive workshop is designed to:
    • Foster an open and collaborative environment.
    • Build creative confidence.
    • Facilitate an “agile” way of working.
    • Get people outside their comfort zone.

These workshops are deployed on an as-needed basis, typically at the start of a class with group projects. Email oei@uark.edu to schedule.

  • The Heart of the Customer – Deep empathy for the end user is a meaningful starting place for new innovations and businesses. Participants learn key techniques for empathizing and interacting with their audience – clients, users, patients or customers. This workshop helps participants:
    • Create an open mindset to change and iteration.
    • Understand empathy and why it is important.
    • Practice drawing key insights from an empathy map and customer discovery interviews.

Workshops will be held Feb. 20 from 5:45-7 p.m. at the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub just off the Fayetteville square or on Feb. 26 from noon-1:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio located in the Harmon Parking Garage on campus.

  • Prototype and Iterate – Workshop attendees learn how to create, release and test “minimum delightful experiences.” Participants will gain experience rapid prototyping in a safe environment. By the end of this hands-on workshop, participants will:
    • Understand the importance of failure.
    • Know how to use feedback loops to inform iterations.
    • Practice prototyping in the McMillon Studio makerspace (3D printing, digital tools, sewing, drawing, etc.).

Workshops will be held March 6 from 5-6:30 p.m. or on March 12 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio.

  • Setting Your Idea Free – This workshop is intended for people who have a prototype or a solution and need to get funders, partners or customers onboard. Participants will learn key storytelling techniques in a low-risk, highly interactive speed-pitching session. Participants will:
    • Learn the essential parts of a good story.
    • Learn how to identify a target audience and tailor a message to that audience.
    • Practice telling their stories live.

Workshops will be held March 27 from 5:45-7 p.m. at the Brewer Hub, April 2 from noon-1:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio, and on April 10 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Brewer Hub.

  • Bootstrapping 101 – This workshop is intended for innovators who have validated an idea and need help getting it off the ground. Drawing from real-life case studies, this workshop will show how creatively pulling resources together can replace or supplement traditional financing. Attendees will:
    • Learn the principles of business viability (cost structure and revenue streams).
    • Learn how to identify and apply for grant funding.
    • Understand the value of interdisciplinary teams.

Workshop will be held April 3 from 5:45-7 p.m. at the Brewer Hub.

Additional entrepreneurial programs and services will also be available:

Speed Consulting – Individuals and teams working on a business or idea can bring their questions and get advice from a range of experienced consultants, in fields ranging from marketing to design to intellectual property, in one afternoon. Consultations will be held Feb. 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the Brewer Hub or on April 19 from 2- 4 p.m. at the McMillon Studio.

Speaker Series — Be inspired by intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs with a story to tell in an intimate, conversational setting.  Lectures are held April 17 and on May 1 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio.

Faculty Bootcamp – Faculty interested in using innovation and entrepreneurship workshops in concert with their classes or programs can join this two-hour session for an overview of the content. Workshops will be held March 5 from noon-1:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio and on March 6 from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Brewer Hub.

The Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub is located at 123 W. Mountain Street in Fayetteville. The McMillon Innovation Studio is located at 146 N. Harmon Avenue. 

All events require preregistration. To register for the workshops, visit oeiworkshops.eventbrite.com. For additional information, email mcmillon@walton.uark.edu or oei@uark.edu.