‘Business Ecosystem’ Planned For Former Sears Building At NWA Mall

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Becca Shaddox has made a career of growing the national STEM pipeline and ensuring the workforce of the future is prepared.

She is taking that same approach to launch a new business ecosystem in Fayetteville to help prepare early-stage companies for life after incubation.

The company is called Anchor, and Shaddox says it’s designed to serve as a growth catalyst for entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and other enterprises through an innovation lab, public and private co-working space and an event/conference venue.

“We are in business to create value for businesses,” said Shaddox, who’s spent the past 15 years working for Walmart in a variety of roles. She’s currently the company’s director of STEM strategy, working in the David Glass Technology Center.

“We’re here to help the scale of companies and startups. When you think of years two-four for a startup, or even the need for an established business to pivot, we’re here to help them achieve that growth,” Shaddox said.

“If they [startups] aren’t in growth mode, that doesn’t really help do what we want to see Northwest Arkansas become. We need some further-down-the-line strategies that are going to help these companies scale and grow and keep them here. And to keep more coming.”

Shaddox said she was “not quite ready” to talk about funding for Anchor but expected to have some announcements about that later this year.

Anchor will make its home in the vacant Sears building in Fayetteville —an anchor tenant of the Northwest Arkansas Mall until it was shuttered in January 2018.

Shaddox said she has signed a 10-year lease for approximately 55,000 square feet in the 137,000-square-foot space.

To read more, visit Talk Business & Politics.

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