For our readers who happen to be genuinely curious, the answer is Bentonville, (Northwest) Arkansas. For those that knew, but still clicked, read on.

As many of our 500,000+ residents can attest to, when meeting people unfamiliar with the area, “Home to Walmart HQ” is an easy piece a trivia that both surprises and gives context. And so, it did not take us by surprise to see Bentonville, Arkansas listed atop Livability’s recent piece entitled “9 Fortune 500 Companies Based in Surprisingly Small Cities and Towns“. In fact, our only question is why they didn’t name the article “11 Fortune 500 Companies…”? Fortune 500’s #80 Tyson Foods and #395 J.B. Hunt are both located in “small towns” within our region.

That said, we took inspiration from Livability’s headline and placed our “trick question” above in order to put our own spin on it. We think the content below might be a bit more surprising to both those that live here and beyond.

5 Companies Based In Walmart HQ’s Surprisingly Innovative Backyard

The most successful startup competition team in University of Arkansas history

Lapovations, a local startup developing innovative products that improve minimally invasive surgery, has won 7 pitch competitions and more than $305,000 in cash and investment prizes. The team was coached by Dr. Carol Reeves, associate vice chancellor for entrepreneurship at the University of Arkansas, whose teams have won more national business competitions since 2009 than those from any other university in America (yes, we mean more than MIT, Harvard, Yale, etc.).

How Lapovations has performed:

  • First place and best elevator pitch at the University of Oregon New Venture Championship competition
  • First place and best elevator pitch at the statewide Delta Plastics Arkansas Governor’s Cup
  • Second place in the prestigious Rice University Business Plan Competition
  • First place in the Baylor University New Venture Competition
  • First place SXSW Pitch Texas
  • First place Stu Clark Investment Competition at the University of Manitoba
  • First place Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville
  • Second place at the Ivey Business Plan Competition at Western University in Canada
  • and First place 2018 SEC Student Pitch Championship at Texas A&M University

Read more HERE.

A company that is being acquired for $255 million + a startup it spun-off.

Northwest Arkansas-based logistics provider CaseStack, will be acquired in an all-cash deal estimated at $255 million by the Hub Group. According to Talk Business and Politics, “Last year CaseStack grew revenues to $242 million, with net earnings of approximately $22 million, and the company has about 280 employees.”

Supply Pike

The deal didn’t include CaseStack’s technology arm SupplyPike, which emerged from CaseStack’s Research and Development department and spun off to become a best-in-class software startup focused on supply chain management. Company president Greg Kessman recently told Arkansas Money & Politics, “more than just Walmart, more than just Tyson. There are a lot of things going on in Northwest Arkansas that they (tech talent) should pay attention to.” Read more about how Supply Pike is capitalizing on everything the region has to offer HERE.

The US corporate HQ of the largest egg company in the United Kingdom + two entrepreneurs on their team.

Earlier this year, the Happy Egg Co. relocated its U.S. corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Rogers, Arkansas. Happy Egg Co. is a multi-national, free-range egg brand owned by Noble Foods, the largest egg company in the United Kingdom. The brand launched in 2012, and now can be found in about 5,200 stores nationwide. Happy Egg hens are given 21.8 square feet of space per bird, far beyond the Humane Farm Animal Care Humane Certified standard of 2 square feet per bird.

PIKT

Two Bentonville entrepreneurs, who currently work for the Happy Egg Co., are looking to disrupt the multi-billion dollar grocery-delivery market with their recently launched “crowdsourced grocery delivery startup”, PIKT. PIKT is a social-network grocery delivery marketplace that connects people who are going to pick up orders at the grocery store with other people who would like their orders delivered. The team launched their pilot in early-October, with a focus on several Walmart locations throughout the region.

And so it’s true, Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, is headquartered here, but you don’t have to throw a rock far to hit other companies helping to boost the Northwest Arkansas region as one of the fastest growing, most desirable locations in the nation.

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