On Monday, the Conductor hosted U.S. Congressman French Hill in Conway, and facilitated events to connect him with startup and scale-up companies in the region.

Hill led a roundtable discussion with a number of the area’s emerging businesses focused on entrepreneurial policy, workforce development, access to capital and the benefits these businesses have on the U.S. economy.

During the entrepreneurial roundtable discussion, Hill highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship on the U.S. economy and its power to create new jobs, close the skilled workforce gap, and significantly lower the recidivism rate across the nation.

“It was an honor to visit the Conductor and learn about the programs and entrepreneurial activity in the community,” Hill said. “It’s exciting to see this entrepreneurial growth in central Arkansas, and I’m proud to support organizations like the Conductor that create mentorship opportunities and access to capital, which are vital to the success of emerging small businesses.”

Christi Baker, founder of HealthCARE Transformed and an alumna of the Conductor’s 10X Growth Accelerator, participated in the roundtable discussion.

“I appreciate Congressman French Hill’s visiting the Conductor and hearing from startup entrepreneurs in the region. I am thankful to him for answering questions about how Congress is trying to provide innovative solutions to small business owners to not only see them survive, but thrive,” Baker said.

During his time in Conway, Congressman Hill also enjoyed a site-visit of Edafio Technology Partners in its newly expanded, cutting-edge space in downtown Conway, followed by an overview of the company and its growth to date. Additionally, the Congressman visited UCA's Makerspace, powered by the Conductor, during which he toured the space, and received hands-on experience making "squishy circuits" with Master Maker Jason Huselton. He was also gifted with an honorary "Maker Certified" badge during his visit.

“The Conductor was privileged to partner with U.S. Congressman French Hill to connect him with the region’s burgeoning entrepreneurs,” said Kim Lane, CEO of the Conductor. “With the risk-taking involved with starting a business, it is critical that local entrepreneurs know they have the support of policymakers, and the Conductor is dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs with their elected officials to create a dialogue around entrepreneurial policy and job growth.”

Congressman French Hill’s visit coincides with Startup Week Across America, an initiative to connect members of congress with entrepreneurs and small businesses in their districts. This bipartisan effort raises awareness and generates support for startup communities across the country. Startup Week Across America also provides local entrepreneurs with an opportunity to have a conversation with their elected officials about the challenges they are facing and discuss how federal policies can support their efforts to test new ideas, create new products and grow their businesses.

The Congressman’s visit was highlighted on the national Startup Week Across America website as one of 12 cities creating opportunities to connect local entrepreneurs with their Congressional Representatives.

Congressman French Hill will be the featured guest at the Conductor’s Startup Grind on Dec. 20, an event during which the Conductor will facilitate a fireside chat with Rep. Hill, followed by a Q&A discussion with the audience. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Conductor and ways to get involved, visit ARConductor.org/calendar.