Toby Teeter has been named the inaugural director of the Collaborative, the new U of A education and research presence and catalyst to propel the state’s innovation ecosystem in Bentonville.
The Collaborative is a spoke of the newly developed Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research, envisioned to co-locate certain key functions to meet current and future community needs as well as plan for future outreach expansion.
“Toby is a leader, a connector, a communicator and an experienced entrepreneur,” said David Snow, interim vice chancellor for economic development. “I am delighted to have him join the leadership team in the Division of Economic Development in a role that celebrates his skillsets and experience, and in a fast-paced ‘startup’ environment where innovation and flexibility are expected.”
Among the three initial objectives of the Collaborative, the first is to facilitate and encourage industry-academic engagement and co-created innovation with a focus on technology, the digital economy, and data science and analytics. The second is to serve the post-baccalaureate education needs of individuals and organizations throughout Northwest Arkansas. The third aim is to connect integrative research efforts to enterprises throughout the region to increase the commercialization of research and technology.
|Shared space in the Collaborative.|
The Collaborative — situated in the Greenway Office Park adjacent to the Razorback Greenway, the Momentary contemporary art space, and the 8th Street Market — will also be home to the U of A Global Campus operations in Bentonville, which provides educational and enrichment opportunities, professional development, computer and technology training from university faculty, industry experts or experienced instructors, certification programs and customized training. Entrepreneurship and commercialization instruction, diversity training and meeting spaces are also available. In addition to managing the Bentonville location, Teeter will support regional entrepreneurship and facilitate industry partnerships and commercialization of discovery.
“I look forward to connecting Bentonville business leaders and economic development stakeholders with the university to establish strategic partnerships and champion innovation culture,” Teeter said. “The Collaborative will be a catalyst for Bentonville innovations, bringing together special people in a special place to solve 21st century challenges.”
Teeter joins the U of A after serving as president and CEO of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce since 2018. In this role, he managed economic development, fostered a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, championed innovation culture and attracted both talent and new industry to the Joplin area. Prior to his work with the Joplin Chamber, he founded Omni Brands LLC, a portfolio of e-commerce outdoor apparel brands. He also was the founder and president of Litmus Media, an online advertising network acquired by Little Rock-based Inuvo in 2006. He also has held leadership positions in corporate law and private equity investing.
|Exterior of the Collaborative.|
The Collaborative is made possible by a portion of a $194.7 million grant from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation to support research, commercialization and economic development through the establishment of the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research. This grant further provides support for the construction of an approximately 100,000-square-foot research facility in Fayetteville to grow integrated research capability, expand the scope of discoveries made by U of A researchers and increase the velocity in which discoveries are transferred to the marketplace where they can improve lives.
Teeter holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri State University. He began his appointment Tuesday, July 6.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.