The Conductor Makerspace

Conductor, Local Entrepreneur Head to Capitol Hill for Entrepreneurial Advocacy Training Workshops and more

Conway Institute of Music

CONWAY, April 2–The Conductor, a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie, today announced that it will be participating in advocacy training workshops and educational meetings with federal policymakers at the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Advocacy Trip in Washington, D.C. The trip, which is sponsored and facilitated by the Kauffman Foundation, creates opportunities for entrepreneurs and leaders of entrepreneur support organizations to discuss entrepreneurial policy with federal lawmakers. Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez, founder and principal of Aptus Financial, will join the Conductor on the trip.

“The Conductor is honored to participate in the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Advocacy Trip,” said Kim Lane, CEO of the Conductor. “Entrepreneurial policy is an extremely important component to building a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it’s crucial that entrepreneurs’ voices are heard. We’re thrilled to make this trip with Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez, a central Arkansas entrepreneur and a member of our newest 10X cohort. It’s a privilege to share the stories of local entrepreneurs with our nation’s policymakers.”

The two-day workshop is designed to bring the voice of entrepreneurs to policy debates in Washington, D.C., and to create a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories with lawmakers.

“Big businesses can get their voices heard, but for small businesses, that opportunity is rare, and small businesses are the engine of America. Their voices have unique challenges and opportunities, and need to be heard on the Hill. I’m honored to make this trip with the Conductor, an organization dedicated to growing small businesses into their potential, and I’m grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for making this opportunity possible,” Gutierrez said.

The Conductor is passionate about reducing barriers for entrepreneurs, Lane said, noting that it actively seeks ways to build bridges between entrepreneurs and policymakers, creating avenues for entrepreneurs to share their stories, challenges and opportunities in impactful ways. During the 2018 Startup Week Across America, the Conductor hosted U.S. Congressman French Hill in Conway, and facilitated events to connect him with startup and scaleup companies in the region. Events included Congressman Hill’s leading a roundtable discussion with area entrepreneurs, as well as his touring the office of Edafio Technology Partners and visiting UCA’s Makerspace, powered by the Conductor.

The Entrepreneurship Advocacy Trip is April 2-3 in Washington, D.C. Lane and Gutierrez will be joined by entrepreneurs and advocates from around the nation in the trainings and meetings.

“Starting a business is one of the hardest things to do. The opportunity to get to talk to my own leaders about this work really elevates the whole purpose of my business. We hear these stories of successful businesses, but when you start a business, the odds are not in your favor,” Gutierrez said. “To be able to talk to my own lawmakers makes it feel more like my lawmakers are partners in my business.”

For more information on the Conductor and ways to get involved, visit


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