From Startups to Semiconductors: NWAC’s Hunt for Investors with Gazelle

Published on Nov 13, 2023

Updated on Apr 10, 2024

Written by Miriam Glassman

In the heartland of America, nestled amid the picturesque Ozark Mountains, northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation —it’s predicted to reach nearly 1 million total residents by 2045.

One of the pivotal organizations spearheading the region's progress is the Northwest Arkansas Council (NWAC). One of NWAC's main goals is to grow local economic opportunities.

The Problem: Navigating a Sea of Startups

Ron Maloney, Executive Director of Economic Development at the Northwest Arkansas Council, is currently focused on attracting young to mid-sized startups to the region.

Economic developers like Maloney face the challenge of finding and connecting with potential startups that match their specific needs. This mission is no small feat amidst a sea of global startups. 

The organization needed data to help them easily determine the most suitable targets according to their specific criteria. Other data sources they tried didn’t provide them with the intelligence they required to understand who to approach and how. 

“In my 25 years of experience, I understand the importance of properly profiling and ‘painting a full picture’ of the company and industry before contact,” says Maloney. “Getting this type of intelligence was difficult before Gazelle. This information not only ensures our success but shapes my strategy prior to engaging with them.”

The Solution

Gazelle is the only AI-powered business intelligence platform that ranks companies based on their likelihood to expand. It is tailor-made for economic development and workforce professionals looking to strategically engage with rapidly growing companies.

To guide NWAC in the right direction, they needed data insights tailored to the needs of an economic developer. Gazelle gave them just that. 

"I need to understand a company at a specific point in time. With Gazelle, I get a full snapshot of a company in just 15 seconds. It provides a wealth of details, from their funding, seeding, past and ongoing expansion projects, to recent news articles and performance," Maloney explained. 

“Within a few seconds, I know if I want to talk to a company. The value of Gazelle is the way all this data is displayed. It’s broken down in a way that quickly tells me everything I need to know and how I will approach them.”

Confirmed Expansion Projects: A Wealth of Strategic Knowledge

One of Gazelle's standout features is its collection of verified expansion projects. Current and past expansion projects provide NWAC with two levels of business intelligence.

Firstly, confirmed expansion projects that are a match for NWAC become an immediate opportunity.

Gazelle’s database of confirmed expansion projects

Secondly, the organization gains insights about a potential lead by viewing their past expansion projects. “By analyzing past expansions, I also gain important insights about a company’s expansion patterns,” remarked Maloney

“Whether they are opening plants in Canada or Asia, I always learn information about them such as their workforce needs, skills required, regional preferences, incentives, or land requirements. This information deepens my understanding of their expansion strategies and management's thought processes and planning.”

Targeting the Semiconductor Industry

Northwest Arkansas is breaking ground in the semiconductor market in the United States with the University of Arkansas’s one-of-a-kind semiconductor facility.  

The new semiconductor research and fabrication facility will produce microelectronic chips made with silicon carbide, a powerful semiconductor that outperforms basic silicon in several critical ways.

There are high-volume semiconductor facilities in the United States. But there are no options for small to mid-sized fabs. This facility fills that gap.

In the exciting phase of building out this important sector for the nation and the region, the next step in NWAC’s mission is to attract small to mid-size semiconductor startups. Gazelle’s industry-specific data will help them in that mission.

Gazelle’s featured list of top semiconductor companies ranked by growth

"Being able to do industry-specific research is one of the main ways I use Gazelle. For this project, I’ll go to Gazelle's semiconductors and integrated circuits category and refine my search based on the exact profile I need. I’ll build a list based on company age, revenue, seed level, and location,” explained Maloney. “I can easily filter out companies in undesired locations and ensure they have a cash flow. Gazelle helps me hit my sweet spot, providing me with the insights I need to reach out to these companies.”

Building a Strong Future in Northwest Arkansas

As Northwest Arkansas continues on its path to becoming a hub for startups and semiconductors, Gazelle has become an invaluable asset in NWAC's investment attraction toolkit. 

As a result, they can identify and engage with potential firms, saving them time and resources, as well as enhancing the region's economic prosperity.

Using intelligent data to drive economic development is a testament to the transformational potential of Gazelle.

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