Forget Silicon Valley. These startups are hot on Arkansas.

From tech and ecommerce to retail and gaming, these 6 startups picked Wal-Mart's backyard to set up shop.


arkansas start up craftistas
Ashleigh Dean, 24 and Camille Malkiewicz, 24, with examples of their craft projects.

"When we were looking for the ideal place to launch our startup, it had to be an area that knew about retail," said Camille Malkiewizc, co-founder of Craftistas, a subscription service that sends members a starter kit for a project each month.

Northwest Arkansas fit the bill, largely because of Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart (WMT) and its vast network of vendors, said Malkiewizc.

It helped that Malkiewizc and Ashleigh Dean already knew the area. They met at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark. Malkiewizc came up with the idea for Craftistas as part of a senior class project there in 2010.

Craftistas, which is currently in the ARK Challenge accelerator program, is already generating modest revenue and has subscribers nationwide. They plan to expand Craftistas into a social e-commerce site where crafters can exchange ideas and buy supplies.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated August 13 2013 08:38 AM ET

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