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.

Agricultural Food Systems

arkansas startups lawson humbree
Lawson Hembree, 24

Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods (TSN) and J.B. Hunt (JBHT) may have inspired Arkansas' growing startup culture, but the state's schools are also graduating a slew of future entrepreneurs.

Lawson Hembree and three classmates at John Brown University founded Agricultural Food Systems in May 2011 as part of a business class project. The company's first product, Tender ID, is a handheld device that allows beef processors to assess meat tenderness on the production line.

The team presented their concept at various business competitions, winning $49,000, and the following year, the Siloam Springs-based startup was accepted into the ARK Challenge accelerator.

The company is currently testing the device with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "We're hoping to complete the tests in August and then move ahead and approach the big companies," said Hembree.

With Tyson Foods and other big meat processors nearby, they won't have to go far to find customers.

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

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