October 16, 2014

Innovation Connect MADE-Lincoln Startup Week Version

Inside Corporate Innovation

Corporate innovation is important for the continued success of established businesses. However, it isn’t always easy to evolve and drive innovation from within a large, established company. How can it be done? How have companies established corporate innovation within their companies? How can companies figure out how to pivot? How does corporate innovation differ from innovation within startup companies? You will find out the answers to all of these questions and more at Innovation Connect MADE. Our panelists will discuss their experiences with innovation within their own companies. Panelists include:

Neil Johnson – Phoenix Web Group:  Neil has been involved in the software/computer/nerd industry for more than 30 years. He started Phoenix Computer Solutions in 1987 which was then rebooted as Phoenix Web Group in 2000. He is intimately involved in all aspects of the business from consulting to creating elegant solutions to our clients’ challenges. Neil also plays drums in a band, but no longer tours.

Todd Long – Kidwell:  Todd is the Vice President of Marketing at Kidwell, co-founder of The Big Plate (, a collaborative community for entrepreneurs and startups, a former Vice President of Sales and Marketing for an Anheuser-Busch Distributor and advisory panel member for Anheuser-Busch, Inc.  Todd is an active member in the Lincoln startup scene, an NMotion mentor, and an advisor to Catalyst for Small Business.  Some of Todd’s responsibilities at Kidwell include corporate innovation.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MBA from Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

Scott Gubbels – Nelnet Innovation Hub:  Scott is the Managing Director of the Nelnet Innovation Hub.

Innovation Connect MADE will be hosted at MacPractice, 233 N 8th Street, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508 (entrance is the stairs between Buzzard Billy’s and Brewsky’s). Come for the panel, stay for the hosted bar and hors d’oeuvres! There is no cost to attend, but RSVP is required.  Please RSVP to Christina Bartels at

Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres, and to talk about innovation!

October 13, 2014

Spark Series: Prioritize Feedback with Josh Berry

Whether you are a start-up or an enterprising organization that wants to grow, come to this highly interactive session to hone several sales skills that will improve your probability of growth. You’ll learn why to relish the customer research phase of a new product or idea, how to create raving fans before your start-up of new product is even ready, and several simple tactics to increase the chances someone will take your first sales meeting.

Space is limited. Please register.


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About our speaker:

Using the same strategies and tools that have helped launch thousands of companies, Josh Berry, the Director of Smart Matter, works with startups or growing businesses to create or refine products, accelerate sales strategy and align growth initiatives with marketing efforts. Coupling a passion for entrepreneurship and extensive experience consulting with larger companies, like the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and The Cheesecake Factory, Josh brings the same results to brand new businesses looking to grow.

Have questions about Spark Series – Prioritize Feedback: Sales for Start-ups with Josh Berry? Contact Union Bank & Trust’s Catalyst

Tuesday, October 28th
11:30 to 1:00pm
Catalyst Space: 350 Canopy Street, Suite 130
(enter from North 7th Street)

Lunch is provided
Space is limited

RSVP on Eventbrite

October 9, 2014

Only 16 days Until Lincoln Startup Week!


The Startup Week planning group is hard at work getting ready for a seven-day celebration of our entrepreneurial community!

More events have just been added to the schedule, check them out HERE. Startup Week is free and registration is open so sign up for as many events as you would like to attend.

Startup Week is Oct. 25-31, 2014
Register Here:


October 7, 2014

UNL Maker Club Meeting This Wednesday

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The UNL Maker Club is having their first meeting of the semester on Wednesday, October 8th, at 7 p.m., in Jorgenson Hall (JH) in room 110. They’ll talk about the schedule of events and activities for the semester, and you’ll brainstorm some projects and ideas to work together this semester. Please bring ideas and suggestions for things you would like to see the club do!

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Maker Club envisions a campus-driven, city-wide culture that actively fosters student-initiated efforts to fuse engineering, art, design and technology into innovative products and media that spark discussions, solve problems, and inspire humanity — while establishing partnerships among students, instructors, entrepreneurs and professionals interested in solving the world’s most challenging problems.

For more information visit,

October 2, 2014

Hack Lincoln 2014



Hack Lincoln is a 48-hour hackathon bringing together the area’s hackers - developers, technologists, designers, and civic advocates - to wrangle civic data sets from the City of Lincoln and the State of Nebraska, learn new ideas and techniques, and build some cool stuff in a fun environment.

Hack Lincoln will supply the food, guidance, and real-world problems and you bring your laptop, appetite, skills and ideas!

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Organizer: Open Nebraska
Open Nebraska is a citizen-led organization dedicated to promoting civic engagement and furthering the open data movement in Nebraska. It’s mission is to equip citizens with tools to create positive change and solve community problems through civic application development, open data advocacy, and tech education.




Stay up with events on the Hack Lincoln Facebook page
Questions? Email

October 1, 2014

Chamber of Commerce Celebrate Lincoln Award Winners!

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The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce has proudly been Lincoln’s principal business advocate and catalyst in promoting retention and expansion of businesses. Yesterday, they recognized both businesses and individual lifetime achievements at a luncheon at the Cornhusker Marriott.

Winners included:

Cornerstone Award: Olsson Associates

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Paul and Stephanie Jarrett, owners of Bulu Box

Green Business of the Year Award: Sadoff Iron & Metal Company

Manufacturer of the Year: Hexagon Lincoln

Burnham Yates Citizenship Award: Tom Henning, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Assurity Life Insurance Co.

Small Business of the Year Award: Zipline Brewing Co.

Tourism Development Award: Lied Center for Performing Arts

Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award: Tom Lorenz, general manager of SMG Lincoln

September 30, 2014

Recess – Design Conference in Lincoln, NE

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Recess is a conference that recognizes the importance of learning through play. We believe that taking a break is parmount for creative growth.

The conference is in the newly developed railyard of Lincoln’s historic haymarket district. If you’re unfamiliar with Lincoln, it’s like Omaha’s artsy little brother.

You’ll get to meet and hear talks from a very accomplished and talented group of designers and makers.

Speakers include:

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Your ticket comes with a lot more than just a lanyard and conference entry. On the 7th we’re throwing a legit pre-party to get everyone in the right mindset. The day of the presentations free breakfast, lunch, drinks, and snacks are provided. You also get the official Recess t-shirt and a chance to win one of the give-a-ways we’ll be doing throughout the day.


September 25, 2014

APPLY – 2015 Pipeline Fellowship

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Pipeline announced it has opened applications for the 2015 Entrepreneurial Fellowship. Pipeline is an elite organization of the Midwest’s most successful, high-performance entrepreneurs. Pipeline began operations in Kansas in 2006, and became a Regional program three years ago that spans three states. Pipeline now boasts 80 entrepreneurs as Members who employ over 1000 people in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska and have raised more than $107M in outside capital since joining Pipeline.

Each year approximately 10-13 new entrepreneurs are invited to join Pipeline as Fellows. After an extensive selection process, new Fellows participate in a unique and rigorous year-long business leadership development program that blends workshop modules, advice from national experts, and a deepening of the relationships among new and current Pipeline Members. This introductory program leverages a national network of business advisers at the forefront of their respective specialties who engage deeply with Pipeline, effectively extending the entrepreneurs’ business networks nationwide.

Less than 30 days left! Apply here by October 21 @ 12:01 AM CST

For more information or to apply, click here.

September 25, 2014

UNL 3-2-1 Quick Pitch

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The UNL Center for Entrepreneurship will be hosting the 3-2-1 Quick Pitch event this year on November 6th. Students from Nebraska high schools, 2-year colleges, and 4-year colleges are invited to Memorial Stadium to compete in the third annual competition. From the luxurious Club Level Suites, with their backs facing the football field, students will have the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial, communication, and presentation skills through a short “quick pitch” proposal for a new business venture, which they will deliver to a panel of entrepreneurially-minded experts across Nebraska.

There will be five prizes offered of $1,000 to winning students.

September 22, 2014

Spark Series: Prioritize Feedback with David Weisser Recap



Thanks to all who came out to the Spark Series with David Weisser last Wednesday!

David Weisser (pronounced “Wiser”, conveniently) works as the Director of Advisory Services for Omaha-based Quantum Workplace, the company that measures and celebrates America’s Best Places to Work. For nearly 15 years, David has helped executives analyze their organization’s cultures and make better decisions about how to direct it to benefit their bottom lines. In 2009, David founded SpringBOLT Consulting – an organization dedicated to bringing client feedback to small businesses and entrepreneurs via lightweight mobile technology. David is happily married and lives in Lincoln with his wife and three young children.

David spoke about how to protect your organization’s people and culture as your organization grows and how relevant feedback systems can help sustain your company’s entrepreneurial spirit.