No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. That essential element of imagination was on full display in Lincoln in late January as the startup community held another successful collision.
It was an amazing turnout for Lincoln’s recent Techstars Startup Weekend, with over 100 people participating in the 54-hour weekend from January 25-27 in the Capital City. The goal of the weekend was to pitch an idea for a business, form teams and get their business ready to launch within the three-day period.
People from Lincoln to Kansas City and even Boston participated, with nine teams in total pitching their ideas. The winning team of Chrisman Cutter took home top honors for their tree cutter that connects to an ATV or UTV to help farmers clear trees from their pastures without the backbreaking work.
Second place went to Nutrikid, a module that helps Montessori schools and parents of home school children educate their kids about nutrition and science. Third place was awarded to ReLang Me, a platform used to help people learn other languages that focus on the most frequently used words in that language. Winners received free coworking at FUSE, which remains an integral part of the startup scene here in Lincoln.
The efforts of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, the UNL Engler Entrepreneurship program, the UNL Center for Entrepreneurship, FUSE and Don’t Panic Labs were highly praised. As Lincoln hosted its first startup weekend since 2012, there was a lot of effort in making this year’s “return” to the Startup Weekend events a huge hit.
“The weekend was a great success. The mix of students, Lincolnites and others that came to the city to participate in Techstars Startup Weekend resulted in a lot of great ideas and collisions that will continue to have positive effects long after this weekend,” said Christina Oldfather, Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for LPED.
Taking ideas and turning into action is the theme of Startup Weekend, as those attending had no choice but to hit the ground running to make the most of their 54 hours. Whether its teaming up to fine tune initial ideas, meeting with coaches or spending time talking to potential customers, all three days were ultimately filled with spontaneity and big concepts.
The final pitches took place on Sunday night, with the judges intent on hearing the ideas and collaborations between the nine groups. The judges included Brian Ardinger, Director of Innovation at Nelnet; Michelle Fonck, Entrepreneurship Educator and owner of FOTObrations; and Matt Clare, Commercial Loan Officer with Union Bank and Trust.
Ultimately, Startup Weekend serves as a catalyst for another busy year of startup events in Lincoln as 2019 figures to be another year of growth in the community.
“It’s good timing if someone comes out with a really good idea. The next cohort of the NMotion Accelerator starts in April and applications are now open.”
To register for the NMotion Accelerator, click here.