Startups, Entrepreneurs Eye What’s Next as 2018 Draws to a Close
2018 Demo Day & Hour of Code

The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development continues to work in our community to cultivate what has become a vibrant scene for startup businesses.

However, the road to business success often has many challenges. Whether it’s providing businesses with the resources to succeed or potential employees the education required to thrive, it’s vital to present opportunities to continue growth in our community.

That’s why the first week of December 2018 had two incredibly important events when it comes to workforce development in Lincoln. NMotion Demo Day, which took place on December 6 and the Hour of Code event on December 8, continue to be well-attended and far-reaching experiences that show how startups and workforce development continue to evolve in Lincoln. Both events represent how growth can occur, whether it’s in the business application and expansion part of a startup business or in the knowledge and potential education path for the Hour of Code.

NMotion is the product of a deep and ongoing collaboration between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and private investors. With over 100 startups calling Lincoln home and plenty of entrepreneurial talent in the pipeline, it’s imperative that programs and opportunities are in place to help businesses grow and reach their potential.

The Accelerator program culminates each year with Demo Day, where each of the participating companies gets a chance to show off what they’ve done over the past few months. Ultimately, NMotion invests $20,000 in each company and provides mentors, experts, hyper-targeted training and workspace. Six teams made up the field for 2018 Demo Day, including Jord Producers, Groove Watersports, Pawlytics, Yumaroo, Pincurl Girls and Squad Genius. From youth sports to agriculture and management software for animal shelters, this year’s teams showed just how diverse the interests of startups in the area continue to be and what they can offer to a variety of people.

The 2018 edition of Demo Day had a special announcement to go along with the festivities. Beginning in 2019, gener8tor will be combining forces with NMotion in order to grow startup businesses in Lincoln and the surrounding area.

“Partnerships and collaborations have always been one of the components of NMotion’s success in building community and helping founders. The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln have been committed to working together and building the startup ecosystem by sponsoring the NMotion Accelerator. We are all excited to move forward with our new partners at gener8tor to continue to level up entrepreneurship in Lincoln and the Midwest,” said Christina Oldfather, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and NMotion Board Member.

Ultimately, the program is designed to help startups gain early customer traction and retention and help them progress to seed investment and adding members to their workforces. After launching six years ago, NMotion continues in its efforts to provide a blueprint for startups to help them move to the next steps in development. gener8tor will operate three NMotion programs per year under a “free” model, with each program running for a total of seven weeks. The program will consist of five startups and require no fees and no equity from participating startups.

Last but certainly not least, the Hour of Code event is truly an event for all ages. Hosted by LPED, Lincoln Public Schools Computer Science, Nebraska Computer Science & Engineering, Nebraska Innovation Campus and Turbine Flats, the event took place at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center. It was another fantastic showing, as nearly 1,000 students and family members attended, with a morning of coding activities and interactive demonstrations making up the program for the three-hour event.

Lincoln’s Hour of Code event is a continuation of the worldwide event, which happened in various locations from December 3-9. In its fifth year here in Lincoln, our Hour of Code event also featured an Interactive Tech Fair that showcased over 20 interactive booths and helps connect mentors from local technology companies to help those interested get started in programming. This is a glimpse into the future of what America’s workforce will likely resemble.

An introduction to coding can mean the doors opening across many areas of computer science driven careers and potential courses in post-secondary education. With most of the startup world today revolving around technology, computers and the foundations they’re built upon, digital coding is increasingly important.

Technology continues to play a very vital role in our world, shaping economies and energizing workforces both young and old. We continue to embrace their positions in Lincoln’s workforce and hope both events and the new partnership between gener8tor and NMotion remain catalysts of growth for years to come.

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