Three questions and loads of photos from the Omaha Startup Job Crawl

After rolling through Des Moines on Tuesday, the Silicon Prairie News Startup Job Crawl hit Omaha on Wednesday. More than 80 crawlers and representatives from 17 Omaha and Lincoln companies were on hand at the Mastercraft Building in North Downtown Omaha for the city’s second rendition of the event.
We made an effort throughout the evening to visit with a variety of crawlers — a group comprised …

VoterTide founder Jimmy Winter (far right) speaks with crawlers Michael Draftz (from left), Caleb Ulffers and Cassandra Lottman.

After rolling through Des Moines on Tuesday, the Silicon Prairie News Startup Job Crawl hit Omaha on Wednesday. More than 80 crawlers and representatives from 17 Omaha and Lincoln companies were on hand at the Mastercraft Building in North Downtown Omaha for the city’s second rendition of the event.

We made an effort throughout the evening to visit with a variety of crawlers — a group comprised of students and recent graduates from about a dozen area schools — to get a sense of their thoughts before, during and after the event. Below is a sampling of students’ responses to the three questions we posed to several of the crawl attendees.

Following that are some photos from the event.

What brought you out to the Crawl?

“I’ve been looking around for somewhere to start up my career now that I’m graduated, and I’ve always been interested in startups more than big companies, because I hate seeing the senior manager who’s like, ‘This is the way it’s going to be because it’s always been that way.” – Steven Kunkle, University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate

“My expectation was to meet the people who were heading up these startup business projects. I mean, as a freshman you don’t really have the experience to get a job yet, but maybe some internship possibilities. But (the Crawl is about) just getting yourself out there, getting to know the people in the community who are starting these businesses.” – Daniel Milovich (left), Creighton freshman

What about the night surprised you most?

“There’s a couple startups that I didn’t know existed, and so I came to them with a fresh plate of not knowing anything they did. And then as they talked to me it kind of was more enlightening and, like, ‘Oh, that’s definitely a need that I never thought of.’ … So it was kind of cool to see there’s all these (startups) here in Omaha for markets that I didn’t really know existed.” – Alex Kirts (right), University of South Dakota graduate

“The biggest surprise for me was that a lot of them are willing to hire … students in college now to do the exact same job that they were doing. I thought it would be more grunt work, those kinds of positions, but the positions they’re offering are actually really interesting positions.” – Devon Nako (left), Creighton freshman

“I didn’t know that a lot of these companies were even in Omaha, but there’s a lot of interesting startups that are coming right out of town that I’ve never heard of. So it was interesting being able to talk to people and find out about their companies and their ambitions and learning what they want for their companies and seeing how theyre looking for students to contribute to that.” – Liz White, University of Nebraska Kearney graduate

What’s the feeling you take away from the event?

“I hate to be cliché, but hope. You don’t even think about this kind of stuff — that this is where (companies) start and that Omaha’s a good place to start something.” – Josh Erlandson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln law graduate

“I think there’s a lot more confidence, to know that you actually talk to people that are in the field, and they seemed interested in you as well.” – Michelle Hagen (right), UNO graduate

“I always leave from any kind of Silicon Prairie event with excitement. It just re-motivates me. It just re-inspires me, just lights the fire again, per se. … I just love being around all these entrepreneurs and just being in the environment.” – Terrance Jacobson, UNO senior

The second Startup Job Crawl in Omaha kicks off in The Mastercraft’s community room.

SPN’s Dusty Davidson and Jeff Slobotski provide an overview of Silicon Prairie News and the Omaha startup community.

Crawlers made three stops throughout the night, including one in the Silicon Prairie News office.

Beka Doolittle of ThePinkStore.com speaks with crawlers.

Sumeet Jain (left) of Big Wheel Brigade receives a résumé from Steven Kunkle while Daniel Milovich looks on.

Grain & Mortar hosted Crawl stop No. 2. 

Andy Steingas (left) visits with Eric Downs of Grain & Mortar.

Nate Watson (center) of Contemporary Analysis speaks with students in Grain & Mortar’s conference room.

Secret Penguin (above), What Cheer and Dundee Venture Captial hosted another stop on the Crawl.

Nick Engelbart (far right) of Dundee Venture Capital visits with Peter Frei (from far left), Chris Miller and Michael Vandevoort.

Daniela Alic (far right) of Semcat visits with a couple of crawl participants.


Credits: Photos by Danny Schreiber and Michael Stacy.

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