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About.me and Mailbox founders join Marc Ecko as Big Omaha speakers

Fresh off a sale of his startup to Dropbox, Gentry Underwood will join us at Big Omaha in May.

We tailor the Big Omaha experience differently each year but one thing remains the same: the accessibility to key individuals in the national startup community. The crowd we assemble extends beyond one’s immediate network, and as a member of Big Omaha, you’re tapped into this group of phenomenal, hard-working innovators who have become part of this developing community. 

From May 8-10, there’s an opportunity to spark up great friendships with everyone involved in the fifth year of our conference, and this is particularly true of our speakers. Today, we’re excited to formerly introduce the first six individuals who are a part of our Big Omaha 2013 family.

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Introducing our first speakers

When we all get together for the fabulous Big Omaha festivities, we’ll have more than a dozen speakers sharing our keynote stage May 9-10. Below are the first individuals to the Big Omaha 2013 speaking slate.

Tony Conrad, about.me 


Just four days after publicly launching his startup About.me in 2010, Tony Conrad and his co-founder sold it to AOL. But earlier this year, the two spun About.me out of AOL and are now working to make it the “web’s starting point for identity.” In addition to founding startups, his other is Sphere, Tony’s a part of True Ventures, leading investments in such companies as WordPress, Blue Bottle Coffee, MakerBot and Typekit. In May, he’ll bring his experience as both a startup founder and investor to Omaha.

Marc Eckō, Marc Eckō Enterprises


As an active Big Omaha participant, mentor and friend of our conferences Marc Eckō understands the vibe of Big Omaha. As a 2011 speaker and 2012 attendee, he not only has veteran experience but he has also found a way to integrate himself into the conference community and connect with our attendees. As a result of the network of phenomenal individuals surrounding our event, Marc has made investments in three Silicon Prairie startups since last August. This spring, we’re happy to welcome him back to the Midwest.

Gentry Underwood, Mailbox


Earlier this year, you may have found yourself on Gentry Underwood‘s 380,000-person waitlist for his inbox app, Mailbox. Or, perhaps you were in our audience for his Big Series conference appearance last year in Des Moines. When he joins us at Big Omaha, his story is a bit different. With his app’s expansive popularity and recent acquisition by Dropbox, he has more specifics to share. We’re excited for Gentry to be reunited with our conference series.

Megan Casey, Pack


Squidoo fans will know Megan Casey as the co-founder of the massive online publishing platform—it’s one of the top 40 most visited websites in the U.S.—with notable author Seth GodinNow after joining forces with Big Omaha’s creative art installation powerhouse What Cheer, Megan is taking the power of the lovable pooch and creating an online community for dog lovers called Pack.

Ben Milne, Dwolla


From Finovate to the Dublin Web Summit to SXSW, Ben Milne has graced stages far and wide to share the story, challenge and courage that goes into building Dwolla. At Silicon Prairie News, we’ve tracked the Des Moines startup from its beginnings in 2008 through its investment rounds and product development, and we are grateful to have had Ben as a friend and supporter of the Silicon Prairie. 

Antonio Neves, THINQACTION


The man with the mic returns. Antonio Neves will be our Big Omaha 2013 emcee, guiding us through our conference program with the energy, enthusiasm and effervescent shoulder shakes to keep the momentum going from one keynote speaker to the next. In the past year, Antonio has connected with our Omaha and Des Moines conference communities after full immersing himself into the experience. Ever since, he has become a mentor to many and friend to all.

More speakers to come

As we continue to build our speaker slate we consistently look for individuals to represent an inclusive group to create a quality, well-rounded Big Series speaker slate. In the coming weeks, we will reveal the rest of our speaker lineup.


Curious about Big Omaha 2013? Want to know more about our Big Series? Thinking about becoming a Big Omaha sponsor? Feel free to reach out to us at any time and we’d love to help! Contact us at info@siliconprairienews.com.

Credits:Credits: Photos by Anna Jones and Phillip Harder. Speaker photos courtesy of respective speakers.

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