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Antonio Neves wants you to ask yourself, “Who makes you better?”

Antonio Neves is the CEO of THINQACTION, which coaches entrepreneurs in tech, media and advertising. He leads workshops and webinars for companies, including MSN, MediaBistro and Booking.com. As a journalist, his work has appeared in Entrepreneur magazine, MSN Money, CNBC.com and more.

Every year since he was in sixth grade, Antonio Neves has received a nutcracker for Christmas from his mom—a reminder of the moment in his young life where he turned a corner. At Big Omaha today, he stepped away from his emcee duties to share why he has devoted so much of his time to supporting and coaching entrepreneurs.

Living through his parents’ divorce and 15 moves as a child, he hadn’t felt that support. Then his sixth-grade teacher picked him for the lead role in The Nutcracker production. She believed in him, and as he made his way through a career of ups and downs—from moving to New York City with $600 in his pocket and selling cheese to landing a role on a Nickelodeon show—he decided he would be committed to others.

Through THINQACTION and The Ignition Lab, he helps entrepreneurs accelerate their ideas and navigate challenges. Just as his teacher did, he asked the crowd to think about, “Who makes you better?”

“Think about the five people you spend the most time with,” he said. These “allies of glory” are the ones who will challenge you and your ideas. And on the other side, “What is the gift that you have to give?”


Big Omaha is a two-and-a-half-day event that aims to inspire, educate and celebrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the heart of the Midwest. Produced by Silicon Prairie News, it’s part of the Big Series, the nation’s most ambitious events on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Big Omaha Video Series is presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Based in Kansas City, Mo., the Kauffman Foundation is among the largest foundations in the U.S. with a mission to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, continuing the improvement of their communities.

Credits: Video by Quadrant5. Snippet photo by Malone & Company.

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