Prairie Portraits is a weekly set of questions intended to help the community get to know someone from the Silicon Prairie startup scene a little bit better. Prairie Portraits feature a fixed set of questions ranging from career background and personal preferences to, perhaps, off-the-wall questions on YouTube videos and entrance music.
Nate Fryzek helped put on the second annual maker event, Make Lincoln, that was at Turbine Flats in July.
Name: Nate Fryzek
Title/Occupation: Business Development at Presage Analytics
Hometown: Burwell, Neb.
Current city: Lincoln, Neb.
Twitter: @nfryzek and @PresageAnalytic — Follow me, Silicon Prairie Friends! 🙂
Title of my autobiography: “Bits of Flint.” No, I’m kidding. I totally stole that from the Yearly English Department Story and Poetry Publication where I went to college (Midland Lutheran). I still like it, though, and I got a poem published once!
Thing I can’t live without: Exercise. And my family. My family is always, always, there and setting a noble example for me.
Drink of choice: I drink so many double lattes from the Mill, it is embarrassing. I didn’t even know what that was until they made me try it.
Last book I read: The first few chapters of The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. Before that, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, which I highly recommend.
Ultimate road trip snack: Beef Jerky. Beef jerky is so good. And sunflower seeds!
Entrance song if I was a wrestler: Wrestling entrance songs are hilarious, if you go back and listen to them. I kind of like Goldberg’s. If you listen to a little of it, it starts to sound like a video game boss-fight.
Celebrity doppelgänger: Wow. No clue. I recently went with the German Youth/Macklemore haircut, but I’m not handsome enough to be famous.
Guilty pleasure band and/or film: I can get stuck listening to indie folk, tracks with lots of piano, or anything acoustic. I went to an Owl City concert and had fun. I seem to never tire of The Postal Service or Death Cab. I’ve seen Fight Club a few times, admit to liking Boondock Saints, and like the Steve Jobs movie more than I probably should.
Chosen career in an alternate reality: Professional Wakeboarder or Professional Surfer. Do those careers exist?
Worst OCD tendency: Repeatedly reviewing what I write. I like words and sentences to fall together nicely.
Quote I might have said: “You don’t know, until you know.” and “Virality of Goodness.”
Which actor or actress, and why: Kevin Spacey is pretty fun to watch. I also standards like Leonardo Dicaprio, Russell Crowe and Ed Harris. They play interesting characters in interesting movies.
Favorite YouTube video: Tough question! I like the bit on Body Posture by Amy Cuddy. The interesting thing about the video isn’t the science for me. Surprisingly, it is the personal story she tells at 15:50 about why helping other people actually matters that makes it worth watching.
Best place in Lincoln no one knows about: Some people still don’t know about Bahnwich Cafe on 27th Street. It’s just down the road from us, the owner is as nice as can be, and the Bahn Mi’s are perfect for a light lunch.
Lincoln’s obligatory tourist stop: Wander the Haymarket. Hit up O Street if you are in the mood. Talk to a few startups. Be outdoors while you can! The up-and-coming tourist stop in Lincoln will be Ploughshare Brewing Company’s brewpub on 17th and P Street. Matt Stinchfield has built a place that will make you happy on eats as well as drinks, and you can find love in the details. It has a low counter for wheelchair access, and they pipe in your beer from a cooler with custom amounts of pressure, temperature and gas! We also have a speakeasy called The Other Room, which I didn’t just tell you about.
One thing Lincoln has that other Silicon Prairie cities don’t: The actual startup community people are fantastic here. They act as conduits and invest so much time into community activities. Some people in other communities have to hear the same names over and over and be like — “Who is Brian Ardinger?” “What is a Turbine Flats?” etc. Come visit us and find out. Email me ahead of time, though!
Best thing going for Lincoln’s startup community: Reciprocity. Help others here, and you will be helped. It makes helping people matter. The people, of course, are great, too. So many great people.
Last local restaurant I ate at: Maggie’s Vegetarian Cafe. They don’t have steak, but it is still excellent food.
Best meal I’ve had in Lincoln: I love steak, but I’d have to say anything from my friend Joe’s kitchen table. We have some of the best cooked meals there.
Lincoln would be better if… There was a great recreational lake with a nice sand beach nearby. Big enough to escape to both find some space for water sports and a spot to take the dog for a walk.
The Startup Scene
Social media pet peeve: The Facebook Newsfeed. If you saw a picture of my edamame and oatmeal breakfast, and not my post on Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett, I’m sad. Unless you are on a diet, and then yes, edamame and oatmeal is gross, but good for you.
App I’m obsessed with: Snapchat. But I could use more recommendations!
Silicon Prairie startup crush: Smartest, cutest: My Girlfriend Katie. Mentor-wise: Bart Dillashaw, Koley Jessen. Most interesting company: Pixobot is tracking cows with a quadcopter using infrared. I think. I also continue to be impressed by Shane Farritor and his team’s research doing robotic surgery in Space.
Most comfortable startup T-shirt I own: My NMotion 3/4 length sleeve tee. My green Big Omaha tee is also killer.
Something most people don’t know about me: I’m not nearly as serious as I sound in this 🙂
Entrepreneur I most want to grab a drink with: Elon Musk. The guy is fearless.
I do what I do because… Innovation helps people.
Before I was in startups… Business school, law school and startups. At one point, I was also a church janitor and worked at HyVee.
If money wasn’t an object, my next company would be… Spaceships, Hyperloops, some nonprofit, or something on a beach.
The Silicon Prairie startup scene is missing… Density across her cities. There is a Midwest camaraderie, but it is difficult to keep up with friends in KC, Omaha and Iowa.
In five years, I’ll… Be disappointed if Presage Analytics isn’t providing software to all of the local food and beverage processors in the Midwest, and key players nationwide and internationally.
In five years, the Silicon Prairie… Will be defined by the leaders who build innovative companies here.
Credit: Photo by Chris Dorwart