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SPN checks in with The Startup Collaborative

The Startup Collaborative, a program of Greater Omaha Chamber, is working to radically improve the odds of startup success. The Omaha-based acellerator is doing great things, building and launching the next wave of startups in the community, and SPN wants to help champion their successes and innovations.

Co-founders Erica Wassinger and Nathan Preheim have been sharing their acellerator fellows’ outcome stories on The Startup Collaborative’s microblog. We picked out a few highlights to share from the blog. Coming up, we’ll be taking a deeper look at a few of these stories with SPN original reporting, as well sharing guest content from Erica and Nathan.


Texty Tours

By Nathan Preheim
We get excited around here whenever we find out that an early business concept already has a paying customer AND a self-evident name. Texty Tours checks both boxes.

Responding to a proposal from a local neighborhood association, serial tinkerers and experienced entrepreneurs Luke Armstrong and Brian Harvey partnered up and built an innovative way to lead interested neighbors (or anyone wanting to learn more about a neighborhood) through an immersive and interactive tour, how?

With content delivered through text messages.

So many potential buyers for this service! Visitors bureaus. Neighborhood associations. Real estate agents. Texty Tours is starting in LEVEL 1 // Initiation where we’ll document their problem statement, identify all potential customer segments, and develop a list of buyers.


By Erica Wassinger
When a family encounters a crisis — for example, a parent in the hospital, car accident, etc. — finding critical information — like attorney contact information, prescriptions, people to contact, online passwords, etc. — is often difficult and cumbersome.

Families lack connection points during these crises, businesses suffer from massive productivity losses, and the victim/patient is isolated. The process of managing a family crisis is both mentally tiresome and a major kill to workplace productivity.

Julie Taylor and team have set out to solve just this! FamilySpokes will help connect families in times of crisis so decisions can be made quickly, care is delivered and minds are at peace — as much as possible.

This is a strong, experienced founding team and their early customer interviews are showing well. Here’s to more fellows in Discovery Phase!

MediModo and Fu & Co

By Erica Wassinger
Two of our newest fellows, who have recently completed LEVEL 2 / Lean Canvas and Lean Methods, are out to solve the challenges surrounding health/wellness data. One, Fu & Co., is solving for the “extra flare” challenge of fitness wearables.

Frank Fu, a recent graduate of Brownell Talbot, has a background in fashion, programming, graphic design… well, let’s just say more things than we did at 18! He sees an opportunity to streamline the fitness wearable experience and he’s running hard at pre-validation before he heads off to the Illinois Institute of Technology this fall.

The second, Medimodo recognizes that fitness trackers are collecting an overwhelming amount of data and information. That abundance of information is nearly crippling to consumers and is largely unseen and un-leveraged for healthcare professionals. The solution: get to the root cause of healthcare issues by better understanding the real-time healthcare data.

We’re excited to see the fitness/healthcare tech portion of our portfolio grow with these two fellows.

Pattern Plus

By Erica Wassinger
Founder Alex Adams is likely best known for his startup, Rodeo Analytics, a Straight Shot graduate. Nowadays, he’s focused on validating Pattern Plus, a spinoff of Rodeo Analytics that has shown quite a bit of early potential.

Oftentimes, competitors in horse shows are left wondering what the judges really thought of their ride. Upon completion of a ride, they’re given a score and not much more. Meanwhile, judges know there is value to that feedback. Alex has successfully put a monetary value to that feedback! Thus, Pattern Plus. The market has eagerly responded to Alex’s new product in DISCOVERY, but as customers validated their needs, so did Pattern Plus, Alex recognized a gap in his team: sales!

Typically, we advise against single founding teams. Starting up is a team sport, for role coverage and the endurance needed to make it through the journey. We had to get creative on how Alex would fill this role on his team. Thankfully, a previously arranged partnership with VentureTech (now Proteus) was ripe for expansion.

After the partners looked at the market opportunity, assessed each other’s unique addition to the team and set some serious growth goals — they struck a more formal equity-based relationship. Now, Proteus’s team will manage the sales process as it relates to acquiring judges to the platform while Alex can manage the development, customer support and product optimization. Everyone wins in this unique approach to role coverage.






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