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Big Omaha announces first round of conference speakers

2017 Big Omaha host Myron Pierce

The first round of 2018 Big Omaha speakers, sponsors and emcee were announced Friday morning. Over the last ten years, the entrepreneurship conference has welcomed over 4,000 4,000 participants from all over the country and dozens of speakers specializing in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The event will feature more than ten national and local speakers on August 16, each supporting the conference theme: the spirit of entrepreneurship. The first round of speakers announced includes:

  • Jonathan Badeen: Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Tinder, responsible for the development of the original iOS application and inventor of the famous #SwipeRight design.
  • Elizabeth Gore: President and Chairwoman of the Board for Alice, the first-ever artificial intelligence platform for business owners.
  • Micah Baldwin: Founder of Graphicly and all around awesome dude. Self-proclaimed “Old startup guy.” Grew up in the actual Silicon Valley. Ex-Amazon. Loves dogs, cats and donuts. Has built a few, sold a few and failed a few.
  • Amanda Slavin: CEO and Founder of CatalystCreativ, a creative marketing firm focused on  developing experiences to increase engagement internally and externally.
  • Dan Houghton: Co-founder of Buildertrend, the leading web-based and mobile technology solution for builders and remodelers.

More speakers will be announced later this summer.

Big Omaha will also welcome back Jeff Slobotski as 2018 conference emcee. Slobotski co-founded the original Big Omaha event along with fellow Omaha-based entrepreneur Dusty Davidson in 2009.

Buildertrend is the 2018 Big Omaha and Maha Music Festival presenting sponsor.

Earlier this year, Maha announced it would be combining the music festival and entrepreneurship conference into a three-day cultural event.

Omaha’s AIM Institute was the previous owner of  Big Omaha, leading the conference from 2015-2017 and helped arrange the conference’s merger with Maha.

Maha headliners include TV On The Radio and ZZ Ward on August 17, and Weezer, Father John Misty, and The Kills on August 18.

Maha Executive Director Lauren Martin said at the time that Omaha was in need of an event like that of SXSW in Austin, but which was also a reflection of what is happening in Omaha.

“If we can help bring together dynamic cultural aspects unique to our community into a collective experience—in this case, a summertime event—that’s something we’re very excited to move toward,” said Martin.

Early bird conference passes are available now online. The full conference and festival pass is currently $250 and includes access to Big Omaha events on August 16-17 and Maha Music Festival events on August 17-18.

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