Prairie Portraits: Jessica Korinek

The Prairie Portraits series features founders, funders and community builders from Nebraska's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Jessica Korinek - Prairie Portrait

Meet Co-founder & CEO Jessica Korinek

Co-founder & CEO @ Nave Analytics

How would you describe the startup culture in Nebraska?

Burgeoning. I have only been involved in the startup community for a few years, but I have seen a change. Early in our journey with Nave Analytics we had to decide where we would build the company. Nebraska was an easy choice because of the resources we came across in the early stages, and that has only increased since.

How do you balance taking risks and making calculated decisions in pursuit of innovation?

Just as the question asks… with balance. If you are going to build an innovative startup company you have to be OK with a certain amount of risk. On the flip side, don’t be dumb. Be informed. Know when to ask for a second opinion and don’t be afraid to admit defeat.

How do you define success and what metrics do you pay the most attention to?

I think it’s important to measure success both from a business and a societal perspective. The business side of this is pretty straight forward — are you driving toward revenue? If you are a venture-backed company you have a responsibility to drive revenue. From the societal side, strive to do more good. Are you building something that will make a difference?

What are the top one or two challenges / opportunities Nebraska startups face?

One of the top challenges is exposure. First, exposure to entrepreneurship as a career option. Second, exposure of the awesome companies being built in the midwest to anywhere that isn’t the midwest.

An opportunity we have is the resources that are being made available for startups here. The state, companies, organizations and individuals are doing great work to make grants, funding and other resources available. While the startup community is growing rapidly, I’m still only competing for these resources against tens to hundreds of other companies vs. thousands.

What is one emerging industry or technology that you believe will have a significant impact on the Nebraska startup ecosystem in the next few years?

I may be biased but I’m going to say AgTech. Given the role that agriculture plays in our economy, the built-in test environments from east to west across the state, and the major corporate players right here in the state — this is a great place to build an AgTech company.

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