Corporate Innovation

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8 Qs for a Silicon Prairie Founder: Lizz Whitacre of Pawlytics

By SPN Newsroom / July 8, 2020

Lizz Whitacre is co-founder of Pawlytics, a cloud-based operations software provider for animal shelters and rescues working to develop electronic health records for pets and build the world’s largest pet database. SPN recently spotlighted the company and its socially driven mission to use data to save as many animals as possible. It’s a mission that…

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Beyond Slacktivism: Samaritan and the Rise of App-tivism

By Tom McCauley / June 25, 2020

“Walk with, not by.” So goes the motto for Samaritan, a mobile app that helps users fight homelessness via direct, case-managed giving. It’s a slogan that eschews slacktivism for what might awkwardly be called “app-tivism”—the use of consumer apps to generate meaningful social action. More than just sharing news of a cause or signaling one’s…

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Leading with Curiosity, Passion and Integrity: Valmont Industries President & CEO Stephen G. Kaniewski Weathers the Storm

By Tom McCauley / June 18, 2020

Leadership is defined in times of crisis. A leader earns their mark when they “gird and inspire people through difficult times,” wrote historian Nancy Koehn.  Valmont Industries President and CEO Stephen G. Kaniewski has learned this firsthand through the trial-by-fire method. The tireless researcher, people person and technology leader at the helm of the Nebraska-born…

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Developing Leadership When Things Are Not Good

By Tom McCauley / April 23, 2020

Originally posted on the AIM Institute blog No one knows how the coronavirus pandemic will evolve, how long the economy will stay underwater, or even what recovery looks like.  But the radical workplace upheaval and sudden ad hoc shift to remote technology over the past month suggest two truths:  We need more tech talent.   We…

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“At Home in a Crisis Trying to Work”: Cheered on by the Startup Collaborative, Founders Face Grim Future with Hope

By Tom McCauley / April 10, 2020

Erica Wassinger, Senior Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation for the Greater Omaha Chamber, exerts considerable energy and influence helping entrepreneurs weather the storms of starting up. Her work as cofounder of The Startup Collaborative often brings her as close to founders as public health guidelines currently allow.  For the past month, she’s been speaking with…

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Virtual Workforce Development Approach Encourages Youth to Dig Themselves, Discover Their Talents and Compete for Prize Money

By SPN Newsroom / April 4, 2020

When CEO of Symphony Workforce Todd Smith speaks about Discover Your Genius, a workforce development challenge for high school and college students, enthusiasm brightens his voice.  When he describes what DYG (“dig”) has done for underserved youth across Nebraska—particularly in rural areas where food deserts, poverty and lack of mental health services persist—it’s hard to…

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