The Omaha startup community needs to raise grownups

By SPN Team / October 7, 2013

Gosh, we love startups don’t we? It gives people from any city a warm, fuzzy feeling when they can say they have a good startup community. There is a push all across the Silicon Prairie to create policies and infuse money into fostering more startups. But, is this the correct way to go about it? Do we really need to produce more startups or should we actually be creating policies and giving money to scale startups that already exist? …

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Straight Shot startup to be featured in Omaha’s metroMAGAZINE

By SPN Team / October 1, 2013

Omaha-based startup BuyNow recently announced a publisher partnership with ALH Publications, Inc. and metroMAGAZINE, which are also based in Omaha.

BuyNow is a mobile commerce application that allows consumers to instantly purchase an item pictured in an advertisement by texting a keyword provided within the ad. Shaz Khan, founder and CEO of BuyNow, will be debuting the technology at Straight Shot’s inaugural Demo Day on Oct. 3…

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Why we fly home to mentor at Startup Weekend every year

By SPN Team / September 22, 2013

I’m a big believer that the best place to start your company is your home town. Often times, however, the best place to grow your company is somewhere else. That has been the case for us at Zapier.

In October 2011, we debuted at the inaugural Startup Weekend Columbia (Missouri). Eight months later, we earned an invitation to participate in Y Combinator …

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Cympel shares 5 conference lessons learned at TechCrunch Disrupt

By SPN Team / September 16, 2013

Last week the Omaha-based Cympel team—a digital advertising agency—hopped on a red-eye flight to San Francisco carrying a small banner and orange tablecloth and made its way to TechCrunch Disrupt.

The Disrupt conference is one of the startup world’s most notable launching pads for budding technologies. Its star-studded speaker lineup included the likes of SV Angel’s Ron Conway, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer, the Winklevoss twins and even Mark Zuckerberg himself. Hundreds of startups previewed, demoed and debuted their companies in Startup Alley and on stage …

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Silicon Florist founder shares “ideas about ideas” with Speak Easy crowd

By SPN Team / August 19, 2013

Rick Turoczy is the editor and founder of Silicon Florist, a 20-year veteran of the startup industry and co-founder of the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). I guess you could say we liken him to the Jeff Slobotski of Portland.

Last week Turoczy brought a fresh perspective on what makes entrepreneurs successful to the more than 50 individuals gathered at DJ’s Dugout in Omaha. The group came together for the second installation …

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Study: Omaha startups struggle to keep their Facebook fans engaged

By SPN Team / August 18, 2013

In 2012, I was working for a large company in Omaha, in an unproven and newly introduced role managing social media. While social wasn’t new to me, it was always a side of my desk operation, an addition to other duties, similar to how many startups are operating today. Things had changed—it became my only duty and the pressure was on. Every day I’d read the top tech news sites for any information that could help validate the responsibilities I had with stats and information, all while maintaining my own database to use …

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Entrepreneurs: You are not alone if you feel a little clumsy at first

By SPN Team / August 11, 2013

I fall down. A lot. But, in the process of founding two companies, I’ve learned a little secret: If you want to be the founder of a successful startup, there is nothing more important than resilience. You have to be able to take some tumbles and then, brush your shoulders off and get right back up again. When you learn to fall and fail with grace, the slip-ups that make starting your own company so challenging can actually be turned into successes.

To take a literal example, when I was in Kuwait City in 2010 securing some key contacts for the first company I founded Prepay Nation, I had the opportunity to prove just how resilient I could be. I was entering the office of the CTO of one of the largest mobile operators …

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