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Reserve Pitch idea gains momentum

It started with an idea that turned the concept of a student career fair on its head. Not long after the Prosper Lincoln community agenda was announced, Rich Claussen, the Ambassador for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship focus area, went to work building an event that would gather students together to hear from local businesses about their tech internships and careers.

The third Reverse Pitch event is happening Tuesday, September 18 at 5 p.m. in the Nebraska Innovation Campus auditorium. The University of Nebraska’s Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering is now the lead planner and official host for the event.

Rather than hopping from booth to booth to talk briefly with recruiters, students will get to hear 13 hiring Lincoln companies give 5-minute presentations about who they are, what they do, how they do it and why young people love to work with them. After all the presentations, students can chat one-on-one with representatives from the companies they're interested in while enjoying some free pizza. Participating companies this year include: Hudl, Spreetail, Opendorse, Q2, Mutual of Omaha, Talent Plus, Firespring, Nelnet, Ameritas, Assurity, Pen-Link, Don't Panic Labs, and Sandhills Publishing.

 “At any given time, there are 200-300+ tech jobs open in the city. At the same time there is a lack of awareness for the opportunities young talents have to begin their careers – right here in Lincoln,” Claussen said. “Events like the Reverse Pitch are helping to fill internships and jobs. And the idea is catching on with other colleges and universities in the regional ecosystem. Students from a number of schools will attend these pitches and additional events are being planned for other career fields as well.”

To follow-up the Reverse Pitch a half dozen site visit events will be hosted by the companies that allow the students to take a deeper dive into the organizations and the internships/jobs they have available.

“Last Spring we took this on the road to Iowa State University," Claussen added. ”It was pretty cool to see our companies unified as one, selling opportunities in their city, our city to kids from another school. We know we can’t simply hope to keep all of the talent in our local colleges and universities. We must also attract talent from the region and the rest of the country. This is a start. We think this is the start of something that will make a difference – a big difference.”

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI