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Startup Week Shines Light on Lincoln’s Ecosystem

When Lincoln Vital Signs was first released in 2014, Lincoln was doing many things very well. Emphasizing the positive, Entrepreneurship was chosen as one of Prosper Lincoln’s three focus areas.

Startup Week is a five-day celebration on Lincoln’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. October 22 through 25, this new type of conference builds momentum and opportunity around entrepreneurship, led by entrepreneurs and hosted in the entrepreneurial spaces throughout Lincoln. Partnering with Techstars, sponsored by Assurity and with dedicated coordination from Christina Oldfather of Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED), Lincoln Startup Week delivered inspiring programming, including some special entrepreneurial insights from noted national thought leader Paul Singh.

“Techstars Lincoln Startup Week 2018 was a great success,” said Christina Oldfather, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at LPED. “Paul Singh with Results Junkies joined us for several events, including a quick pitch competition, 1 Million Cups Lincoln, office hours, and a variety of events with University students.”

“It was a great week for education and inspiration for our community, including many new faces that recently found out about the startup community in Lincoln due to Startup Week,” she said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish-a mix of inspirational and tactical events that create collisions with a wide variety of people to tackle new problems and create new ideas and new innovations.”

The week offered up numerous opportunities to collaborate and make our ecosystem better. Dedicated events across the city covered a variety of interests including a pitch competition, marketing/design challenges, intellectual property, inspirational speakers, youth entrepreneurship, health/wellness, resourcing and many, many others. In fact, a total of nearly 50 opportunities to learn and grow were available to anyone interested in entrepreneurship.

“Now that Startup Week is complete, the real work begins.,” said Rich Claussen, Prosper Lincoln Ambassador for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “It should be fun. We need to continue to embrace a ‘no fear of failure’ mentality. To support one another. To continue to reinforce all the good things that are defining Lincoln as the white-hot epicenter of the Silicon Prairie. Let's get after it!”

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