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“State of the Practice” feeds students more than free chicken strips

Prosper Lincoln is sponsoring a new series of "State of the Practice" events that give University of Nebraska-Lincoln Computer Science and Engineering students a chance to become better acquainted with the companies that presented at January’s Reverse Pitch event. The nine featured organizations are hosting similar, but smaller, events as groups of two or three at new locations throughout the spring 2017 semester.

​On March 16, more than two dozen students were bussed to a State of the Practice event at Firespring's office in south Lincoln. There they met with developers, coders and other technology professionals from Firespring and Nelnet to dive deeper into what their respective companies do, how they do it and the culture that makes it all possible. As they enjoyed some Raising Cane’s chicken strips, the students also learned of the many internships and full-time careers available at each organization.

​This was the second of four State of the Practice events. The first was hosted by Hudl and Don't Panic Labs earlier in March. The next event will be hosted March 30 by Assurity Life Insurance Company, Pen-Link and Sandhills Publishing at Assurity's office; the final gathering will be April 12, hosted by Spreetail and Virtual Incision at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

One of the key needs of the technology and start-up community is to attract talent to fill career openings. These valuable events are designed to create better connectivity to Lincoln's burgeoning tech community and young talent.

Andy Unterseher (Don’t Panic Labs) and Ryan Hotovy (Hudl) describe how they got started in their technology careers.


On a tour of Hudl’s offices in the Haymarket, representative Dana Nielsen announced they just hit the milestone of 500+ employees supporting their clients around the world.


Flexible office space at Don’t Panic Labs allows them to have a working laboratory for product development and testing as well as a brain break with a foosball match.


Andy Unterseher demonstrates the technology of a product they are developing at Don’t Panic Labs.


During a tour of their Lincoln facility, Firespring’s founder, Jay Wilkinson, shares details on the many different businesses and career paths under their corporate umbrella.

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