It's officially Omaha Startup Week and we wanted to take some time to share our experience starting a new business in Omaha and offer some great resources for anyone else thinking about taking the plunge and launching their own startup in the city.
When starting a new business, challenges are aplenty and we’ve made many mistakes along the way. However, our mistakes have been valuable learning experiences and without the support of the local Omaha community, we wouldn’t have achieved nearly as much as we have — so a big shout out to all of our local supporters!
If you’re just starting up in Omaha, here’s a list of some of the valuable startup resources we’ve used to build Zinnia, and a few others that are driving the Omaha startup scene.
Straight Shot (Now: The Startup Collaborative)
Straight Shot was Omaha’s first technology accelerator and we were fortunate to participate in the program. We received amazing mentorship and networking opportunities and we can’t say enough about the inspiring entrepreneurs and companies we encountered through the program.
In addition to a $25K investment, the perks of participating in the Straight Shot accelerator program include mentorship, a dedicated intern, organized pitch events, as well as founder courses focused on helping you rapidly scale your business. Straight Shot applications are accepted on a rolling basis and recently merged with The Startup Collaborative and The Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Find out more here.
1 Million Cups
1 Million Cups is a weekly educational and networking program founded by Kauffman Labs that showcases two local startups every week. Each startup has the opportunity to present to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and other entrepreneurs in exchange for feedback and ideas on how to advance his or her business.
Silicon Prairie News
Silicon Prairie News is the ultimate source for startup, entrepreneur, and venture capital news across the Midwest. They’ve helped us spread Zinnia’s news from the very beginning, and they continue to be one of the top resources for the latest tech happenings.
The website is also a great way to find out about events and job openings across the region. Bookmark it!
Here are a few others to add to your list:
Omaha Startup Digest - Upcoming events in Omaha delivered weekly to your inbox.
Big Omaha - The brainchild of Silicon Prairie News co-founders Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson, Big Omaha is an annual conference that brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives to hear nationally-recognized speakers.
Interface Web School - It’s never too late to learn how to code. Interface Web School’s goal is twofold: build people’s knowledge and skills for the web and increase the supply of technology talent for startups, small businesses and corporations in the Midwest.
OmahaStartups.org - Run by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, this website is jam-packed with valuable resources for startups including: a map of Omaha startups and organizations, an events calendar, as well as an entire directory of resources.
Tech Omaha - Discover tech events happening in the Omaha area. Anything from user groups, conferences, or techy events are listed here.
Beer & Code Omaha - Once a month on the third Thursday, programmers in Omaha get together for a tasty beverage at an Omaha pub to work on some code. If you code, grab your laptop and come out.
Omaha Exchange Building - If you’re looking for the startup hub of Omaha — this is it. The Exchange Building at 1905 Harney Street is the home of the Omaha Startup Collaborative, The AIM Institute, Straight Shot, Interface Web School and more than 20 key players in the Omaha startup ecosystem.
The Mastercraft Building - The former north downtown Furniture Factory near 13th and Nicholas streets is now a creative habitat that nurtures some of Omaha's best new ideas ranging from design, architecture, information technology and photography. The Mastercraft keeps things moving with art shows, workshops, parties, luncheons, and more.
Do you have any other Omaha startup resources to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!