Silicon Prairie News

Diverse events come from first Omaha Startup Community Event Draft

Omaha February 14, 2014 by Jordan Pascale

The first Startup Community Event Draft brought about 50 Omahans together at Aroma's on Thursday.

Fifty days of events in the next 106 days. 

Entrepreneurs will be in for quite the tidal wave of events from now through June after Thursday's first Startup Community Event Draft.

More than 50 Omahans attended the draft in which nearly every participant volunteered to put on an entrepreneurial-related event that will get up to $400 from the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

The events ranged widely from entrepreneur "speed dating" to an "ArtUp" weekend where artists will come together to collaborate on art pieces over the weekend.

Dusty Reynolds, the entrepreneurship director for the Chamber, said he was excited about the diversity of events.

"It went well and it drew some people in to the mix who hadn't been involved in past," he said.

Reynolds and three other organizers launched the Event Draft to not only to dole out the $20,000 worth of grants set aside to spur more events, but also to get Omaha's entrepreneurial community on the same page and grow its base.

Participants drew a ticket with a number when they came to the 402 Collective/Aroma's coffeeshop in Benson and were drawn randomly throughout the night. 

Everyone gave a short pitch on their idea before slapping a sticky note to the calendars on the wall. There were more than 25 new events.

Among the ideas:

  • A how-to on crowdfunding best practices by SMACK Monkeys founder Jennifer Windrum
  • A street music festival in Benson for student bands who learn to play instruments at the 402 Collective
  • ArtUp Weekend, a collaborative project for artists, put on by Shane Reiser
  • Celebrations for the launches and graduations of Omaha Code School and Interface Web School students
  • Speed "dating" for entrepreneurs as a different style of fast-paced meetups at Aroma's in Benson
  • A national civic hack day to promote open government databases put on by Open Nebraska
  • A workshop on bootstrapping your startup by monetizing your hobby by Hello Holiday's Megan Hunt
  • AIM Code Dojo workshops for high school students to learn programming langauages
  • A brainstorming and discussion on finding Omaha's identity and how to better market the city
  • A "designer bash" to get the design community to collaborate and critique others' work
  • An on-the-spot pitch competition where entrepreneurs would be given a set of words to create a pitch  
A full list of events and dates will be posted in the coming days on omahastartups.org and SPN's events page will update events. 
 
Credits: Photo by Jeff Slobotski.
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