Geoff's Blog: Checking in with the Nebraska ecosystem

Every Wednesday Geoff publishes "The Pull", a digest of the top news for the Iowa innovation community that week. The following is the introduction to Issue #187.

One of my favorite things to do is to get out of Des Moines and visit other cities to see how their startup communities work, how they've implemented things like coworking and to build relationships with the people who make it all function. The only problem is that I rarely make the time to do it.

Last Thursday, however, I packed up the Honda and drove west across the Missouri River. I spent the first half of the day in Lincoln at Fuse Coworking and I was really impressed with their setup. It was also great to catch up with Fuse executive director Lana Zumbrunn, Beth McKeon and Keevin O'Rourke (the two Iowa Startup Accelerator alums now leading the NMotion accelerator) and Brian Ardinger, the former NMotion Executive Director who is now working on a corporate innovation venture called Econic. In the afternoon I stopped by The Startup Collaborative, a new-ish entity formed by merging together several existing organizations that had been supporting the startup community in Omaha. Chapman & Company founder Tom Chapman—the very first person with whom I ever discussed startup community building (way back in 2009—gave me the tour, an update on the latest news in their community and we geeked out of a bit on his project tracking the metrics of entrepreneurial ecosystems all across the country. It made for a long day but was well worth it.

Also, quick shout out of to my friends and former collaborators from the Silicon Prairie News days, Patti Vannoy and Brittany Mascio, who each made time in their schedules to meet up for coffee on late notice.