Omaha’s Straight Shot Accelerator & First National Bank Of Omaha Holding Code One Hackathon

CodeOne, First National Bank of Omaha, Straight Shot, Hackathon, Startups, Nebraska Startup, Code CrushOmaha’s new accelerator, backed by Dundee Venture Capital, Straight Shot, is making waves in Silicon Prairie. The cohort based accelerator, led by Faith Larson, is taking a big city approach to their accelerator class. Larson and her team have provided an intense amount of mentoring activities, speakers and networking events to make sure their teams are more than ready come demo day.

They’ve also taken a firm position in Omaha’s rapidly growing tech community. Their latest effort is a hackathon happening next weekend called CodeOne.

When Straight Shot partner First National Bank of Omaha decided that they wanted to see some new ideas and technology for their online web platform they turned to the team at Straight Shot. Together they decided to host a hackathon and engage the tech community to help with the banks platform.

The hackathon starts next Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday. Food, drinks, and plenty of caffeine will be supplied to the registrants. The bank is transforming their WinterGarden employee cafe space into a collaborative workspace for all of the hackers

Hackathons like this have created a stir in startup communities in the past. Perhaps most notably was Nashville’s “Code Crush” event. Some hackers are leery of corporations backing a hackathon for the sole purpose of developing their companies technology.

To that end First National Bank of Omaha has been a great partner to the Omaha tech and entrepreneurial community. Not only that but they are giving away $13,000 in cash for the top three teams. First prize is $10,000 cash. Second prize is $2,000 cash and third prize is $1,000 cash.

Throughout the weekend event First National Bank of Omaha will also be looking for potential candidates for their internship program which could lead to employment with the bank down the road. They’ve also made it quite clear developers will be developing for the First National Bank platform. I also hear that the food will be great, we’re not talking just chips,soda and pizza.

It’s looking like CodeOne will be an amazing event for developers, designers, coders and hackers. You still have a few days left to register and if you’re confident your three person team can knock it out of the ball park there could be some money in it for you as well.

Here’s a link to registration.

While you’re at it don’t forget to register for Everywhere Else Cincinnati, the huge national startup conference is just two weeks away. Dundee Capital’s Mark Hasebroock is one of our 30 top notch startup speakers.



Fargo Fund Raised $45 Million Dollars To Support Even More In The Silicon Prairie

Arthur Ventures, Fargo startups, Omaha startup, Silicon Prairie

Last week, Fargo North Dakota firm Arthur Ventures announced the closing of their second fund.  Silicon Prairie news reports that the firm founded in 2008 began with a $20 million dollar fund which went “primarily to North Dakota and Minnesota”.

“With the second fund, we are making a concerted effort to add Omaha, KC, Des Moines and their surrounding regions as focus areas for investments,” said Patrick Meenan, a director with Arthur Ventures. In addition to supporting Omaha, KC and Des Moines, the company launched a satellite office in Minneapolis where about 40% of their deal flow is sourced.

The firm is looking to invest in fund startup with between $1m and $3m per round.“Our goal is to discover the best enterprise software applications and software in healthcare, agriculture, and the energy space,” Arthur Ventuers Managing Partner James Burgum told

“We believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to transform existing markets and to create new markets,” the firm’s co-founder and chairman Doug Burgum  said in a release. “Software is the greatest invention yet that extends human capabilities, and we are grateful to help build enduring companies whose solutions can have such a positive impact on the human condition.”

Some of the companies already in the Arthur Ventures portfolio include: Altravax, Intelligent InSites, LiquidCool Solutions, Loyalty Builders, Preventice and Workface, according to SPN.


Nebraska Startup: Arch Get Photo & Video Answers To Your Questions From Anyone

A Nebraska based startup called “Arch” has a different spin on the recommendation space. With Arch, you join the ArchCrowd network and then you are tasked with the duty of helping your fellow Arch network members with their requests for information, pictures and video.

Suppose you live in Kansas and you’re about to partake on your first trip to our nation’s capital in Washington DC. If you sign up for Arch you can ask questions, like “what is there to do in Washington DC”. From there Arch will find someone in the Arch network in Washington DC who can answer your question.

The Arch person answering your question can take photos or videos of things to do in DC and send them back to you. You’ll receive a push notification when a fellow Arch member has responded to your request. As more and more Arch members arrive in Washington DC to start their day or what have you, they will also get a notification to answer your question. Soon you’ve crowd sourced a bunch of things to do in Washington DC.

Archcrowd,Arch,nebraska startup,silicon prairie,pando dailyArch makes it easy to supply answers via photos, videos or even just text. If you’re looking for things to do, hotels to stay at, places to eat, places to walk or just a quiet corner to read a book on a trip, Arch lets you connect with real people who have decided they want to help people, by signing up for Arch.

The Arch platform at is still in private beta. In fact Co-founder Joe Smith attended Apple’s WWDC conference in San Francisco CA this week and was fielding Arch requests from the San Francisco area all week long.

The Arch team of four co-founders spoke last month at Cornstalks a monthly forum for individuals interested in high growth entrepreneurship.

The team includes: (from their website)

Tim Hermanson: (top left) Arch project manager – Tim received a B.S. in business administration/finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006. Tim has over 5 years of experience managing various projects at a large, local bank with a focus on compliance and operations.

Mike Ackerman: (top right) Webserver architecture and API specification for Arch – Mike graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He has since worked in Industrial Automation and Software Engineering focusing on .NET.

Joe Smith: (bottom left) Mobile client application design and implementation – Joe received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Joe has 6+ years experience as a software engineer designing and implementing both server-side and user-facing software projects using a variety of technologies and platforms.

Kari Petsche: (bottom right) Arch graphic design lead – Kari graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in graphic design in 2001. In the past ten years, Kari has won several design awards working with clients such as Tim Burton, Warner Brothers, NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, 20th Century Fox, Tavern On The Green & The Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Check out Arch at their website here
Follow them on the Angel List here
Big props to our homies at Silicon Prairie For this story and that pic we borrowed
Nibletz is THE voice of startups “Everywhere else” support the team here

Omaha: Food Fight App For Restaurant Ratings Wins Hack Omaha

Quick take every preconceived notion you have about a restaurant ratings app and throw it out the window. We’re not going to be talking about the next Urbanspoon or Open Table or even the next Venga. But to set the stage we need to talk about Hack Omaha first.

The Hack Omaha challenge was this past weekend in Omaha Nebraska. The event was a three-day event, similar to a startup weekend, which started on Friday and ended this past Sunday at 6:00pm. During this time the “hacker” teams needed to use some portion of publicly available government data and turn into something useful, or in Omaha Food Fight’s case, useful and fun.

While you’re probably thinking crime prevention heat maps, city park guides, community planning apps, and things like that, those were all represented but Omaha Food Fight took the cake (you see what we did there?).

The other teams were: An interactive crime heat map.

Omaha Bounty Hunter- “The Price Is Right” for stolen property values.

Play Safe Omaha- Map of safe places for kids to play.

Valuation and Comparison Interface: a property value comparison app.

HSW Project- relationships revolving around campaign finance.

Slum Lord Next Door- Search neighborhoods for major code violations

Is It Clean- is the place you’re going to eat at safe.

Voting Registration app- needs no description.

Omaha Food Fight- The winner.

(source: SPN)

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Omaha Couple Launches Fertility Awareness Startup: Ova Ova

The first thing we thought when we heard about Ova Ova is that the fertility space is extremely crowded. One quick look in both the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store revealed hundreds of apps for tracking fertility, and this couple still isn’t mobile, however they are putting a different spin on fertility tracking.

Omaha, Nebraska based Ova Ova was founded by 24-year-old Amanda Kohler and her husband Kevin. They set out to take fertility tracking sites out of the 80’s with their spreadsheets and line graphs and make the process a lot more aesthetically pleasing. The Kohler’s felt that other sites on the market now were not up to date with technology.

In an interview with SiliconPrairie Kohler said she had always wanted to start her own business but it wasn’t until an awkward encounter with a cattle rancher on an airplane that gave her the idea for Ova Ova. Kohler told Silicon Prairie that she was on a plane and asking the rancher if he used anything organic on his ranch. He said he didn’t. He then turned to her and asked if she used birth control. The rancher made the point that taking birth control and ingesting synthetic hormones daily was on a much more direct scale than eating commercially raised beef.

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