Nebraska Innovation Ecosystem

Innovation

Nebraska Innovation Ecosystem

Nebraska fosters business innovation through various support systems. The innovation ecosystem provides mentoring, consulting, connections, and funding opportunities to help early-stage ventures thrive. Innovation support organizations nurturing homegrown talent by guiding young companies through the entrepreneurial process. This robust ecosystem cultivates the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation across Nebraska.

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The Nebraska Business Development Center’s Innovation and Technology program is a statewide, nonprofit program committed to advancement of science, technology, and innovative economic development.

Schedule a no-cost informational consulting session with an NBDC Innovation and Technology Consultant to learn more!

Innovation Support Organizations

Launching a successful venture requires more than just passion and ideas – it takes a robust support system. SourceLink Nebraska links entrepreneurs to the resources they need to transform innovative concepts into thriving businesses. Connect with Nebraska’s network of organizations prepared to nurture companies and set entrepreneurs up for success.

Startup Founder Assistance

Nebraska has a robust network of organizations that provide critical support to startup founders. While covering a range of industries, these organizations share a common goal of fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and promoting business growth in Nebraska. With this collaborative community behind them, startup founders in Nebraska can bring fresh ideas to market and contribute to the expansion of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Makerspaces

Makerspaces provide Nebraska entrepreneurs affordable access to advanced tools like 3D printers and laser cutters to prototype. These creative hubs empower innovators to turn ideas into products and start businesses across Nebraska. With classes, events, and a community of creators, makerspaces encourage entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the state.

Incubators & Accelerators

Early-stage startups can get a boost from incubators and accelerators that provide structured support to help them succeed. While incubators offer longer programs focused on nurturing ideas, teams, and prototypes, accelerators rapidly advance startups targeting major goals like funding and product-market fit. By supplying startups with mentoring, training, networking, and access to experts at the critical early phase, these programs increase the chances of success for founders turning innovative ideas into thriving businesses.

SBIR/STTR Grant Programs

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs provide critical funding for small business innovation, while federal agencies guided by congressional mandates offer opportunities targeting key priority areas and make competitive awards to small businesses developing technologies with strong commercial potential.

Grants 

Seeking grant funding can provide startups with capital infusion without creating debt or surrendering valuable equity. Grants are rare and can be difficult to attain. However, entrepreneurs who thoroughly research potential grant opportunities may discover funding sources aligned with their vision to help scale business operations.

Seed Investment, Venture Capital, & Angel Investors

Seeking capital to launch your startup? Search this section to connect with investor programs, venture capital firms, angel investors, and other sources of seed funding. Learn about different funding options to accelerate growth. Find resources to help secure the capital you need to realize your business ideas.

Loan Options

Traditional bank loans are one option, though startups often lack the operating history and collateral to qualify. However, there are alternative lending sources. Leveraging loans is one strategy entrepreneurs can use to access the capital they need to start their businesses. Loans allow startups to maintain full ownership while providing an infusion of capital to put toward business expenses.

Understanding SBIR/STTR Programs

Innovation Events