Business Resources

Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising (CIEF) – University of Nebraska Omaha

The UNO Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising serves as a bridge between the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and the diverse entrepreneurial community in the Omaha, Nebraska area.


CIEF provides students with business fundamentals, opportunities through pitch and business plan competitions, and experience running a student-owned business.

Academically, the focus is on educating students who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial career that impacts the global business community.

The center also provides advisory services to startups and small business entities throughout the region.

As a center, CIEF provides scholarships, educational opportunities, experiential learning, and community collaborations to Omaha and our students. 

Entrepreneurial Living Learning Community

Students accepted into the ELLC are guaranteed housing in UNO’s Scott Village and receive a two-year scholarship. The ELLC is comprised of freshmen and sophomore cohorts that take Entrepreneurial Foundations and New Venture Formations with each of their cohort peers. These students receive mentoring from community members, travel across the country to meet entrepreneurs, and some even start a business during their time in the ELLC. 


RISE’s vision is to end mass incarceration and cycles of recidivism by using entrepreneurship as a tool to transform legacies and human potential. CIEF assists in training Entrepreneurs-in-Training and provides certificates of completion for RISE correctional facilities.

Maverick Young Entrepreneur Boot Camp

7th-9th graders discover whether they have the mindset of an entrepreneur while learning how to turn an idea or hobby into a moneymaking business in this week-long summer camp.

Maverick Venture Fund

Do you know any students that are also venture capitalists? Well, students of the Maverick Venture Fund are just that! Led by expert venture capitalist and entrepreneur Tom Chapman, students learn the basics of venture capital in this three-semester course. During the second and third semesters, the team listens to entrepreneurs from the university and community pitch their business, perform due diligence and deploy cash. 

Breakthrough Weekend

In collaboration with The Startup Collaborative, CIEF hosts a startup weekend for students and community members, alike. Participants learn and execute the first steps of starting a business in teams.

BigIdea! Pitch Contest

Students have 90 seconds to impress the judges and communicate their idea. This year, first and second place winners went on to place in a national pitch competition, while both are currently pursuing their startups!

Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference

During the Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference, hundreds of college students and young professionals meet in Omaha for two days of inspiring speakers, diverse panels and professional development opportunities.

Maverick Business Plan Competition

Students are invited to submit a simplified business plan that identifies an opportunity and presents a viable proposal to address it. Winning plans can be new or novel innovations or can also address better implementation of or finding new markets for an existing technology. CIEF awards $6,000 to students at this event.

Entrepreneurship Fellows Program

CIEF reaches across campus to identify partnerships with other colleges to provide value to students. We believe that learning entrepreneurship often most benefits students outside the College of Business.

Stedman’s Cafe

Open in 2016, Stedman’s Cafe is a student-run cafe that serves locally sourced, high-quality coffee, espresso, smoothies, pizza, snacks and more. Our values are respect, positivity, culture, excellence, and education. With these values at the forefront of our minds, we educate students on running a business, managing and participating in a team, and how culture affects a business. 

Photobooth Dudes

Student-founded and student-ran, this event-photography business allows two ELLC members to learn the ins and outs of event-photography, camera and printing equipment, and customer service. Your party will surely be a blast with these dudes!

Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization

CEO is a student-ran group that brings in local entrepreneurs for talks, holds networking events, participates in national competitions, and boosts the entrepreneurial community at UNO.

Services Provided

Business Planning

  • Forming a Business
  • Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

Management Issues

  • Professional / Leadership Development

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Venture Capital Equity Providers
  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training


  • Student Marketing Projects

Networking Organizations

  • Geographically Based
  • Small Business/General


  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Human Resources Training
  • Trade Education and Training
  • Business Management Training
  • Marketing Plan Development and Training
  • Startup Classes
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • Budget, Financial Statements and Cash Flow Training

Buying or Selling a Business

  • Buying or Selling a Franchise

Internship Programs and Student Services

  • Student Research Projects
  • Student Marketing Projects
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Education

Starting a Business

  • Forming a Business
  • Startup Business Counseling
  • Startup Classes
Contact Information
Center Information
6708 Pine Street
Mammel Hall, Suite 303
Omaha, NE 68182