Big Omaha Recap

May 17, 2013

Spreading, Sharing the Big Omaha Energy

Volano at Big Omaha

We have returned! A handful of staffers from Volano Solutions are still bubbling from the energy, action, and enthusiasm of Big Omaha V. This year marked the conference’s fifth anniversary and, as in past years, the lineup of speakers was equal parts impressive, motivating, and thought-provoking. (Anyone remember Dave McClure?)

Volano Solutions was proud to return as a sponsor, offering up a variety of tasty snacks to attendees and speakers alike on Thursday and Friday.

An 8-bit Rod Smith

And, we’d be remiss for not mentioning the much celebrated five-year club. Big Omaha organizers were kind enough to recognize those 50-plus individuals who have attended all five conferences, of which our very own Rod Smith and Don Stavneak are a members!

The pixel pushers at Omaha’s own GoodTwin even created 8bit characters of those Big Omaha faithful. Talk about clever!

We asked Kelly and Rod to share their thoughts on Big Omaha 2013.

Kelly Grace, vice president of sales

Big Omaha branding examples

Most memorable? Catherine Rohr from Defy. The testimonials from the three former prisoners was powerful.

I was motivated by Marc Ecko and Noah Kagen. And I found Diana Kander to have pretty relevant points for testing ideas before seeking financing partners and starting a business venture.

Biggest takeaway: I found it really exciting that Omaha has continued to define itself as a hot spot for entrepreneurialism and technology. The conference was well-run, fun, and thought provoking. Dusty and Jeff have put together something pretty amazing.

Rod Smith, co-owner

Princess Lasertron / Megan Hunt had cake at Big Omaha

The networking was good. It seemed like more out-of-towners this year; and, they were regional folks – not necessarily people from the coasts.

It was reaffirming to hear that starting something new is very hard, takes time to build, and isn’t for everyone.

I wish each founder would spend at least half of their time talking about their organization and how they built it. Many of us don’t spend our reading time studying up on who’s doing what, so we don’t know the founders’ back-story.

I like how Peter Hudson described his relationship with his business partner. Don and I have the same kind of yin/yang, deeply trusting setup.

Contrast: I like Ben Milne’s authenticity, but I also enjoyed Mark Ecko’s bigger than life presentation.