Why We Chose The Graduate Hotel to Host Our Innovation Summit

Kitschy-Cool Hotel Continues Our Theme of “Innovation in Unexpected Places”

Photos: Courtesy of The Graduate Hotel

For any conference, especially one focused on showcasing innovation and entrepreneurship, the venue plays a crucial role in setting the stage for what conference guests can expect and how they should feel about the event.

To maximize the chance for creativity, collaboration, and unexpected collisions of ideas and people, hosting an event in a traditional, stuffy hotel won’t cut it.

New Technologies / Emerging Markets / Speed of Disruption / Exponential Change

Last year we hosted the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit in the amazing Pinnacle Bank Arena. We went big. We went bold. We hosted 600 people, 68 startups, 40+ speakers and scores of conversations and connections. The goal was to bring together corporate innovators and startups (the tucked and untucked / ties and t-shirts) for an immersive 2+ days of learning and collaboration around what it takes to innovate in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

We wanted to emphasize “Innovation in Unexpected Places” not only in the fact that we were hosting an innovation conference outside a traditional tech hub but with the venue itself.

This year we’re still bringing the “big and unexpected,” but decided to mix it up and double down on density and intimacy. To accomplish this, we chose The Graduate Hotel, recently named Fast Company’s №50 on the 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies list.

Looking Back to See the Future

What better way to think about the impact of new technologies and new business models than when surrounded in an environment that harkens back to the glory days of television, Johnny Carson, and console video games.

That’s the vibe at The Graduate here in Lincoln, Nebraska. The juxtaposition of new and old. The vintage paired with a new take. To better understand where we’re going we need to know where we’ve been. We want our conference guests to recognize the pace of technology and its impact. It’s easy to forget sometimes the speed at which technology is advancing until you go back in time a little. That’s the atmosphere we wanted for year two of the Summit.

So when our conference guests hear about the latest technology trends from speakers like SapientRazorfish’s Jeremy Lockhorn, or the latest trends on talent and workforce from Nicole Rufuku, Author of Hiring for the Innovation Economy, they’ll have the additional creative context to think and learn.

We Are All Students

In the Graduate’s lobby emblazoned on the wall is a sign that reads “We Are All Students.” This too embodies our approach to what we want the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit to reflect — a place for learning, experimentation, and community.

Conference guests will learn about corporate innovation from the likes of Jack Elkins of the Orlando Magic, TD Ameritrade’s Sunayna Tuteja, and Indiegogo’s Andrew Erlick.

Learn about the latest techniques in Lean Startup, customer discovery, product development, and business model generation from the pioneers of some of these innovative methodologies like Precoil’s David Bland, 500 Startup’s mentor Andi Platenberg, and Collective Campus founder Steve Glaveski.

Add to this a variety of experts and new insights from Silicon Valley Bank’s Natalie Fratto, Wendy Lea from Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse, or author Ryan Jacoby. They’ll be no way to leave the conference without learning from this fantastic lineup of speakers, conference guests, and startup leaders.

Unexpected Innovation and Nebraska Roots

More than all of this we wanted to emphasize our Nebraska roots as a place for unexpected innovation, collaborative connections, and a pioneer spirit designed to make a difference. The Graduate Hotel’s emphasis on these values made it a perfect spot for us to #InnovateTogether.

“The lobby is decked in vibrant greens and warm, rich wood — a nod to Nebraska’s vast parklands and grand landscape with forest green hand glazed tile, cozy emerald sofas, rustic herringbone floors and exposed brick walls. Playful moments include corn print curtains in our rooms and front desk drapery that pays homage to the state’s great late night son, Johnny Carson. Gather your group for vintage pinball and arcade games, or convene at a communal table — the perfect hub for conversation, camaraderie and a cup of joe.”
Photos: The Graduate Hotel

Join us in Nebraska to #InnovateTogether, May 29–31, at The Graduate Hotel in Lincoln. Tickets are on sale at https://theiosummit.com/tickets

For more information visit Inside/Outside Innovation Summit or click on over to https://theiosummit.com

To apply to be part of the Startup Showcase or for the $120k Investment Pitch or $25k LNK Launch Grant Competitions, apply at https://theiosummit.com/apply

Hosted by the Inside/Outside Innovation podcast team and led by Brian Ardinger, CEO of NXXT, the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit is a 2-day national conference that will bring together high-growth startups, corporate innovators and community leaders to collide and engage with new startups, new technologies, new business models and new talent. It will also feature hands-on learning sessions and an investment pitch competition.