The tech side of Lincoln City— Nebraska

There are a dozen things i can write about life in Lincoln City, Nebraska after spending a week. I can write about the friendliness of the people, the food, the fact that Warren Buffet graduated from University of Nebraska, the Jazz in June festival, the artistic ‘hearts’ that have been erected in various places around the city or even the number of squirrels i have seen inside town. But the tech enthusiast in me tells me to write about the tech revolution that is taking place in this city.

“Nebraska by Heart” celebrating Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial, this could make a good story but I choose to write about technology.

With a population of slightly over 258,000 people, Lincoln City is a home to over 100 software startups some of which have made a name in the international tech space. Most of us associate technology in the US to the Silicon Valley but a closer look at the ecosystem leads to the emergence of what is called the ‘Silicon Prairie’ in the Midwest. Lincoln City is part of the Silicon Prairie spanning across Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

It did not take time for me to learn about Hudl, probably one of the fastest growing sports technology startup in America. From their spot at Fuse Coworking Space to the $25 million dollar headquarters they are building in Lincoln City, you surely cannot miss one of the successful stories to come out of this City, specifically the University of Nebraska — Lincoln.

Hudl provides video review and performance analysis tools for sports teams and athletes at every level. It is revolutionizing how coaches and team managers assess players and athletes. David Graff, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz founded Hudl while they were students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hudl is in a massive growth mode. It has grown from 3 people to over 400 employees in 14 countries.

One of Ink Labs Smart printing kiosk

Another interesting technology startup in Lincoln is Ink Labs which recently relocated to Lincoln from Silicon Valley. Ink provides smart printing solutions to college students by placing kiosks like the one above in Universities.

It is also important to also mention of a bus tracking app, StarTran Bus Tracker, which was developed in 2013 by Lightweight Coder led by Gordon Smith a former student of UNL. In real time, users are able to track the location of the buses using GPS and help them plan their time better.

Screenshot of a StarTran Bus Tracker

As I continue to learn about the tech startup ecosystem in Lincoln City, I clearly understand the important part the University of Nebraska — Lincoln is playing in all this. I also learn of a very critical role investors are playing in investing in the emerging startups. Investors like Nelnet who invested in Hudl, Invest Nebraska which led a consortium of investors in Ink Labs, Speedway Motors and Nebraska Angels.

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