Who We Are
Invest Nebraska is led by a team with over 25 combined years of experience growing early stage and lower middle market companies, including deploying over $125 million in capital and closing over 47 transactions. We are committed to growing Nebraska’s economy by assisting entrepreneurs and investing capital in those companies that have growth potential. Collaboration with strategic partners, state government, communities, and postsecondary education institutions is extremely important. After all, Nebraska’s 1.8 million population (37th largest in the country) is spread out over 77,354 square miles (16th largest in the country).
Invest Nebraska was created due to the passage of the Nebraska Venture Capital Forum Act, introduced in 2001 on behalf of then Governor Mike Johanns and passed by the Nebraska Legislature. Our founders were collaborators – representing Nebraska’s private sector, the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Leaders in their own right, they envisioned an organization that assisted Nebraska’s diverse entrepreneurs, collaborated with investors, and showed flexibility in growing the state’s economy.
Early partners that accelerated the development of Invest Nebraska included the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, and the Hormel Family Foundation.
In 2010, Invest Nebraska authored a comprehensive report for the Nebraska Legislature’s Innovation and Entrepreneurial Task Force, which reviewed existing state programs, conducted ecosystem surveys, analyzed policies of other states, and made recommendations to improve Nebraska’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Many of those recommendations were included in the Business Innovation Act, introduced in 2011 on behalf of Governor Dave Heineman and passed unanimously by the Legislature. The fall of 2012 saw Invest Nebraska make its first equity investment under the Business Innovation Act.