Center for Entrepreneurship Appoints 43 Entrepreneurship Fellows | Nebraska today


The Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has named 43 professionals to the founding class of Entrepreneurship Fellows, a group of successful entrepreneurs who impact students at the university in a variety of ways throughout the academic year. Engagement opportunities include guest speaking, mentoring, matching students with internships, and serving as judges for the center’s annual competitions.

“The Entrepreneurship Fellows will help us build tomorrow’s business leaders,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean and finance professor. “The world needs more entrepreneurs – people who fuel economic growth and introduce innovations that improve the way we live. Our students will learn from these seasoned entrepreneurs how to keep building, growing and innovating.”

With more than 1,300 students enrolled in entrepreneurship courses at the College of Business, and many more attending events and workshops each year, the center helps develop the skills to start, operate and grow a business. Fellows will enhance the students’ experience by sharing their knowledge and networks.

“Students learn best from someone who has been in their shoes and found a path to success,” said Sam Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of management practice. “The grantees will help us expand our ability to provide world-class experiential education that provides students with hands-on experiences and networking opportunities. In addition, the scholarship recipients will help us build a larger entrepreneurship community at the university, which will help us educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

The grantees were identified and selected by the center’s faculty and advisory board. They bring experiences ranging from founders, innovators in established organizations, family entrepreneurs, franchisors and franchisees, and investors.

“For the first class, we wanted a very diverse group of entrepreneurs from different industries and company sizes,” said Nelson. “For example, we looked for young entrepreneurs, some who have recently sold their businesses and others who run large organisations. Additionally, we wanted some of our grantees to be service providers in the state’s startup ecosystem, such as B. Invest Nebraska, Startup LNK and proven ventures. Most importantly, we have selected individuals who provide positive interactions and learning opportunities for our students and who seek to make an impact on the future drivers of Nebraska’s economy.”

The Entrepreneurship Fellows, listed alphabetically, are:

  • Aakriti Agrawal, American Express
  • Brian Ardinger, Nelnet
  • Christopher Aumüller, FanWord
  • Rick Bettger, Omaha Car Care
  • Erik Bird, Eat Fit Go
  • Markus Bus, DUDE from indy, GMBH
  • Rick Cantril, Tebra
  • Carey Gille, franchise FastLane
  • Breck Collingsworth, Resort Lifestyle Communities
  • Charlie Colón, Chic-fil-A franchisee
  • Josh DeMers, preparing insurance
  • Bart Dillashaw, Enterprise Legal Studio
  • Sid Dinsdale, Pinnacle Bancorp
  • Mike Dunlap, Nelnet
  • Don Eckles, Scooter’s Coffee
  • Brenda Fleck, Fleck and Sons
  • Laura Frantz, House of Color Lincoln
  • Andrea Fredrickson, Revela
  • Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries
  • scott henderson, NMoption
  • Dan Hoffman, Invest Nebraska
  • john hogan, PLUS Services, GMBH
  • Paul Hogan, Home instead of Elderly Care
  • Jason Hornady, Hornady Manufacturing Company
  • Umeda Islamova, Rabata
  • Julian Ivey-Caldwell
  • Paska Juma, Google
  • Ashley Kloxin, Sweat Sauna Studio
  • Todd Koca, Crown Source
  • Sam Manzitto Jr., Manzitto construction
  • Brooke Mullen, Sapahn
  • Chuck Norris, Nelnet
  • Reed Nyffeler, Signal
  • Christina Oldfather, Rabble Mill
  • Graham Pansing Brooks, SEAChang, GMBH
  • Vern P. Powers, Industrial Manufacturing Hastings, Vestal W2OEcho Canyon Corporation
  • Brandon Rigoni, Gallup
  • Janna Ronert, Image Skincare and Hush and Hush
  • Grant Stahla, Stahla Services, GMBH
  • Jeff Vaske, Partner at Charter Hill
  • Erica Wassinger, Proven Ventures
  • Matthew Wegener, ISoften data systems, turbine housing
  • Lizz Whitacre, Pawlytics

Further information on individual scholarship holders click here. To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship, click here.


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