Day 1 - June 19

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm   /   Registration at Hyatt Place Lincoln/Downtown Haymarket - 600 Q Street

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase Booth Setup (optional)

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm   /   VIP/Speaker Dinner  (VIP ticket holders only) 

8:00 pm - 12:00 am   /   Opening Party at Rule G Night Club and Roof Top at the RailYard - 350 Canopy Street/3rd Floor  

Open to the public.  Connect with the best and brightest innovators to kick off the Summit.

DAY 2 - June 20

8:00 am - 9:00 am   /   Registration & Networking 

9:00 am - 9:30 am   /   Brian Ardinger & Josh Berry - Econic and Matt Hunckler - Verge

9:30 am - 10:00 am   /   Michael Docherty - Author of Collective Disruption / NextBig

10:00 am - 10:30 am   /   Dr Simone Ahuja - Blood Orange  

Disrupt-It-Yourself: How Corporations Can Help Intrapreneurs Be Fast, Fluid and Frugal

Forty percent of the S & P 500 will not exist in 10 years.  Only 14% of new grads want to work for a large company.  Consumers are demanding higher value at a lower cost, and accessible technology allows lone entrepreneurs to compete with industry giants.  How will large organizations remain competitive?  By learning to become fast, fluid and frugal.  In this engaging talk, Dr. Ahuja shares inspiring stories and a practical primer outlining how large firms can drive disruptive innovation by behaving more like start ups, while leveraging the scale, distribution and talent they already have.

10:30 am - 11:00 am  /  Mickey Cloud - VaynerMedia

Capturing Consumer Attention in an Ever-Fragmented Media Landscape

You can order a pizza by talking to a speaker, a stranger can drive you to your destination in their own car, and you can rent your spare bedroom out to anyone in the world. The mobile device & technology are changing our behavior in ways we couldn't have anticipated 10-15 years ago. With this changing behavior comes changing media consumption, and the brands (small or large) that are winning right now are taking advantage of that shift while competitors continue to market with the status quo. Take advantage of the disruption happening in the marketing world to grow your business.

11:00 am - 11:30 am   /   Break

11:00 am - 1:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase Booth Setup (optional)

11:30 am - 12:00 pm   /   Chris Shipley - FutureWork 

Dancing with Elephants: What I Learned Trying To Navigate Startup-Saving Deals  

Every startup dreams of nailing that one great deal that validates (and finances) your nascent business. But be careful what you wish for. Elephants dance to a very different drummer.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm   /   Anna Mason - Revolution and Ryan J Smith - Magic Johnson Enterprises  

Changing the Venture Game

Anna Mason and Ryan Smith will share the stage for a joint presentation on Revolution & Rise of the Rest and Magic Johnson Enterprises respectively.

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm   /   Christina Bechhold - Samsung NEXT Ventures

When Does Corporate Venture Make Sense?

Selecting the right investor base is critical to the success of any company, even from the earliest stages. What are the benefits and challenges of working with a corporate or strategic investor, and what questions should you ask to evaluate fit? For corporates considering venture investment, what are best practices for successful sourcing, selection and impact to your business?

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   /   Lunch -  Match Making & Table Talks  /  Arena

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase/Demo Pit Open  /  Arena

50+ Startup Companies Announced Soon

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm          

Neil Soni - The Estee Lauder Companies - Startups Are From Venus, Big Companies Are From Mars / Main Stage

Drawing on his experience as a startup founder as well as building External Innovation functions at large organizations like The Estee Lauder Companies, Neil Soni shares where he's seen things go wrong between startups and big companies, how to fix it, and suggestions for both sides to form stronger relationships.

Ben Jackson - LinkedIn - How Entrepreneur's Should Use LinkedIn  /  Mezzanine Stage


2:30 pm - 3:00 pm          

Nicole Shephard - Travelport Labs  /  Main Stage


Doug Durham - Don't Panic Labs - Enabling Innovation Through Integrating Agile and Software Development Best Practices  /  Mezzanine Stage

There has been a lot of focus on agile practices as a means for increasing productivity of development teams, and rightly so. As companies consider software innovation initiatives, it will be critical that these methods are adopted within those efforts. However, agile methodologies by themselves will not create the sustained agility and throughput that companies should expect from their software innovation teams. At Don't Panic Labs, we have spent years working on new product development and have achieved success through recognizing that agile processes are a part of a larger product development culture that also includes the integration of software design and development best practices. In this talk I will discuss how we have integrated these best practices and discuss lessons learned and benefits.

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm          

Molly Lahr - American Family Ventures and Ted Stuckey - QBE Insurance Group - A Tale of Two Paths: Innovation and Corporate Venturing  /  Main Stage

Explore how two property & casualty insurance carriers have approached innovation and engaged with disrupters. American Family Insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 332 on the Fortune 500 list. QBE Insurance Group is one of the world's top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in all key insurance markets.

Jason Fraser - Pivotal - Extreme Collaboration - How Team Size, Structure, and Communication Habits Affect Your Ability to Deliver Innovation  /  Mezzanine Stage

Innovation is less about ideas and more about being able to deliver. Extreme Collaboration helps teams deliver products faster and with more coherence. You'll learn a few easy things that you can do to ensure stronger, more effective collaboration on your team, and help you drive your innovation efforts forward.

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm   /    Break

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm          

Sugath Warnakulasuriya - Thalamus Labs - A Field Guide to Corporate and Startup Innovation  /  Main Stage

There are more tools and techniques than ever to help entrepreneurs develop and bring new ideas to market, and to change large organizations so innovation becomes a day-to-day habit. For those just starting or already on this journey, the amount of options and alternative approaches can be complex, overwhelming. This talk will give an overview of what's available, when and how to use which framework or methodology, and provide a simple and clear game plan for setting up and using a portfolio of innovation tools to best meet your needs.

Tom Samph and Ajay Rajani - Nextt - Experimentation 101: The Secret Sauce of Early Stage Entrepreneurship  /  Mezzanine Stage

Experimentation is the key to validating new ideas and building successful businesses. And, as costs of production and distribution decrease across industries, it's becoming more valuable every single day. In this talk, Ajay Rajani and Tom Samph of Nextt share the specific strategies, tactics and tools that have helped us launch 30+ experiments, build multiple companies, and raise over $100 million in venture capital.  

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm        

Tristan Kromer - Kromatic - Corporate Startup Ecosystems & Innovation Obstacles  /  Main Stage

All ecosystems are different and blindly copying a model from Silicon Valley can lead to disaster. Every company must take it's strengths and weaknesses into account and design an innovation program to complement them. This talk will focus on how to map out your corporate ecosystem and identify obstacles to innovation that are putting the brakes on innovation.

Brian Gerrard – Product Marketing & Innovation at The Meet Group - How to Use Entrepreneurs in Corporations to Predict the Future  /  Mezzanine Stage

One thing is for certain, technology is transforming life and business as we know it at an exponential rate.  Companies that cannot solve problems, evolve culture and innovate their businesses fast enough will not survive.  Those who succeed will do so by hiring entrepreneurs, and encouraging an entrepreneurial culture within their walls.  As a former startup founder/CEO, Brian Gerrard was brought into a corporation as a part of an acquisition.  In this talk, he shares how what he helped re-shaped the acquiring company and drive them to their own acquisition less than a year after joining.  

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm        

Nirav Amin - Tide Spin - Innovate and Create Like a Startup  /  Main Stage

The world is changing everyday, faster than ever.  As technology continues to become more a part of our lives, our behavior as consumers also changes.  How we shop, hail a cab, or decide what activity to pursue is decided with the use of technology.  Startups have played a significant role in changing consumer behavior.  They’ve also played a part in disrupting market share for major competitors.  Taken for granted, many startups have been able to prove just how effective they can be at disrupting large corporations and their hold on any market.  In many cases, the startup can be acquired by the larger corporation and used to stay relevant in their specific market.  

There’s a new movement now though, in terms of innovation, and how corporations are using their existing base of consumers and knowledge to innovate and work to stay relevant in an ever changing market.  This session is designed to discuss how large corporations are pooling from startup strategies to innovate and create.  Using Nirav Amin's experience as the COO of Tide Spin, a new innovation of Proctor & Gamble, he'll touch on just how corporations can use startup methodologies to innovate and create the next wave of products and services that will keep them relevant to their consumer base while maintaining their purpose.  

Atul Kamra - SixThirty  /  Mezzanine Stage


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm   /   Wrap up / Innovators & Instigators Mixer - Sponsored by Ameritas  /  Ameritas Club Lounge

DAY 3 - june 21

8:00 am - 9:00 am   /   Registration & Networking

9:00 am - 9:30 am   /   Brian Ardinger & Josh Berry - Econic and Matt Hunckler - Verge  

9:30 am - 10:00 am   /   Janice Fraser - Bionic


10:00 am - 10:30 am   /   Doug Nielson - U.S. Bank

Building an Innovation Practice

  • Partnering with FinTechs to accelerate the pace of innovation.  
  • Embedding an innovative culture in your bank.  
  • How do you measure success?

10:30 am - 11:00 am   /   Paul Singh - Results Junkies


11:00 am - 11:30 am   /   Break

11:30 am - 12:00 pm   /   Patrick Jones - VOCATIO

Discover Hidden Talent: Moneyball Recruiting of Liberal Arts Majors 

An unconventional but statistically sound framework for discovering and engaging high-caliber high-fit talent for today’s workplace competitive advantage.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm   /   Jonathan Bertfield - Spinnaker


12:30 pm - 1:00 pm   /   Carie Davis - Coca-Cola / BridgeCommunity

Corporations and Startups, Better Together

Lessons learned, tactics related to startup + corp partnerships/pilots, and an overview of the BridgeCommunity


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   /   Lunch with Match Making & Table Talks  /  Arena

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase/Demo Pit Open  /  Arena

50+ Startup Companies Announced Soon


2:00 pm - 2:30 pm          

Patrick Riley - GAN  /  Main Stage


Josh Ness - StrategyHack  -  Advanced Networking - The Godfather Principle /  Mezzanine Stage

Meet CEOs and become the person they go to in a pinch. The concept of providing value permeates your reputation. Learn how to become the person who is known for having solutions. When people say "I know someone who can handle that," they'll be talking about you.

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm          

Bart Dillashaw - Dillashaw LLC  -  The Legal Side of Corporate + Startup Collaboration  /  Main Stage

Explore how corporate innovators are approaching, investing and partnering with startups to accelerate innovation.

Thiago Olson - Engage Ventures  /  Mezzanine Stage


3:00 pm - 3:30 pm          

Paul Jarrett - Bulu Box - Win. Win. Win. How Bulu Box Pivoted to Embrace Partnership  /  Main Stage

In this talk, Bulu Box co-founder and CEO Paul Jarrett shares how a new company philosophy enabled his team to eliminate distractions from the true Bulu Box mission, embrace dynamic partnerships and embark on a truly banner year for Bulu Box, including being named Silicon Prairie's Startup of the Year. 

Scott Henderson - Sandbox Communities - Connect the Awesomeness: Designing for Serendipity and Trust  /  Mezzanine Stage

AI and robots haven't taken over the world just yet. It's people who create the breakthroughs. More so, it's people with strong networks who create the biggest breakthroughs. Unfortunately, most people stay inside their bubbles. In this high energy session, you'll learn how to leverage human nature through a mix of events, media content, and collaborative space to help your company discover its next big breakthrough. Wait, there's more! You'll also discover secret tricks for engineering serendipity and connecting to adjacent possibilities. All for just thirty minutes of your life. 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you get a free campus tour from this former UNL Ambassador. 

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm   /   Break

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm   /   $100K Investment Pitch Competition - Sponsored by   /  Main Stage

Companies Announced Soon!  

5:30 pm - 5:45 pm   /   Wrap-up

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm   /   Closing Happy Hour at FUSE Coworking - Sponsored by CardFlight  -  151 N 8th Street, 5th Floor



  • Monday-Wednesday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm  :   Free coworking at FUSE Coworking sponsored by Ink 
    • Located in the Haymarket at 151 N. 8th St


*  This is a tentative agenda. All talks take place on the Main Stage unless otherwise noted.  

**  All sessions take place in Pinnacle Bank Arena unless otherwise noted.