Meet the Director of Big Omaha
Apr. 5, 2017 / By: Brian Lee
Hey Big Omaha, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Brian Lee, and I’m the Managing Director of Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News. I’m excited and honored to have been passed the torch that Jeff, Dusty, Caleb and others have held. Our commitment is to deliver the same high quality experience you’ve grown to expect, while adding some new initiatives to continue to drive our mission of inspiring and connecting innovators in the Silicon Prairie.
Being from the Omaha area, I’m proud to be working with other community leaders to build a more thriving startup community in the midwest. I love the determination and optimism of the people here. Entrepreneurship has been my obsession since I was old enough to set up a lemonade stand. From a lawn mowing business in high school, to a T-shirt business in college, an online poster business, real estate investing, bulk candy vending, content marketing, and eventually into a tech startup, I’ve always had my hand in some sort of entrepreneurial activity.
When I graduated at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, innovation and creativity in the Midwest wasn’t something that was publicized like it is now. I thought I had to move away to be part of the innovation movement. Since then, I’ve lived in Austin, San Antonio Los Angeles, and Denver following my desire for creative pursuits. When I finally found myself as part of the team in a software startup at The Capital Factory in Austin, I had found my calling. I started to research to see if a startup community existed in my home town. The first site I landed on was Silicon Prairie News. It blew me away that a movement had started in the Midwest, and I knew I had to be a part of it.
In 2016, my wife and I moved back to Omaha and founded Relevant Content Marketing to help entrepreneurs automate their sales and marketing funnels. When I began to interact with the local startup community starting with Big Omaha, I knew I had found my people. When the opportunity presented itself to take an official role, I jumped at it. The six months since I was hired have gone by fast. My first mission was to set out on a “listening tour.” I met with as many people as I could from the startup community and asked how Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News could serve them better. I wasn’t able to reach everyone yet, but I intend to continue meeting founders, investors, community builders, educators, and services providers in the months and years to come.
On this listening tour, I learned that people come to Big Omaha to be inspired by the speakers and to make connections with like-minded individuals. We’ve been working hard to bring you the most inspiring speakers we can find, like Daniel Burka of GV, Shirley Chung of Top Chef, Mitch Lowe of Netflix, and more. To help facilitate connections, we are introducing a startup crawl to be held during Friday’s happy hour. At this event, we will showcase the best our region has to offer to potential investors, employees, and partners from all over the country.
I’m excited for the future of our community and I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. Feel free to reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, feedback, or simply to say hi.