The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has designated three innovation hubs (iHubs) to spark entrepreneurship and support technology-based small businesses in the state. Each iHub is a private nonprofit corporation, which has formed collaborative relationships with partnering entities to provide an innovation platform for startups, business groups, economic development organizations, and venture capital investors.

The Nebraska Innovation Hub Act (LB 450), enacted in 2022, authorized DED to designate iHubs. The Act seeks to:

  • Encourage partnerships in an industry focus area to facilitate economic development
  • Accelerate entrepreneurial activity coupled with venture investment
  • Increase employment opportunities with startups and technology-based small businesses

DED held an open cycle for Innovation Hub designation from November 1, 2022 through June 1, 2023. Following a review of applications, DED has designated three iHubs in Nebraska:

  1. Fermentation Collaborative
    801 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
    iHub Focus: The Fermentation Collaborative seeks to improve the workforce for biotechnology in Nebraska by addressing the need for employees with fermentation experience.
  1. Omaha Innovation Connection Hub
    5417 N 103rd Street, Omaha , NE 68134 (headquarters); 16th and Commercial, Omaha, NE 68110 (proposed site)
    iHub Focus: The Omaha Innovation Connection Hub assists in the identification, integration, and assessment of innovative concepts and emerging and enabling technologies and capabilities in support of local universities, colleges, entrepreneurs and the North Omaha community.
  1. Julian and Brittany Young iHub
    6825 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68106
    iHub Focus:  The mission of the Julian and Brittany Young iHub is to inspire economic well-being through entrepreneurial action, advocacy, and education.

Please note that this is an announcement of iHub designation onlyDED will issue separate iHub grant funding guidance, and an application process will be made available for nonprofit corporations designated as iHubs.