LPED’s New LaunchLNK Initiative Recruits Early-Stage Startups to Lincoln
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
In economic development circles, business recruitment and retention are often associated with large companies and hundreds of jobs. The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) is adding a focus on recruiting early-stage startups through its LaunchLNK initiative.
“We decided from an economic development perspective that it makes sense to look at recruiting startups for a variety of reasons,” said Christina Oldfather, LPED’s Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We can have a broader impact with smaller companies.”
One driver for the initiative is a recent study by Dr. Eric Thompson of the Bureau of Business Researchat the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. LPED commissioned the study to look at how Lincoln’s startup community stacks up against measures of ecosystem health developed by the Kaufmann Foundation.
“Lincoln does pretty well with startup density, but we ranked low in churn,” Oldfather said. “If we want to continue to grow, it makes a lot of sense to bring in startups from outside the community. When you bring new people into your community, you create opportunities for new ideas and collisions.”
Drive for the initiative also came from the LPED board chairman.
“Marc LeBaron really encouraged us to think outside the box and be more innovative in our economic development and startup community building strategies,” Oldfather said. “How do we take what we are doing to the next level?”
Oldfather has spent the last several months putting together LaunchLNK, which includes a $25,000 grant and support services for startups that move to – or stay in – Lincoln for at least one year.
“There are a lot of things that go into making a startup successful,” she said. “What can we add that will help them take off?”
In addition to the grant, assistance with tax consulting, legal issues and office furnishings are being offered by local partners.
Category: Economic Development