LINCOLN, Neb. (April 27, 2016)—After serving less than a month as the interim Chief Executive Officer, Dan Hoffman was permanently promoted to the position by Invest Nebraska Corporation’s board of directors on April 12.
Hoffman was Invest Nebraska’s Chief Operating Officer until March when then-CEO Mark Crawford resigned to take a position with Intel Capital in California.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have someone like Dan Hoffman take the reins of Invest Nebraska,” said Michael Dixon, Invest Nebraska’s chairman of the board. “His knowledge and skills are a natural fit as Invest Nebraska continues to grow and expand its suite of services to help develop high-growth, high-impact companies across Nebraska.”
Invest Nebraska is the state’s nonprofit venture development organization, using public and private funds to support and invest in Nebraska-based businesses. Created in 2002, Invest Nebraska has made an impact across the entire state, making 41 seed investments in businesses from Scottsbluff to Omaha.
“We’re agnostic when it comes to industries,” Hoffman said. “Our main objectives are to grow and diversify Nebraska’s economic engine by accelerating the development of new technology-based companies today. Invest Nebraska has made seed investments in a variety of early-stage businesses across the state in biotech, food/ag tech, manufacturing, and IT.”
Funded in part by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Invest Nebraska also plays a large role in developing the state’s entrepreneurial infrastructure needed to grow technology based companies. Last year, Invest Nebraska announced efforts to expand the state’s IT workforce through the TechHire Nebraska collaboration program in Kearney and Grand Island. TechHire is a nationwide initiative aimed at training and mentoring non-traditional candidates for entry-level positions in the IT industry.
Hoffman and Invest Nebraska also played a key role in building the entrepreneurial infrastructure for early-stage biotechnology companies. Funded by a $750,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration-U.S. Department of Commerce and $750,000 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Biotech Connector is a collaborative effort that includes Nebraska Innovation Campus, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Bio Nebraska. This 10,000 square foot wet-lab space located at Nebraska Innovation Campus will incubate biotech startups spun out of the university as well as early stage companies from the community.
Prior to joining Invest Nebraska in 2008, Hoffman served Governors Mike Johanns and Dave Heinemann as a senior policy adviser in the areas of economic development, labor and taxation.. Hoffman holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in economics, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a 2012 graduate of the Venture Capital Institute.
“Dan has been a consistent driver of Invest Nebraska’s growth and maturation over the past eight years,” said Dixon, who is also the president and CEO of UNeMed, the technology transfer office at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “He’s the heart and soul of the company, and there couldn’t be a better person for the job.”