Morning Edition to feature Catalyst tours, panel will discuss startup funding


OMAHA, Nebraska (June 13, 2024)—UNeMed has two large events planned for Thursday, June 27, beginning with UNeMed’s next installment of Idea Pub: Morning Edition, and followed by a panel discussion aimed at entrepreneurs and startup founders.

Sign Up!Morning Edition will feature a sign-up for a rare opportunity to step behind construction barricades and get a sneak peek at what’s to come in the new UNMC Catalyst facility. Guided “hard hat” tours will be available for a limited number of guests, who will see firsthand the progress and promise of the $65-million Catalyst facility as it enters the final stages of construction.To reserve your spot in one of the tour groups, follow this link:

Set on the western edge of UNMC campus on Saddle Creek Road, the Catalyst building will be a mixed-used facility focused on bringing together the scientists and innovators at UNMC with the local entrepreneurial and startup communities. The primary goal is help establish new partnerships, opportunities and better healthcare solutions through what promises to be a facility that promotes and encourages collaboration.

Jay Lund

Morning Edition will begin on Thursday, June 27, at 9-11 a.m., beginning in the DRC II commons with featured speaker Jay Lund, Principal at GreenSlate Management. GreenSlate is a key member of development team overseeing the Catalyst project. The tours will follow Lund’s brief presentation about the overall vision of the Catalyst building.

The expert panel discussion, titled “Navigating Your First Investment Round,” will follow at noon-1 p.m. in the Wigton Heritage Center. The discussion is expected to focus on how to prepare for and pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists. The panel will feature four area experts from investment groups and local entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital funding.

A free boxed lunch will be provided the first 25 attendees.

The panelists will be local startup founders Evan Luxon and James Young, along with NMotion’s Scott Henderson and John Grange of MOVE Venture Capital and the Nebraska Startup Academy.

Luxon is CEO and co-founder of Centese, Inc., a medical startup built around an improved chest drainage system that could improve patient outcomes following surgeries. In November, Centese announced the successful close of a $15 million Series B funding round.

Young is a serial entrepreneur and a co-founder of University Medical Devices, a startup built on the UNMC innovation, MicroWash. MicroWash is a solution to the uncomfortable and sometimes painful nasal swabs that gained notoriety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henderson is Managing Principal at NMotion, a Nebraska-based accelerator that invests in high-growth startup companies,

Grange is a general partner at MOVE, a pre-seed and seed venture capital firm focused on investing in Nebraska technology startup companies.

The panel is co-sponsored by the Great Plains IDeA-CTR. Based at UNMC, the Great Plains IDeA-CTR—short for Institutional Development Award for Clinical and Translational Research—is a UNMC-based collaborative for nine major research organizations in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

UNeMed, the technology transfer and commercialization office for UNMC and UNO, sponsors the events, and created Morning Edition as a way to help University innovators and entrepreneurs connect and collaborate with colleagues and experts from the venture and startup community.

Morning Edition will also regularly feature “Office Hours,” with UNeMed staff and Charlie Cuddy, who co-founded the Nebraska Startup Academy and MOVE Venture Capital. Office Hours creates the opportunity for faculty, students and staff to have one-on-one time with MOVE or UNeMed professionals to discuss new technologies or startup potential.

MOVE is a pre-seed and seed venture capital firm focused on investing in Nebraska technology startup companies. The Nebraska Startup Academy is a mentoring program for startup founders, investors and the local entrepreneurial community with the aim of building Nebraska into “an innovation hub in the Midwest.”

Morning Edition will be held on the final Thursday of every month and will continue to feature guest speakers from the Omaha entrepreneurial ecosystem. The event will provide UNMC and UNO innovators an opportunity to build new partnerships and allies that can help develop their innovative ideas and discoveries into products that help people.

The event is free and open to all, and complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

The next Morning Edition will be Thursday, July 25, and will focus on customer discovery with a brief presentation from Brent Clark, PhD, a business professor at UNO and the Omaha site director for the National Science Foundation I-Corps Great Plains Region. He will be joined by Stephanie Kidd, PhD, who is the communications strategist at UNeTech Institute, lead instructor for the NSF I-Corps Great Plains Region, and Director of Opportunity Corps.

Future planned speakers include:

  • Scott Henderson, NMotion: When should you apply to the NMotion accelerator?
  • Stephen Hug, UNeTech: Adventures in faculty/entrepreneur matchmaking
  • Ben Kuspa, Nebraska Department of Economic Development: Securing state matching funds & prototyping grants
  • Ben Walker, Innosphere: How you can benefit from a life sciences incubator program
  • Ben Williamson, Invest Nebraska: What are VCs looking for?

Future dates are August 29, September 26, November 21 and December 19.

Morning Edition is part of UNeMed’s “Idea Pub,” a suite of entrepreneurial networking events that includes “Innovations & Libations” and “Startup Showcase.”

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