Seed capital available to 12 early stage entrepreneurs

OMAHA, Neb, May 14, 2018 — Entrepreneurs focused on building high-growth, software-centric companies in the Midwest have one less barrier in their path to scale.

The Startup Collaborative (TSC), an on-demand startup accelerator and program of the Greater Omaha Chamber, in collaboration with ‘Murphy Vision Funds’, today announced it would begin making growth capital investments in early stage tech startups.

Initial funding – $300,000, provided by Chris and Betsy Murphy, in partnership with First Westroads Bank – will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Invest Nebraska, a private-public venture development organization that partners with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The funding, a total of $600,000, seeks to increase participation in TSC’s on-demand fellowship initiative.

“Our family is honored to celebrate innovation by supporting Nebraska’s startup entrepreneurs, and our team at First Westroads Bank is excited to assist these entrepreneurs on their journey to starting a successful business,” said Chris Murphy, chairman and CEO, First Westroads Bank.

“We hope our investment in the region will serve as a spark that encourages others to help elevate our community and advance the next wave of creators and trailblazers,” said Daniel Murphy, director of marketing, First Westroads Bank.

David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber, echoed Murphy’s remarks, “Innovation is at the core of our economy, our community and our businesses. We would like to thank the Murphy Family and Invest Nebraska for helping us enhance our culture of innovation – one where the pursuit of better, different, more efficient or just plain interesting is not only encouraged, it’s backed by significant funding.”

Brown explained available funds will be deployed in $25,000 and $50,000 increments to qualifying participants in TSC’s fellowship program who have pinpointed product-market fit, developed a prototype, have an in-house team and at least 25 paying customers.

“By partnering with the Murphy Family and The Startup Collaborative, we saw an incredible opportunity to accelerate our mission of assisting entrepreneurs, investing in the state’s startups, and developing the innovation infrastructure needed to grow Nebraska’s innovation ecosystem,” said Dan Hoffman, CEO, Invest Nebraska.

 “Finding product-market fit is hard enough – finding capital shouldn’t be. We are dedicated to solving every barrier to grow our Midwest startups face, including access to capital,” said Erica Wassinger, cofounder, The Startup Collaborative.

Wassinger added, “One of the many reasons startups fail is because they simply need capital to accelerate their growth. TSC buys down the risk of failure from other causes and will now be able to mitigate the lack of access to early-stage capital too.”

Interested entrepreneurs can earn their way to growth capital by joining the fellowship. Learn more about TSC here:

About First Westroads Bank
First Westroads Bank, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, is a locally-owned and managed, financially strong, community bank committed to exceeding customer expectations.

About Invest Nebraska
Invest Nebraska is a private-public venture development organization that partners with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to assist entrepreneurs, invest in the state’s startups, and develop the innovation infrastructure needed to grow Nebraska’s innovation ecosystem.

About The Startup Collaborative
The Startup Collaborative supports all stages of business development from evaluating initial product-market fit to working through the challenges of early scale. Founders within the program that show early traction have the opportunity to earn funding, staffing support, subsidized office space and access to one of the Midwest’s most connected venture networks.

About the Greater Omaha Chamber
The mission of the Greater Omaha Chamber is to champion a thriving business community and prosperous region through visionary leadership and collaboration.