Entrepreneurship, social media, and technology: Big Omaha turns five

May 9, 2013

A two-day conference on entrepreneurship is underway in Omaha.

Credit Oxide Design

This is the fifth year of Big Omaha, which brings together current and aspiring small business owners, mentors, and speakers from around the U.S. Topics this year include use of social media, finance, technology, and building a brand.

Jeff Slobotski, co-founder of Omaha-based Silicon Prairie News, which hosts Big Omaha. He says the conference has put Omaha on the map as a spot for entrepreneurship. 

"It’s exciting because these speakers go back to their hubs and say hey, you’ve got to get to the Midwest, you’ve got to see what Omaha has. And the first couple of years I think it was still having to prove ourselves as a community, not just Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News, and I think over time now that people know something’s going on here in this city and in this region and they want to come check it out, so that’s exciting."

Slobotski says Omaha’s startup community is diverse, with businesses ranging from technology to fashion. Silicon Prairie News is itself a startup, highlighting entrepreneurship in Omaha, Kansas City, and Des Moines. More than 650 people are attending this year’s Big Omaha.

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce says of its more than 3,100 members, 81 percent are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.