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Annual Report — 2013


Invest Nebraska Corporation 4701 Innovation Drive, Suite 307 Lincoln, NE 68521 402.742.7860 info@investnebraska.com facebook.com/InvestNebraska @investnebraska

Invest Nebraska is a statewide venture development organization that assists Nebraska’s entrepreneurs and innovators, and invests in high-growth companies. Organized as a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, this public-private partnership promotes entrepreneurship across Nebraska, and collaborates with local and regional economic development organizations.


Invest Nebraska Corporation

Contents Message from the CEO & Chairman

Invest Nebraska Timeline

CropMetrics: Beyond the Office

Vitru: Beyond the City

Phynd: Beyond the State

By the Numbers

Meet our Donors

Board of Directors

2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 1

2013 Annual Report


Invest Nebraska Corporation

Building a better Nebraska with collaborative partnerships Invest Nebraska was launched in 2002 with a collaboration of state, university, business and civic leaders. Their goal was to create an entity with statewide reach, long-term vision, and a business-centered approach for Nebraska’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. Today, Invest Nebraska’s core mission remains unchanged: Support entrepreneurs and their high-growth businesses. Invest Nebraska focuses on partnerships with the greatest potential for growth and attracting outside capital. With Invest Nebraska’s help, those entrepreneurial ventures can do the most to:

■ Generate significant revenue ■ Create new jobs ■ Stimulate the local economy

Paul Eurek Board Chairman

The companies we assist reflect Nebraska’s diverse industrial sectors — agriculture, medical devices, software, financial services and manufacturing. At the same time, Invest Nebraska desires to support the continued transformation and improvement of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Developing partnerships with local accelerators, community service providers and university technology transfer organizations are just as important as cultivating relationships with financial institutions, venture capital funds and angel organizations. But, at the end of the day, what matters is the success of Nebraska’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. This annual report reflects the committed efforts of Invest Nebraska since its initial development of entrepreneurial programs in 2008. The organization creates impact only because of the continued support we receive from all of our philanthropic partners, including the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority and the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. It’s the collaboration through public-private partnerships that will advance Nebraska’s entrepreneurial economy.

Mark D. Crawford CEO and Investment Manager

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Invest Nebraska has been assisting Nebraska’s entrepreneurs since 2002, and has developed with the evolution of the state’s entrepreneurial economy. A public-private partnership from the beginning, Invest Nebraska understands that growing the state’s economy requires a gradual and steady advancement of entrepreneurs and innovators.

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Invest Nebraska Corporation

Beyond the Office It seems that farming is embedded in Nick Emanuel’s DNA. But the fourth-generation Nebraska farmer from North Bend is doing more than leaning on his instinct or even the wisdom and lessons his forebears learned the hard way. There’s now a new way, the 21st century way, which provides more data than most know what to do with. Emanuel saw the value in that data, and Invest Nebraska gave him the kind of support his fledgling startup needed. In 2009 Emanuel co-founded CropMetrics under the principle that good data can do more than show farmers a precise location in a field. It could help them use limited resources to the greatest effect.

“All we were was an idea at that point. Invest Nebraska was really helpful during that process of structuring the deal and structuring the whole business agreement and operating agreement to bring on that new strategic partner.” Nick Emanuel CropMetrics CEO & Co-Founder

CropMetrics incorporates several layers of data that includes GPS, soil textures, soil types, and topography to show farmers exactly which parts of a field need more or less irrigation. CropMetrics’ variable irrigation data now arms farmers with the ability to customize and control flow so that different sections of crops get exactly the amount of water they need. Nothing more, nothing less. CropMetrics’ focus on helping farmers maximize water use has vaulted the company to unheard of growth—about

200 percent in 2012-2013 and expansion to about a dozen states. By the end of 2010, one of the world’s foremost agricultural companies called with an offer. Based in Valley, Neb., Valmont Industries wanted to incorporate Emanuel’s product into their center pivot irrigation systems. Invest Nebraska stepped in, guiding Emanuel through the process of taking on investors. “All we were was an idea at that point,” Emanuel said. “Invest Nebraska was really helpful during that

process of structuring the deal and structuring the whole business agreement and operating agreement to bring on that new strategic partner.” CropMetrics eventually bought Valmont out in early 2013 as a way to expand its product line to all center pivot brands. Again, Invest Nebraska ushered them through the process. “Invest Nebraska obviously brought very important expertise to that,” Emanuel said. “It was quite significant, especially for an early stage company.”

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Invest Nebraska Corporation

Beyond the City Norfolk native and resident Ryan Mead had an idea to build an online application that would provide virtual tools to evaluate and build better business teams. As with most entrepreneurs, he saw the need for a disruptive solution while working in corporations and co-founding Norfolk Area Recruiters. But he assumed the software development and mentoring would need to come from outside of Nebraska. Through its Operational Assistance Program, Invest Nebraska connected Mead with seasoned software developers in Lincoln and an Omaha mentor experienced in the online business of talent development. As the company grew and modified its path to commercialization, Invest Nebraska provided feedback and advice. Eventually the company signed its first clients in Norfolk, Omaha and Lincoln.

“Developing a high-growth business in Nebraska can prove challenging, especially when the founder comes from a rural community. The entrepreneurial and innovation programs through the state Department of Economic Development, along with the mentoring and support of Invest Nebraska, made the journey easier. A year-and-a-half later, bootstrapping the product development and business operations, we have paying customers.� Ryan Mead Vitru CEO & Founder

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Invest Nebraska Corporation

Beyond the state

“The program the state of Nebraska developed for entrepreneurs is simply amazing. Combine those programs with the opportunity to bootstrap a company in a low-cost community vastly increases the chances for our company’s success.” Tom White Phynd Technologies Inc. Founder

Tom White is a Dallas-based serial entrepreneur, and a co-founder of two previous companies that were later sold to publicly traded companies. When White decided to start his third company, it didn’t take long for him to understand the benefits of rural Nebraska. Having worked with Xpanxion at his prior company, Vocada Inc., White knew that IT talent existed in Kearney. A highly educated IT workforce, combined with a strong work ethic and a lower cost of doing business, translates into a longer capital runway for a startup. The new business and innovation programs through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development also contributed to his decision to locate Phynd Technologies Inc. in Kearney. Phynd is the healthcare industry’s first cloud-based Provider Profile Platform—a single source for comprehensive, validated health care provider information. With this platform, there is a constant cycle of provider data improvements. An initial $1.45 million from outof-state angel investors (who had invested in his prior companies) and a $500,000 seed investment from Invest Nebraska allowed Phynd Technologies to build its prototype and cloud-based program. In the fall of 2013, the company landed its first client, Yale New Haven Heath System in New Haven, Conn.

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Invest Nebraska Corporation

Sources of Funds — Investments

The Talent and Innovation Initiative is the State of Nebraska’s multi-faceted program to develop technology and human capital. Focused on small businesses and startups, this initiative is creating in Nebraska novel technologies, new companies and better job opportunities. The long-term impact of these programs will transform the growth of the state’s economy

State of Nebraska 77%

Federal Government 20%

Sources of Funds — Operations Foundations/Corporations 3%

State of Nebraska 80% Federal Government 11%

Foundations/Corporations 9%

Uses of Funds Operational Assistance 16%

Investments 71%

Sources & Uses January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2013. Dollar amounts in millions.

Sources of Funds — Investments State of Nebraska $2.85 Federal Government $0.75 Foundations/Corporations $0.10

77% 20% 3%

Sources of Funds — Operations State of Nebraska $1.19 Federal Government $0.17 Foundations/Corporations $0.14

80% 11% 9%

Uses of Funds Investments Operational Assistance Program Portfolio Advising Admin/Finance/IT Angel Network Development

71% 16% 7% 4% 2%

$3.70 $0.85 $0.34 $0.23 $0.08

Portfolio Advising 7% Admin/Finance/IT 4% Angel Network Development 2%

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Invest Nebraska Corporation

Invest Nebraska Portfolio — Total Revenue $12,000,000 $10,000,000 $8,000,000 $6,000,000 $4,000,000 $2,000,000

2011

2012

2013 Through Dec. 31, 2013

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Invest Nebraska Corporation

Leadership Donors Invest Nebraska gratefully acknowledges the financial support it has received from its major philanthropic supporters. These leadership supporters recognize the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in growing Nebraska’s economy in both the rural and urban areas.

Donor Community AmFirst Bank Black Hills Energy

Nebraska Department of Economic Development The Business Innovation Act provides financial and technical assistance to help startups and businesses develop new technologies that lead to quality job opportunities across the state. The various programs under the act include competitive grants for prototype development and R&D, seed capital, and technical assistance for small businesses and high-growth startups.

Cline, Williams, Wright, Johnson & Oldfather Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka GIS Workshop Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Hormel Family Foundation Jim Krieger & the Krieger Family Foundation Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development McCook Community Hospital

Nebraska Investment Finance Authority NIFA provides Nebraskans a broad range of financial resources for homeownership, rental housing, agriculture, manufacturing, medical and community development endeavors. NIFA also provides technical assistance for activities to those areas, while preserving and growing the asset base used to provide these resources.

United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development USDA Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. They achieve their mission by helping rural individuals, communities and businesses obtain the financial and technical assistance needed to address their diverse and unique needs.

McCook National Bank Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nebraska Economic Developers’ Association Platte Valley Companies Scott Technology Center Southeast Nebraska Partners for Progress UNeMed Corporation Universty of Nebraska Technology Park Valley Bank & Trust Wolfe, Snowden, Hurd, Luers, & Ahl, LLP Wells Fargo Bank

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Board of Directors Paul Eurek Board Chairman, Invest Nebraska President and Founder, Xpanxion Dennis Wiederholt Board Treasurer, Invest Nebraska CFO and Principal of DLR Group Michael Dixon, Ph.D. Board Secretary, Invest Nebraska President and CEO of UNeMed Corp. Richard Baier President & CEO, Nebraska Bankers’ Association Dan Curran, ex-officio Director, Business Development Nebraska Department of Economic Development John Decker President & CEO, Smith Hayes Financial Services Ben Harris Co-founder & General Counsel Nebraska Heavy Industries II David Milligan Founder, Milligan IP Ken Moreano Executive Director, Scott Technology Center Sylvester Orsi Partner, Baird Holm, LLP Ron Sedlacek Partner, Husch Blackwell, LLP

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Invest Nebraska Corporation 4701 Innovation Drive, Suite 307 Lincoln, NE 68521 402.742.7860 info@investnebraska.com facebook.com/InvestNebraska @investnebraska

Invest Nebraska is a statewide venture development organization that assists Nebraska’s entrepreneurs and innovators, and invests in high-growth companies. Organized as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, this public-private partnership promotes entrepreneurship across Nebraska, and collaborates with local and regional economic development organizations.


Invest Nebraska Corporation 4701 Innovation Drive, Suite 307 Lincoln, NE 68521 402.742.7860 info@investnebraska.com facebook.com/InvestNebraska @investnebraska

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Invest Nebraska 2013 annual report  

Invest Nebraska 2013 annual report  

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