Lincoln Looks to Northern Neighbors for Expansion
The ability to market Lincoln truly knows no boundaries, as the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) continues its exploration of Canada to market the city and its offerings.
After attending the Collision Conference previously in Las Vegas and New Orleans, LPED maintained a presence at this year’s conference, which expanded greatly in a new setting in Toronto. Now in its fifth year, Collision saw nearly 25,000 people pack the Enercare Centre May 20–23. One of the fastest growing tech conferences in North America saw speakers from Microsoft, Twitter, Shopify, and even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau address the large crowds.
Toronto has reinvented itself as a hub for startups and tech companies, much as Lincoln has had success in that same realm. Claiming the title of North America’s fastest growing market for tech workers, Toronto provides a model for which Lincoln is aspiring to in terms of investment, jobs, and talent recruitment. Startup attraction and retention continues to be a success story for LPED with the startup community in Lincoln more diverse than ever before. It’s vital to bring new possibilities to the table and what better place to do it than with 25,000 people that may not be the most familiar with Lincoln.
“The Collision Conference helps us get the word out about all of the great opportunities in Lincoln,” says Oldfather, LPED director of innovation and entrepreneurship. “Those opportunities include programs to help you start and grow a business, events around innovation and technology, and career opportunities.”
Meanwhile, LPED was also in Montreal in May to meet with companies across numerous industries and to sell them on the idea of building in Lincoln. The recruitment trip, which saw a visit to Toronto in 2018, will hopefully pay dividends according to Luke Peltz, LPED director of business development. “We have received very positive feedback from these visits and have hosted two companies on several occasions in Lincoln. A majority of the companies we met with didn’t know anything about Lincoln or Nebraska but when they looked at the map, the central location stood out and they stated this is why they wanted to know more.”
Oldfather mentions the importance of staying connected to companies all over the world as the global economy is more accessible than ever before. “Reaching an international audience is especially valuable to continuing to grow our entrepreneurial community in Lincoln, as we can potentially work with startups that are looking access the U.S. market and help them grow in Lincoln.”
Peltz agrees, noting the value of building relationships with companies that are looking to expand their operations to the United States. “The introductions we had while in Canada are the starting point of keeping Lincoln, Nebraska top of mind when it comes to doing business in the United States.”
By maintaining a productive and mutually beneficial relationship, both Lincoln and Canada stand to benefit from each other for years to come thanks to their continued collaboration.