Volano has had the good fortune to work with local venture capital investor, Dundee VC this year and their technology start-up incubator program Straightshot (www.straightshot.co). The relationship has been overwhelmingly positive, positioning Volano, who serves as a software mentor, in front of promising entrepreneurs and like-minded metro area businesses. Dundee VC has garnered the support of well over 100 dynamic businesses who offer specialized consultation to the seven technology-focused start-ups who are leveraging their help to eventually present a full-blown business concept in October and possibly seek additional capital to realize their ideas. Over 300 aspiring entrepreneurs applied for Straightshot and seven were selected. All of the participating companies have very simple, innovative ideas and one in particular struck me as having a particularly simple but extremely relevant solution to an on-line retail problem.
Check out Cosmic Cart. This North Carolina based duo are making the experience of on-line shopping easier for people like me who refuse to go into a brick and mortar stores, especially over the Holiday season and more profitable for retailers and publishers. Imagine if all of the existing retail accounts you had set up on-line were consolidated into one account. Now imagine that you could click on an advertisement in an on-line news publication and immediately purchase an item without having to be redirected away from the site you’re on (bad for the publisher) from your universal shopping cart. Publishers retain readers and advertisers can more easily monetize and track their return on advertising dollars spent.
If you have time and are interested in following the growing movement in Omaha to embrace small business growth and entrepreneurialism, especially in the technology world or are simply interested in the current thinking on how to improve our daily lives through technology, Straightshot offers weekly “Speak Easies” and networking events that allow these companies to hone their pitch and share ideas. I believe that Omaha is a special place these days. Between the Silicon Prairie News, the Mastercraft businesses, Big Omaha and programs like Straight Shot, we are witnessing an exciting and progressive movement into the business of technology and innovation that truly compliment Omaha as a bastion of fortune 500 companies and home to more traditional, established industries.