disRUPT Briefs: Fall Winter 2010

News Briefs

IT Futures Forum: Change Anything AIM Institute will host an IT Futures Forum Nov. 9, at 11:30 a.m. at the Embassy Suites LaVista. The keynote speaker will be Joseph Grenny, author of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. The institute says Grenny will discuss the central role of influence in the future of information technology, and why those who succeed will be those who have systematic ways of influencing human behavior. Grenny will speak at the 11:30 a.m. luncheon, which is open to anyone, and he’ll stick around for an Influencer Workshop at 2 p.m. that is only for AIM Institute members. See aiminstitute.org for details. BarCamp 2010 Announced The third annual BarCamp will be Saturday, Nov. 20, at Nomad Lounge in Omaha. BarCamp is a daylong event in which anyone can sign up to give a 25-minute presentation. Presentations are grouped into tracks around entrepreneurs, creatives and developers, but are open to anyone. BarCamps happen in many cities around the world, and the local version is organized by our partners at Silicon Prairie News and sponsored by Scott Technology Center and others. Check out this year’s version at barcampomaha.org. 3rd Highlight Midwest in Omaha Highlight Midwest is a one-day conference to give greater exposure to entrepreneurs, startup companies and communities in Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. The 3rd Highlight Midwest will be Thursday, Nov. 18, in Omaha. The daytime event at Slowdown will feature several 25-minute simultaneous presentations showcasing companies and their current activities and ideas. In the evening, everyone will adjourn to Creighton University’s Harper Center for cocktails and evening presentations. Previous events were held in Kansas City and Des Moines. See highlightmidwest.org for details. TEDx in Omaha The original TED Conference in Long Beach, California invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. The idea has spread worldwide, prompting local events featuring TEDTalks videos and live speakers, with a goal of sparking deep discussion and connection in a small group. The first TEDx Omaha was held Oct. 16, at the Durham Museum. Organized locally, it featured 14 guest speakers, ranging from musicians and dancers to religious leaders and business people. Tickets sold out weeks in advance, which might indicate TEDx Omaha could become an annual event. See TEDxOmaha.com for more information. TownCommons.com Aggregates Events TownCommons.com recently launched its Beta version, offering Omaha what founder and CEO Adrian Blake calls a “Google News for local events.” To take part, you sign up and indicate your interests; categories include Arts, Community & Government, Crafts, Culture, Health, Literary and many more. You receive customized emails listing upcoming events in your chosen categories. Blake was formerly the publisher of Progressive Farmer magazine and a vice president at DTN. He hopes to take the concept to other medium-sized cities if it’s successful here. UNO’s Interdisciplinary Informatics Program In September the University of Nebraska-Omaha announced creation of the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics. It will be part of the College of Information Science & Technology, focusing on finding solutions through the use of technology. In one project, students will test water quality on the Elkhorn River and designing solutions to better analyze and understand the data. This is believed to be the first Interdisciplinary Informatics program in the area. Battle Bots Reaches 4 Million Downloads The summer issue of disRUPT featured a profile of Omaha’s SkyVu Pictures and its hit game Battle Bears. SkyVu announced in September Battle Bears had been downloaded 4 million times for smart phone play. To celebrate, the company offered free downloads of its sequels, Battle Bears: Zombies and Battle Bears Go for the iPad for a limited time. Alas, that offer has expired, but you can afford a few dollars for such popular locally produced games, and the original Battle Bears is still free. See battlebears.com for details. RockDex.com Tracks Music Social Media Metrics Rockdex.com left its beta stage and launched its service to the world in September. The Omaha-based rockdex.com is a web application offering social media metrics to the music industry. It tracks thousands of websites, collecting data from blog posts, fan connections, tweets, song plays and other metrics. This allows clients to spot viral trends and track the progress of social networking efforts. Target customers include music labels, artist managers and musicians, and pricing is determined by the number of Facebook friends an artist has acquired. The product began as a side project of founder Jimmy Winter’s Music Arsenal band management application. DCI Global Opens in Nebraska Technology Park DCI Global is the newest tenant company of the University of Nebraska Technology Park in Lincoln. The company designs and implements video conference networks and the necessary equipment. Founded in Omaha by Bob Heist in 1995, it moved to Lincoln in September. The UNL Technology Park is home to 19 companies with more than 2,400 employees. See dciglobal.com and nutechpark.com for details. Proxibid Reports Record 3rd Quarter Proxibid calls itself the world’s largest “real auction marketplace.” It offers online auctions in a format similar to eBay, but buyers and sellers must be qualified by Proxibid before participating. The focus tends to be on business products, such as heavy equipment and vehicles, but you’ll find everything from fine art to livestock. The company recently announced record-breaking third quarter 2010 financial results. Year-over-year September results include a 69 percent increase in online sales, a 27 percent increase in the number of auctions and a 64 percent increase in the new bidders. Proxibid was among the first graduates of the Scott Technology Center’s incubator program. See proxibid.com for details. — Steve Brewer

posted at 06:16 pm
on Friday, November 05th, 2010

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