New perspectives. They are refreshing. They are inspiring. They are educational. Most of all they are necessary to grow.
Throughout the past five months I have been involved in a new experimental night class called Entrepreneurial Media. Every Monday night my traditional business views on entrepreneurship have been expanded into a journalistic and media realm of thinking. My professor, Dr. Carol Zuegner, saw an opportunity a couple of years ago after attending Big Omaha to incorporate a innovative and creative business planning class into the journalism curriculum. Being a business student, I jumped at the opportunity to take the class and surround myself with students who encompass the other piece of the puzzle to entrepreneurship. The students were mostly writers, reporters, designers and developers, and then there was me, one of three business students. The collaboration and thought provoking ideas in the class was outstanding I am very glad to have been a part of it.
Throughout the semester we listened to several speakers who are putting their ideas and plans into action and are achieving high success. My two favorite speakers were Jen Edney and Dusty Davidson.
- Jen Edney, Edney Adventure Photojournalism
- Jen Edney is a graduate of the Creighton University Department of Journalism, Media and Computing who perfectly exemplifies living on the edge. She took her passion of photography and sailing and has made an international business of it. Traveling all months of the year, she photographs sailing regatas all over the world and is one of the most respected professionals in the field. Jen has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, YACHT Magazine, CBS Sports and ABC Prime Time. Throughout her career she has shot in locations many people would label as paradise and spends a majority of her time in the water. One thing that sets her apart from other professional sailing photographers is her drive and hunger for adventure; she is known as a daredevil because of her willingness to shoot photos in the water while large vessels and sailboats move right in her direction. Along with her photography, she has created a new camera strap product made of military durability rope. Jen had a lot of great advice for us aspiring entrepreneurs and the thing that resonated with me the most was when she told us to never believe that you cannot turn your passion into a career. Follow her photos and expect big things out of Jen; she is just getting started.
- Dusty Davidson, Silicon Prairie News
- Dusty Davidson is a University of Nebraska-Omaha graduate who co-founded Silicon Prairie News. After graduation he he spent some time working in corporate software development and found that he was not fond of the standard 9-5. So, alongside fellow Omaha innovator, Jeff Slobotski, Dusty took control of his drive to start something that excited him and could keep him in his favorite city, Omaha. They saw an opportunity to highlight the flourishing entrepreneurial scene within the Midwest. He explained that for many years there was this belief that tech startups could only be successful on the coasts, especially in Silicon Valley. With the advancement of technology and the excitement for entrepreneurship, the trends were shifting and creatives and innovators were finding large success with putting their ideas into action in cities like Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. In 2008 the idea for SPN became a reality and now four years later they have solidified a large presence within the entrepreneurial community. SPN is a content based news site that covers all things entrepreneurship. Their entrepreneurship conference Big Omaha is now one of the most prestigious and sought after conferences to attend in the country. Big Omaha’s success led into creating Big Des Moines and Big Kansas City. These three conferences make up the Big Series and are well worth attending. Dusty is a mover and a shaker and just co-founded a web hosting startup called FlyWheel. To say he is a go getter is an understatement. His best advice for our class was, “Try to get a job or start a career where your soul is not sucked through your nose.” SPN is growing at a rapid pace and Dusty is one of the leading entrepreneurs in the country.
Credits: Photos from Jen and Dusty’s Twitter Account