Big Omaha has connected over 4,000 founders, entrepreneurs, and investors through thought-provoking, inspirational, and engaging annual conferences.


Big Omaha Background

Silicon Prairie News (SPN) co-founders, Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson, started the Big Omaha conference in 2009. The inaugural event brought together 400-plus entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives to hear almost a dozen nationally-recognized speakers. The event began with straightforward goals—inspire attendees to follow their passions, build businesses they love, and strengthen their creative communities.

Big Omaha Co-Founders Dusty Davidson and Jeff Slobotski

Big Omaha organizers, Caleb Ulffers, Melanie Phelan, and Shayla Kelly

In 2015 Big Omaha was acquired by AIM, a not-for-profit community organization that promotes technology to empower people, enhance organizations, and create brilliant communities. Big Omaha veteran, Caleb Ulffers, leads the team which includes Shayla Kelly and Melanie Phelan.

I encourage entrepreneurs to look at the cost of the ticket as an investment. We signed our first term sheet and deposited checks at Big Omaha two years ago. We also met the folks that would eventually fund our second round there. Not a bad excuse to hang out with great people, right?

Paul Jarrett

CEO, Bulu Box

I always come away with four or five new ways to think about product strategy that help shape what we are doing at Hudl.

John Wirtz

Co-founder, Hudl

Keep in mind that I’ve attended a gazillion food & nutrition conferences, but I can honestly say that Big Omaha 2014 served the healthiest breakfast and snack options that I’ve seen at a conference.

Amber Pankonin

Founder, Stirlist

Big Omaha Culture

At Big Omaha, we strive to be a positive voice among today’s startups. For two days, we provide a corner for this community that is welcoming and inclusive.

Reporting Inappropriate Behavior

Big Omaha is meant to be a safe, inclusive space. That includes KANEKO, the parties at Berry & Rye and House of Loom, and all of our online realms. Please approach Caleb, Shayla, Melanie, or a trained volunteer (we’ll tell you how to spot them) if you’ve experienced anything less than that. In return, we promise:

  • To take all harassment reports seriously.
  • To respect your privacy.
  • To remove the source of harassment. This begins with a warning to the offender, followed by physically removing them from the area if harassment continues.

Code of Conduct

To promote this spirit of inclusivity, we ask that our staff, speakers, attendees, and volunteers follow a few basic principles at our conference – online, at KANEKO, and around the event. These include but are not limited to:

  • Be welcoming, friendly, and patient.
  • Be considerate. Your decisions will affect others. Whether listening to a keynote, eating lunch, or attending a party, your actions will have consequences. You should take those consequences into account when making decisions.
  • Be respectful. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into aggression towards another. Give yourself grace if you feel frustrated with another attendee or with yourself (because conferences can be long and tiresome in the midst of all that you are learning and all the people you are meeting).
  • Be mindful of vocabulary. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Be kind to others, and do not insult or put down another person. Thoughtfulness often means reevaluating what we consider permissible.

You can reach us in person and via the contact information listed below:

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