HIBA is on a mission to boost innovation and economic development within the state of Nebraska and beyond our borders!

Strong Entrepreneurial Ecosystems 

Heartland Independent Business Association provides the mechanism to leverage Nebraska’s assets by engaging people and the communities they are a part of, using connections and relationships already established with state and local officials. To those, we present initiatives and proposals to introduce legislation that removes roadblocks for start-ups and partner with Universities and Community Colleges, Corporations, and specific industries positioned for growth.

We are on a mission to boost innovation and economic development within the state of Nebraska and beyond our borders! Our numerous partnerships offer valuable networking opportunities and drive regional economic growth. Outside membership, we also give you a voice in ongoing Nebraska policy status.

HIBA leadership is convinced that our state’s economic prosperity and well-being are, and will always be, directly tied to innovation and business growth.

The Next Five Years – What we can build upon

According to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (NDE), Nebraska ranks 21st in entrepreneurship and 29th in startup density. Conversely, the state ranks 15th in income per entrepreneur and 7th. in startup job growth.  With the higher potential for income and job growth, Nebraska has a prime opportunity to recruit young entrepreneurs to the state.  Nebraska has a low cost of living and access to good education. It offers diverse ways of living, from rural life to the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan area and everything in between.  However, we see many Nebraskans moving out of rural living to the metro areas and out of the state. To keep Nebraska economically sound, we need to focus on building economies across the state.

Within the next five years, our goal is to eliminate barriers and make Nebraska the easiest place in the country to start a business, transform industries, promote buying and working locally, set up incubators in geographic regions of the state to focus on development that drives the economy specific to each geographic area.

We are here to change Nebraska for the better:

  • We create connections and build relationships with lawmakers.
  • Remove roadblocks for start-ups.
  • We work with Universities, Community Colleges, and communities across the state to build opportunities.
  • We partner with local chambers, economic development agencies, government, education, and private organizations across the state.

We work with you to promote buying locally, to open doors and opportunities, and to ensure that Nebraska is the best place in the country to start and own a business.

Collaboration at Work

Nebraska has an active chamber community across the state. Our organization can work alongside the state and local chambers to unite all stakeholders and fill the gaps. These gaps refer only to the chambers of commerce where resources do not exist or are currently offered.

While we fill the gaps for Nebraska business as we partner with economic development agencies, government, education, and private organizations across the state to show our support, share resources, and manage the collaborative funding opportunities.

Entrepreneurship: What sets Nebraska apart?

    1. A State Dedicated to Startups – fresh ideas need committed people and entities behind them, pushing them forward – Nebraska has a well-funded investment ecosystem of angel networks, eager to size up the next concept to test and help bring it to market.
    2. An abundance of funding opportunities – Aside from Angels, funding grants, and investments from the government, corporations, associations, and even nonprofits play a role in helping a great idea get off the ground. Making these resources available, consolidating grant applications, and showing progress on the legislative policy will be at the forefront of HIBA.
    3. Grit and determination – Not everybody has it, but we do! Over the past five years, Nebraska innovators have shown the depth of intellect and capability at the university levels, corporations, and collaborative, robust partnerships where new ideas and startups are thriving and poised for growth.
    4. Historical winners raise the bar – Already booming with Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, Nebraska has historical winners such as:• Berkshire Hathaway
           • Union Pacific Railroad
           • Pacific Life Insurance
           • Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc
           • Mutual of Omaha
           • Green Plains, Inc
           • Valmont, to name a few.
    5. We are crushing AgTech! We have a soft spot for ag technology. Of course, ag tech companies in Nebraska are developing innovative tools to make life easier for farmers, not just in Nebraska. The University of Nebraska scientists and engineers developed the latest innovations in livestock, crop production technology, and ag sustainability. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln consistently ranks in the top tier of national research universities. Its ranking is among the nation’s top 100 academic institutions by revenue. The state’s research centers and universities are home to some of the most promising startups. Many of these companies will have a global impact, yet they will create jobs and boost the state’s economy at home.