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Brian Ardinger honored with Step Up Award

Brian Ardinger honored with Step Up Award

  • Updated

Rich Claussen, Prosper Lincoln’s Ambassador for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, presented Brian Ardinger with the Prosper Lincoln Step Up award.

Brian Ardinger honored with Step Up Award

Pictured from left: Rich Claussen and Brian Ardinger

Ardinger is the director of innovation at Nelnet and founder of NXXT, the podcast, and the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit. For over 25 years, Ardinger has been helping entrepreneurs and enterprises navigate and compete in a world of change and disruption. He is currently involved in driving the Midwest's innovation ecosystem through initiatives such as the Rise of the Rest, Startup Week, Lean Startup Circle, PIPELINE Entrepreneurs, and the JumpStart Challenge.

As an early champion of Prosper Lincoln and active member of the Innovation/Entrepreneurship Oversight Committee, Ardinger volunteered his time to mentor and coach Future Builder Challenge participants. These Lincoln students were chosen to participate in the challenge after taking the BP10 assessment, which measures aptitude to become an entrepreneur, innovator and builder.  

Additionally, Ardinger provided Inside/Outside Innovation Summit engagement for high school entrepreneurs. The IO Summit is the premier conference for innovators and entrepreneurs. The 2019 Summit was held during Lincoln’s Startup Week in October and had 450 participants and 25 keynote speakers with backgrounds from companies including Nike, Airbnb, Facebook and Hudl. 59 startup companies were also showcased.

“Brian is respected around the country - perhaps around the globe as well - as wicked smart on innovation,” said Claussen. “And here he is right in our back yard, doing all he can to help us grow and become better. He personifies what makes Lincoln the white-hot epicenter of the Silicon Prairie.”

To learn how other individuals and companies have Stepped Up to Prosper Lincoln, visit

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