Inside/Outside Summit Pitch Competition

Jeffrey Eells (center) accepts a $25,000 check for winning the Startup Pitch Competition at the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit on Tuesday.

A Lincoln-based startup company that created an organizational tool for project management left the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts on Tuesday with a $25,000 award.

Layer took home top honors from the Startup Pitch Competition at the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit.

In all, 10 executives pitched their businesses, including Jeffrey Eells, the director of business development for Layer, who won the LNK Launch Grant that is funded by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.

Eells pitched Layer's management app, which makes it easier for building and construction professionals to manage and share project data, photos, notes and tasks.

He said the company will use the grant to develop its product by hiring more skilled people to grow the business. 

Each team had five minutes to pitch its startup and had three minutes to answer questions from the judges.

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Since being founded in April, Layer come out with an app on desktop, iOS and Android.

"The scalability of Layer is exciting," Eells said. "We're able to constantly develop and improve it since it isn't a tangible item. We're always looking for ways to improve."

Eells said he was encouraged by Brian Ardinger, the founder of Inside/Outside and a Lincoln native, to enter the startup showcase. 

According to Ardinger, 59 companies made it to the startup showcase and 10 were picked to give presentations.

This was the third year of the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit, which culminated Tuesday after three days. Ardinger said this year's event was the largest, with more than 400 people.

"This summit is a great way to build a network with other innovators from around the world," Ardinger said. "The event allows us to show off the innovation that is happening in Lincoln and show that it can happen anywhere."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7241 or sbernt@journalstar.com

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