Lizz Whitacre makes her pitch for "Pawlytics," a management system to help animal shelters and rescues be more efficient, during a $120,000 investment pitch competition at the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit at the Graduate Hotel on Thursday.

The Inside/Outside Innovation Summit has marketed itself as a global innovation and startup conference, and the startup pitch contest Thursday — the culmination of the two-day conference — was a reflection of that.

Neither winner was from Nebraska. In fact, one wasn't even from the United States.

Alyss Analytics, a Wichita, Kansas-based company that uses artificial intelligence to aid companies in recruiting and hiring, took home the big prize: a $120,000 investment from sponsors Nelnet, Allo Communications, Assurity and Spreetail.

Alyss beat out nine other startups, including several from Lincoln.

SavR, an Australian company that created a personal finance app, was the only company from outside the U.S. that was chosen for the pitch contest.

It will go home with a nice consolation prize: a $25,000 grant from the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. The LNK Launch Grant is a new offering from LPED that is intended to help startups either move to or expand in Lincoln, said Christina Oldfather, director of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Oldfather said SavR will open a local office, "planting their U.S. base right here in Lincoln."

The summit, which is in its second year, drew more than 30 startups from across the U.S. and abroad, and had a number of high-profile speakers, including executives from the Orlando Magic, Indiegogo and TD Ameritrade.

The startup pitch contest was the final event of the conference, which was held this year at the Graduate Hotel at Ninth and P streets.

Local companies that were finalists for the pitch contest were Pawlytics and Scoutsheet, both based in Lincoln, and SmallData Tech, which is based in Waverly.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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