Chromosomes and Tesla Coils take center stage in Turbine presentation

Tim Duey | November 8, 2013 in Events,News | Comments (0)

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Last month, Turbine Flats proudly hosted two distinguished guests who discussed the notable parallels of chromosomes and the Tesla coil. The presentation was noteworthy – not just because Nikola Tesla is the hallmark of our locale – but also because the lead lecturer stressed interdisciplinary harmony to better advance science and business.

Ivan Kanev Stoyanov, Ph.D., a cytogenetic technologist for the Monroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, addressed a packed and steadily overflowing room of about 25 guests at the Turbine Flats on 2124 Y Street. Kanev and his colleague, Professor Akira Mizuno, who teaches ecological engineering with the Toyohashi University of Technology in Aichi, Japan, have been collaborating for more than six years regarding the structural and electro-chemical functionality of chromosomes.

Kanev encouraged scientists to work more with local businesses. “To share information is what most benefits science,” he said.

Additionally, he stressed the importance of interdisciplinary sciences — e.g., biology, physics, etc. — to work together to encourage more discoveries to benefit humanity.

Kanev presented a PowerPoint explaining some of their team’s key discoveries.

“Our group is the first to suggest chromosomes are hiding the secrets of life,” he said, “They produce electricity.”

According to their research, “Chromosomes are amazingly similar in construction and function to electrical transformers.”

Specifically, Kanev said in 1888 Tesla built a unique and universal core less electrical transformer — analogous to chromosomes – 30 years before Emil Heitz discovered super large chromosomes.

Extoling Tesla’s prescient knowledge, Kanev said, “He saw this, and invented this, 120 years ago; how he did this … I have no idea.”

“All plants, animals and humans are built with this copy,” Kanev said, referring to chromosomes.

According to Kanev, not only was Tesla ingenious for his research regarding electricity, but he knew X-rays were dangerous at the time they were first discovered. In comparison, Thomas Edison damaged his eyes with X-rays; however, Tesla took precautions to protect his eyes. During this era, Tesla was nominated for the Nobel Prize in physics, but was denied.

“What’s the difference between a genius and a madman?” Kanev asked. He said people were one-step away from being labeled a genius or a madman, and it all depended on where the public put them. He said it was past time to recognize Tesla for the endeavors he brought to science.

You can watch the full presentation on Youtube here.

Hope for Haiti Benefit helps kids

Tim Duey | September 27, 2013 in Events,Media,News | Comments (0)

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The Caribbean country of Haiti has been in dire straits ever since the Spanish brought small pox to the island of Hispaniola in the 15th century. Haiti is the poorest government in the Americas and its chronically unstable government and lack of employment and educational opportunities have contributed heavily to its state of continual underdevelopment.

A devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010 didn’t help matters either. Allea Grummert, a production coordinator at Reliant Studios, went to Haiti herself to survey the damage and to see how she could help.

“I really wanted to see Haiti for myself,” Grummert said. “It’s desolate. While driving through towns and countryside, I asked one of the women with me how the earthquake had affected the area, since it’s infrastructural state was so damaged, but she said the earthquake didn’t affect that area at all. That’s just what it always looked like.”

Grummert went to Haiti as part of a medical team that served over 1400 patients in five days in three Haitian cities and towns. She witnessed a bleak landscape without basic sanitation services, where people lived in shacks and had little or no opportunity for employment.

“It really makes you realize how truly rich we are to live in a place where there are services for trash pick-up, public education systems, and access to food nearly anywhere you go.” Grummert said.

After returning from her trip, Grummert still wanted to help, so she joined forces with a dozen volunteers in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the second annual Hope for Haiti Benefit. The benefit will be taking place at Turbine Flats on Sunday, September 29, 2013, from 1-3pm. It will include an array of activities: The silent auction will feature an eclectic array of items donated by generous Lincolnites and others in surrounding areas, plus authentic Haitian artwork and jewelry. There will also be food from Sasquatch Bakery, Destinations coffe shop, Open Harvest, the Great Harvest Bread Company, Leon’s Gourmet Grocer, and Wal-Mart, with home-brewed beer from Ben Welstead and Ryan Norris and wine from Meier’s Cork and Bottle.

All proceeds from the silent auction, as well as twenty-five percent of purchases made through artists and vendors at the event, will be used to buy uniforms for Haitian school children who attend the Great Commission Alliance school in Haiti. To attend the event, a five dollar donation will be taken at the door.

“In Haiti, many children will not attend school unless they have a school uniform,” Grummert said. “I’m sure it’s a matter of pride for them to be able to fit into a school setting without their exterior circumstances revealing their poverty.”

Last year, the Hope for Haiti Benefit raised $10,000 for school uniforms. Grummert is hoping that the benefit does at least as well this year since as the Great Commission Alliance School continues to grow, so will its need for funding. People who want to do more can always sponsor a child for as little as $25 a month.

Startup Weekend And First Friday come together at the flats.

Tim Duey | August 28, 2013 in Events,Media,News | Comments (0)


Entrepreneurs in and around Lincoln, Neb., are gearing up for a week of events that will showcase and celebrate the local startup environment. More than 40 businesses and entrepreneurship support services have joined together to organize 17 events that constitute Lincoln Startup Week from Sept. 5-13.

The week’s events are meant to provide a way for startups and entrepreneurs to come together to exchange ideas and contacts, said Nate Fryzek, executive director of FUSE Coworking, one of the partners of the event. “The community’s coming together to do it in a combined way,” he said.

Turbine Flats will help launch the week with a First Friday art show and events recognizing female entrepreneurs in Lincoln on Friday, Sept. 6 from 4:30-8:30 p.m.

Allea Grummert, a production coordinator at reliant Reliant Studios, will speak about the “Hope for Haiti” benefit, while Ella Wirtz and Courtney Rodgers from Boutique Window will speak about managing digital storefronts and Turbine Flats’ Play Creative will display art work by Nicole Gustafsson.  Special guests Jill Thayer Liliedahl and Amber Pankonin will present for Ladies who Launch, a networking group that helps connect female entrepreneurs in Lincoln.

“It was fortunate that Startup Weekend was scheduled so that our First Friday event can be a part of the Kick-Off.” Turbine Flats Co-Founder Matthew Wegener said. “We are featuring impactful women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our them for the event is “Ladies who lead,” and the program is filled with awesome guest speakers.”

Another highlight is Lincoln Startup Weekend, which will be from Sept. 6-8. The weekend comprises three days of workshops to empower those who want to know what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how to conceptualize, pitch and build successful startups.

A particularly helpful event for students and entrepreneurs alike is the introduction of entrepreneurship resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Sept. 10), such as The Center for Entrepreneurship, NUtech Ventures, Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, the UNL Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and HIVE.

The Tech Crawl on Thursday, Sept. 11, is also invaluable for students and budding entrepreneurs, Fryzek said, because the event allows them to tour business spaces and network with professionals in the startup community. Students may even be able to interview for jobs, he added.

The Lincoln Startup Week schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Sept. 5

12-5 p.m. NMotion Demo Day

5:30-7 p.m. Opening party sponsored by Assurity Life Insurance

Friday, Sept. 6

4:30-8:30 p.m. First Friday with Turbine Flats

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 6-8

Lincoln Startup Weekend

Monday, Sept. 9

noon-1 p.m. Talent and Innovation Initiative (Ti2) Program

2-5 p.m. Open House by Agilx and NCEE Labs

5:30-7 p.m. Startup Olympics

Tuesday, Sept. 10

11 a.m.-noon Entrepreneutship Resources at UNL such as The Center for Entrepreneurship, NUtech Ventures, Law Clinic, UNL CEO and HIVE

noon-1 p.m. Lean Lunch

5:30-7 p.m. Ladies Who Launch

Wednesday, Sept. 11

2-5 p.m. Office Hours hosted by FUSE Coworking

4-7 p.m. Tech Crawl in Haymarket and downtown Lincoln

Thursday, Sept. 12

8-9:30 a.m. Open Coffeewith the Startup Lincoln community

5:30-8 p.m. Made Presentation

Friday, Sept. 13

12:30-2:30 p.m. Pipeline Tailgate for Huskers v. UCLA football game

2-4 p.m. Nebraska Business Development Center Orientation

4-6 p.m. Welcome to the Jungle F.A.C.

Day of the Innovator Speeches

Tim Duey | August 14, 2013 in Events,Media,News | Comments (0)

Just in case you missed any of the Day of the Innovator festivities we’re going to post the speeches on the blog!  Follow the links and you’ll be transported to a whimsical land of innovation and happiness!  Day of the Innovator speeches part 1 Day of the Innovator part 2

Doe Eyed rocks design world with Gotye, Dave Matthews, Black Keys and others

Tim Duey | August 8, 2013 in Company Bio | Comments (0)

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By Jaclyn Tan

In March 2013, Doe Eyed design studio became the newest tenant at theTurbine Flats Project in Lincoln, Neb.

Eric Nyffeler, Doe Eyed founder and man behind the artwork, said he moved into the building because after two and a half years, his old office space in Lincoln’s Haymarket became unavailable.

More importantly, Nyffeler liked the prospect of joining a vibrant, local entrepreneurial community. “I always wanted to be in Turbine Flats because it’s a really intriguing and exciting community,” he said. “And it was always growing and expanding.”

In 2007 Nyffeler started his studio while holding a day job in advertising. He committed to his business full time in 2011 when he realized he attracted enough clients to be self-sustaining.

On his website, Nyffeler describes his designs aesthetic as a mix of “gritty geometrics with hand-drawn elements to create a sometimes whimsical, sometimes abject style.” He said he uses a combination of hand drawing, collages and computer software in creating his designs.

Specializing in screen-printed concert posters, Nyffeler has worked with various clients in the music industry, from local punk bands all the way to Grammy-winning bands such as Dave Matthews Band and Gotye. He said he loves his job because he loves music, and “I get to sit around and talk to musicians every day, all day long, as my job.”

However, Nyffeler said he also enjoys creating in other media and working with artistic designs for film, fashion and art galleries and other “fun, off-the-wall clients.” He has also done graphic design, illustration and branding for more commercial clients such as Target, Whole Foods, and even Australian and New Zealand Netball Leagues.

The summer months have been especially busy for Nyffeler. Besides doing graphic design work, he has been traveling around the country as a member of the American Poster Institute to help curate poster shows, conventions and art festivals such as the Pitchfork Music Festival.

So far, Nyffeler said he likes what he’s doing. “I’d like to carry on in the same direction with the same momentum,” he said. “I just want to get better at what I’m doing.”

For more information on Nyffeler and his artwork check out the Doe Eyed website.

North wing build out photos

Tim Duey | August 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

For Nebraska startups: innovation, technology and capital are key to future growth

Tim Duey | July 26, 2013 in Media,News,Tenant: Allied Strategy/Semcat,The Turbine Flats: State of the Union,education | Comments (0)

By Jaclyn Tan

CNBC recently ranked Nebraska as the 4th best state for business in the U.S.  However, CNBC’s Eric Rosenbaum wrote that although Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s tax reforms have helped Nebraska be more business friendly, Nebraska ranks near the bottom of the list in categories such as “Access to Capital” and “Technology and Innovation.” A low ranking in those areas means improvements can be made, but that doesn’t mean Nebraska is not doing well.

Low access to capital not an obstacle

Nebraska ranks low on the list for access to capital possibly because the Midwest is the least populous section of the U.S., said Bart Dillashaw, president of Nebraska Angels, an affiliate network of accredited investors that make investments in promising high growth companies that have ties to Nebraska.

“If you look at the number of dollars in the state and the number of deals done,” he said, “it’s going to be low in relation to other states because we have relatively less people here.”

In the last three years, Dillashaw added, there has been significant growth in the number of institutions investing in new companies in Nebraska, such as Nebraska Global, Dundee Venture Capital, Linseed Capital.

In today’s Internet connected world, “money will travel,” Dillashaw said. Online services such as Dwolla , Skyview Capital and Huddle are helping entrepreneurs and venture capitalists come together to develop and fund great ideas regardless of their operating locations.

Continuing to build technology and innovation communities

Jeff Runyan, entrepreneur and co-founder of insurance quoting software SEMCAT, also thinks that Nebraska entrepreneurship environment has improved significantly in the recent years.

More resources are available to help entrepreneurs. For example, Runyan said, multiple programs in Nebraska have started focusing on developing entrepreneurship community in Lincoln, Neb., within the last decade. Lincoln Public Schools started an Entrepreneurship Focus Program and Southeast Community College has en Entrepreneurship Center. The Gallup entrepreneurship acceleration program has received much support within Nebraska.

In 2007, Matt Wegener and Donna Gould set up the Turbine Flats Project, where SEMCAT’s offices are located, to not just provide office space for new startups, but also to foster a collaborative environment for entrepreneurs to gather and exchange ideas. Other tenants in Turbine Flats are ISoft data systems, Presage Analytics, Reliant Studios, Allied Strategy, SEMCAT, Honest Policy, PLAY Creative, Nebraska Digital and Doe Eyed Design.

Runyan has benefitted from being with other innovators and entrepreneurs because he can compare notes with them. “It’s a good environment with a lot of companies being able to share ideas,” he said. “You have a community here, whereas if you rented an office somewhere, you might not have the chance to have water cooler talk.”

Getting into an entrepreneurial community such as Turbine Flats also helps entrepreneurs get connected to funding opportunities, Runyan said.

But instead of worrying about lack of capital, entrepreneurs in Nebraska need to continue connecting and collaborating to found solid businesses that are worth investing in, Dillashaw said. “We live in a connected world,” he said. “We can fly anywhere. We can videoconference anywhere. So where there are opportunities, money will flock to it.”

The Day of the Innovator is Coming

Tim Duey | July 9, 2013 in Events,Media,News | Comments (0)

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When you hear the word’s, “Tesla Fest” in the near future, be aware that it has nothing to do with the bad 80’s hair band, but everything to do the Day of the Innovator: Tesla Mural Unveiling, Festival and Birthday Celebration soon to take place at the Turbine Flats Project.

The Day of the Innovator is a concept created by one of the founders of Turbine Flats, Matthew Wegener, and his admiration for Nikola Tesla.   Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American who invented, but was not always credited with, such major breakthroughs as, radar, x-rays, radio, hydro-electrics, robotics, lasers, and the wireless communication we use daily. Tesla was a great thinker, a prolific inventor and the ultimate innovator, which is what the Day of the Innovator on July 12th is about.

Lincoln City Mayor, Chris Beutler will be declaring July 12th, a Day of Innovation. To celebrate and promote the day, Turbine Flats will host a community celebration that will include the unveiling of a new work by Local artist, Amos Sterns. Mr. Stern’s piece will be the largest mural in the world to chronicle the life of Nikola Tesla.

Other events at the festival will include multiple experimental science stations for children, an art show, a Tesla coil experiment, and state of the art Tesla Roadsters on display. The festival begins Friday, July 12th, and will run from 4:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The public is welcome to come listen to music by local bands, as well as enjoy food that will be provided by Heoya Food truck and Serendipities cupcakes of Lincoln.

Tesla was a man who would visualize an idea and make it happen, and the modus operandi of Turbine Flats is based on the same idea.   It was conceived as a business and creative incubator that was designed to encourage growth in start up and early phase businesses. Throughout it’s six years in operation, it has turned into a warren of niche tech and creative companies, who take a genuine interest in the revitalization and support of the local community.  Tours of the building will be available during the event.


Tim Duey | June 17, 2013 in Events,Media,News,Tenant: Play Creative | Comments (0)

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By: James McCave

Every month since October 2012, Lincoln’s art aficionados have found a place to enjoy life and appreciate art in the Play Creative offices of the Turbine Flats building at 2124 Y St. As part of Lincoln’s city wide First Friday art shows, PLAY Creative gives one local artist each month the opportunity to present their work to a diverse crowd attendees. The forum provides a perfect opportunity for artists to not only receive criticism but, also to make some money.

Aaron Petersen, co-owner of PLAY Creative, knows a thing or two about art as it is not only a focal point in the concept behind his company, but also because he is also an aspiring artist. The company was started as a mesh of the fine art world and marketing, and has integrated art into every facet of the business from extravagant print work, which was what they made their name with, to colorful and exquisite branding campaigns.

Play Creative’s jump from design studio to art house began when they moved to their current location within the Flats. With the extra room and useful wall space, Petersen and his partner Adam Lohman thought it would be a great time to start supporting the local arts. The loose atmosphere décor of the offices seems a perfect setting to bring in the art community and to introduce them to Play Creative and its team.

“One of the perks for working here is that we want to have our team involved,” Petersen explained. “We want them mingling with people and bringing new people in so they can see the space, see what we do, and enjoy the art.”

The benefit of the First Fridays is not only meant for PLAY creative and its team, but also for the community and of course the artists. Petersen may know this better than anyone as he has been a featured artist as well as an organizer. He kicked off the very first event back in October with a poster show.

Since then many different artists have been featured like Sara Kovanda, Pat Leapley, and Cody Brown. Each artist is selected by Petersen’s team and brings with them a different style, either in terms of expression or literally in the physical style of their art. For instance, Kovanda describes her works as songs whereas Brown’s latest works are inspired by those close to him.

Cody Brown was June’s featured artist. It was his second art show at play creative, his first was in April. After the success of the first show Brown was ecstatic to be featured again.

“The show at Play Creative is really amazing,” Brown said. “First of all the building itself has this great group of creative and fresh thinking people buzzing about the building. Pair that with the talented and cutting edge thinkers at Play Creative, it is basically a no brainier in my mind. The show space has this great down home quality to it.  The space allows the viewers to picture the product in their own homes and it has this relaxed/chill vibe where anyone is welcome, young or old, families and friends.”

Anyone interested in seeing Brown’s newest offerings or any of the other art featured at PLAY Creative’s shows can  find them at Pieces from the featured artist also stay up on the walls for at least 30 days if you just want to stop by the Play Creative offices during business hours.

BAY grant expands opportunities for Lincoln youth

Tim Duey | May 30, 2013 in Media,News | Comments (0)

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By: James McCave

Turbine Flats neighbor, The Bay has been doing its best to prove what a great idea combined with a lot of hard work can accomplish of late.

The hard work and idealism of the people who’ve contributed to the project paid off recently when it was awarded a $25,000 from State Farm’s Neighborhood assist program for the second year in a row.  The Bay’s ambitious agenda involves many functions for the benefit of Lincoln’s youth.  In addition to building a state of the art skate park, the venture is also in the process of building a lounge and art gallery for local teens to relax and expand their creativity in a safe environment.

The grant is part of an annual effort by the insurance company to help improve communities throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada. The money will go towards the development of a fully functional art center, concert venue, and coffee shop to go along with The Bay’s skate park, lounge and art gallery.

The goal of The Bay is to improve the overall lives of Lincoln’s youth throughout the community and also to provide a positive place for teens to skate and hang out. Having an art center and concert venue will help them find a great creative outlet as well, Smith said. Finally, the idea behind the coffee shop is to build job skills and valuable work experience in teens who might otherwise have a difficult time joining the workforce.

“Anytime you get a grant of that size it always helps the sustainability factor,” The Bay’s executive director Mike Smith said. “I am just excited that we are going to be able to take this money and progress the ideas we have down here. We’re going to put a lot of it into opportunities to give kids things to do and give kids a way to express themselves.”

Smith and The Bay had to express themselves effectively to a group of individuals on State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board. Applications were submitted to the board for review. Out of all the grant entries, only 200 are selected for the online portion of the contest run through Facebook voting.

Making it to the Facebook phase is just the beginning and Smith knows help from outside sources, like the people at Turbine Flats, was invaluable to getting them selected as one of only 40 winners. Turbine Flats worked in conjunction with The Bay to raise awareness for the campaign. Each tenant was encouraged to submit 10 votes for The Bay each day and to ask their friends to participate as well.

Another bit of assistance from the profit world came when Precision Skateboards moved in as a tenant to The Bay. Owner Phil Burcher has wanted to get back downtown since Precision left the area and the 2005 Y St. location is pretty close. Plus, the benefits of being linked with the non-profit are two-fold from a business standpoint.

“We’re getting back to our roots,” Burcher explained. “We weren’t really making it work at the mall. The space at The Bay is more affordable and our focus has always been on skating and skateboarding. Now when we pay our rent we are putting our money back into skateboarding and a cause for skateboarders.”

Be it by lifting a hammer or assisting kids with resumes, anyone not connected to skateboarding can still be of assistance to The Bay. With the new grant money secured, Smith and his crew have already begun work on the Phase Two expansion. Anybody who has skills and free time to offer just needs to stop by, there is plenty to do.