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The Omaha area’s tech economy has been getting positive national press recently, and for good reason.

SmartAsset, which offers financial analysis and advice, has named Omaha as the country’s most attractive city for tech workers for the second year in a row, citing the combination of employment opportunities, overall economic vitality and low cost of living compared to the coasts.

What’s more, SmartAsset’s tech-economy analysis concluded that overall, “Midwestern cities are great for tech workers,” again due to job demand plus a more affordable cost of living.

Meanwhile, Inc. magazine did a profile of Omaha’s tech scene, stating that “Omaha’s startup scene is launching its second wave of growth.” The article focused on several developments:

» Omaha tech entrepreneurs are plowing reinvesting back into the local startup scene.

» Important resources for support and networking are becoming available to local startups.

» Omaha is making progress in recruiting millennials for the tech sector.

The article pointed to Omaha-area business accelerators, seed venture capital funds and coding schools. The article also highlighted the Omaha Startup Collaborative, housed in the former Exchange Building at 19th and Harney Streets.

The Collaborative, originally located in Creighton University’s Wareham Building, is modeled on efforts in Kansas City and elsewhere and aims to provide a central hub housing an array of entities: tech startups linked with mentors and other supports; the Straight Shot business accelerator; weekly One Million Cups gatherings for entrepreneur networking; and coding classes.

Additional factors deserve mentioning. The Chambers of Commerce in Omaha and Lincoln are smartly cooperating to maximize the tech opportunities for both cities. The Raikes School, a joint effort of UNL’s computer science and business departments, has grown to be a vital source for tech training and recruitment.

Important, too, is how the wider business community in Omaha is stepping forward to build relationships with and provide support for the local startup community. These connections and interactions are vital in nurturing a robust, innovative tech sector.

A 2014 report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation described business startups as “an important source of productivity growth and sustained economic prosperity in modern economies.” New businesses “play an outsized role in this productivity-enhancing dynamic process, and in net job creation,” the report said.

The Omaha area is off to an encouraging start on the tech startup front. Collaboration and smart planning can lift things even higher.

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