Aurora Open & Innovation Showcase

February 2nd, 2019

Aurora Open & Innovation Showcase - Business Overview



  1. Engagement with potential workforce
    1. 300 MS/HS/College students
    2. Students engaged in technical skills from robotics
    3. Innovative thinkers and doers
  2. Cross promotion and publicity
    1. Advertising
    2. Website / Social Media
    3. Event Attendance
    4. Media Coverage
  3. Business to Business engagement (potential business leads / relationships)
    1. Industry Hosts to facilitate discussions amongst businesses
    2. Innovation Challenge designed for B2B engagement through student lead collaboration
    3. Regional awareness
    4. Culture of Innovation designed to bring collaboration of shared workspaces like mHUB to rural Nebraska
  4. Shared resources and materials
    1. Career / Skills profile templates
    2. Best practices
    3. Website platform for year long educational connections
    4. Opportunities to connect with other entities with similar community missions


Interactive Booth

Businesses should provide a hands-on activity related to the skill or job you are promoting. The goal is that this event is not a career fair but a chance for visitors to actually engage in a skill or practice. Examples from previous years include fiber optic splicing, laser surgery (veterinarian), and interactive pneumatic display. Students and public visitors will have time dedicated to interacting with your business.


Showcase Branded Career/Skills Profiles

Each business can provide information for a career profile template. This information will be made available via the website and as printed resources for the event. Profile includes skills, job description, salary range, etc.


Industry Challenge Problem

Part of the innovation culture is to use industry challenges to spawn new ideas. This concept is similar to the Innocentive project found at We believe that if you share a problem you are trying to solve, someone with a fresh look at things might come up with a solution - and hopefully that solution will spawn a business relationship or even better a new start-up!


Provide a “Skill Station” for the YETI Labs Makerspace

During the event Innovation teams have a chance to build mock-ups or prototypes that help integrate your business with another business at the showcase! To do this we need equipment that helps teach the skills your company needs in a future workforce and equipment that can help the teams achieve their challenge goals. Equipment can be donated to YETI on a permanent basis for our YETI Labs Makerspace or on loan just for the event. If you can provide a Skill Station please also consider bringing an expert to help the students learn how to operate it safely.


Industry Hosts

Part of the goal for the Innovation Showcase is to make connections. Often, this is hard to do if you are occupied with a booth and if you are working with your student group. Industry Hosts are companies or organizations that can represent their particular industry in discussions and introductions! Hosts are asked to provide a “decision” level executive to represent their organization - and someone who has the ability to see opportunity and communicate ideas.

  1. Gain a larger branding impact for your company or organization
  2. Build relationships with other industry categories and new businesses in your category
  3. Serve as the media liaison for your industry
  4. Agriculture, Energy/Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Entrepreneur/Start-up


Innovation Challenge

  1. (2) Businesses + (1) Innovation Team
  2. Create a solution for one of the industry challenges using resources from each business or find a new connection between the two businesses
  3. Follow NPPD’s Innovation Pathway creating a project proposal and product (mock-up or prototype)
  4. Present proposals in “Shark Tank” sales pitch to Industry Hosts and local chamber judges
  5. Win cash prizes and internship opportunities


Support Services

  1. Additional businesses that provide supporting services such as accounting, patent law, business training, educational etc. can have an interactive booth as well
  2. Will help support Innovation challenges - bonus points given to teams that incorporate multiple support industries
  3. Meet area businesses as potential clients as well as engage with future workforce



Showcase Booth


Sponsor an Innovation Team


Be an Industry Host


Sponsor a Startup


Support Services Booth



To register contact Chad Johnson: chad@jlirobotics | 402.604.1112

or visit our event at: