DYI is a FREE 7-week intensive track, designed for motivated high school students just like you. Prepare to gain valuable, hands-on experience giving you the swagger to create, build and maintain a thriving business. Interface with some of Lincoln’s most successful and renowned entrepreneurs and set your dreams in motion.
DYI has given my students a chance to connect to more business professionals from here in Lincoln. It has helped them better understand what it takes to start and run a successful business and has shown them that they can be successful in business right here in Lincoln. All of my students have spoken highly of DYI and recommend it to other students. – Josh Hinrichs, Lincoln Southwest High School Business Teacher
The Driven Youth Invitational is an excellent way for our students to meet successful entrepreneurs from our community and allows them to make contacts for the future. It also shows them how much time, effort, investment capital and decision making goes into being a successful business owner at every level. – Ryan Psota, Lincoln Pius X High School Business Teacher
- $500 scholarship awarded – sponsored by Nelnet
- Discover the passion that will ignite your legendary career
- Gain insight and debunk myths about entrepreneurship
- Research your product/service to fully understand its benefits
- Analyze your market to minimize risk and maximize reward
- Identify competitive advantages and pinpoint potential threats
- Recognize and apply proper business ethics
- Compose and polish your very own business plan
Fuel the Spark
Clear your schedule.
Tuesday Evenings: 6:00-7:30 pm
(Pizza will be provided each evening.)
February 3, 10, 17, and 24
March 3, 17 and 24
1821 K Street, #106/108
Engage with Mentors
2015 Guest Speakers
Randy Kinney – IntoMetal
Randy has over 20 years of creating value by building teams, developing and implementing processes, and managing businesses. He is a business professional that is able to relate with a broad cross-section of people, from the Board Room to the Shop Floor. He’s able to identify opportunities using solid, hands on, lean practices and leadership skills with proven accomplishments in areas of business management, operational efficiencies, capital improvements, cost savings, engineering improvements, reliability and maintenance improvements.
Blake Lawrence – Founder, Hurrdat
Blake Lawrence is the founder of Hurrdat, and opendorse. Hurrdat is a digital marketing agency, with a niche focus in social media. opendorse is an endorsement management platform for athletes, agents, and brands.
He has grown his team at Hurrdat and opendorse to 22 employees, serving 250+ brand clients and 200+ professional athlete clients from around the world. In 2013, opendorse was listed as one of ‘100 Brilliant Companies’ by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Adi Kunalic – Co-Founder, Hurrdat and opendorse
Adi Kunalic works to help people and organizations build a trusted online brand. Kunalic is the co-founder of two Nebraska startups, Hurrdat and opendorse. Hurrdat is a recently acquired marketing agency that started in Lincoln, Nebraska in August 2010. Their mission is to help businesses of all sizes maximize their online presence through innovative marketing campaigns and social media services. opendorse is a marketplace platform that allows brands to sign endorsement deals with athletes in minutes, not months. A four-year letterman of the University of Nebraska football program, Adi started every game as a kick-off specialist for the Huskers. Upon graduating with a degree in advertising, he continued his athletic career with the Carolina, Panthers. While pursuing a career in the NFL and juggling a start-up, he quickly realized where his true passion lies. Today, Adi operates as Hurrdat’s CEO, as an advisor to opendorse, and as a leadership executive at B2interactive.
Heath Roehr – Co-Founder and VP of Engineering, Powderhook
Heath Roehr is co-founder and VP of Engineering at Powderhook, a Lincoln-based tech startup that helps people hunt and fish more often. Prior to Powderhook, Heath developed software for NASA, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, The University of Nebraska, Textron, and others. A proud member of the local startup community, he also previously founded a local tech start-up and software consulting service. Heath holds a BS and MS in computer science.
Dean Hart – President and Owner, MWI Direct
Dean Hart is the President and Owner of MWI Direct, a direct marketing execution company. He also is the Owner of Dino’s Eastside Grille. Dean received the 2012 University of Nebraska Entrepreneur of the Year award and his business, MWI Direct won the 2012 state of Nebraska Business of the Year.
Amber Pankonin – Registered Dietician and Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist
Amber Pankonin is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist based in Lincoln, NE. She works as a nutrition communications consultant, freelance writer, and adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Amber shares her love for food and nutrition at Stirlist.com, focusing on healthy, easy recipes for the busy cook. Amber serves on several boards including the Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group, and also cofounded a group to motivate female entrepreneurs in Lincoln, Nebraska. You can follow her on Twitter @RDamber, Instagram, Pinterest, or connect with her on Facebook.
Nick Bock – CEO and Founder, Five Nines Technology Group
Nick Bock is the CEO and co-founder of Five Nines Technology Group. He is a member of the Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40, and acts as the lead consultant for several of Five Nines largest clients. Under Nick’s leadership Five Nines has experienced three year growth of over 600%.
Nick and his wife Amy have two children, Derek and Kylie. They are active within their church, and support a number of community charities.
Mailani Veney – Lincoln Industries
Mailani Veney is the Director of Business Development at Lincoln Industries, the nation’s largest privately-owned metal finishing company. As a corporate entrepreneur, Mailani is responsible for identifying growth opportunities and leading new business initiatives for Lincoln Industries – which has five times been named one of the “25 Best Medium Companies to Work for in America.” A passionate entrepreneur since the age of 11, Mailani owns a Jazzercise fitness franchise, invests in start-ups and has both won and judged business plan competitions.
Ron Kellogg III – Financial Representative, anythingspossible, inc.
Ron Kellogg III is a native Nebraskan, growing up in Omaha and attending Westside High School before attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Ron played for the Husker football team from 2009-2013 and is most known for his infamous Hail Mary in the 2013 win against Northwestern. Ron graduated in 2013 with a double major in Sociology and Ethnic Studies and a minor in Marketing. He currently works as a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual, a private quarterback coach, and a motivational speaker. Ron is in the process of starting a foundation, anythingspossible, inc., writing a book about his life and continuing with a career in radio.