Bettering Our Communities Through Innovation and Investment
At Nelnet, we’re constantly seeking diversification and growth – it’s one of our core values. We take great pride in doing this through innovation and investment in our community. Our various innovations begin inside our own walls, with our Innovation Studio, and span into communities across the Midwest where we make corporate venture and real estate investments.
Nelnet Ventures invests in young, promising companies, accelerating growth by providing access to our ecosystem, assets, and expertise. We are key collaborators in the Silicon Prairie with active investments in over 50 portfolio companies, including Hudl, and many more. Nelnet Ventures is actively looking to invest in Series A/B technology start-ups in markets, such as fintech, SaaS, payments, consumer and commercial lending, and smart home/city infrastructure and in technology areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), big data, voice, and internet of things. Typical investments range from $500k-$2M.
Internal innovation is driven by our Innovation Studio framework that helps our teams develop and scale new ideas. The Innovation Studio provides a hub of resources and a center of influence to help manage and de-risk new opportunities.
Through a partnership with Speedway Properties, we’re currently involved in a revitalization effort of the Telegraph District in Lincoln. We purchased an outdated building that we are refurbishing so that a portion of our customer contact center can operate there. Additionally, our Lincoln ALLO Communications retail store moved into the district in late 2016.
The vision for the district includes vast expansion, including the addition of restaurants, coffee shops, living and working space, small shops, and more!
Nelnet and Speedway Properties announced a partnership in mid-2016 to complete a major development of Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket, including the addition of a grocery store within a three-building complex. The Canopy Street Market opened in August 2018, with office spaces and apartments geared toward young professionals and retirees following soon after.
We partnered with Speedway Properties and the founders of FUSE to expand FUSE Coworking, a space in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket that houses a variety of start-up companies and provides all of the necessary office amenities, including desks, high-speed internet, and complimentary coffee and snacks. The space is also regularly used for community events.
Nelnet, along with WRK LLC, Chief Industries, and Speedway Properties, invested in the construction of a new headquarters for Hudl, a Lincoln-based sports video editing software company. The seven-story building broke ground in the fall of 2015 and opened in the fall of 2017. The building now houses many of Nelnet’s creative minds, including our start-up, technology, marketing, and corporate communications teams.