UNeTech is pleased to announce that Jennifer Pool, MPA, joined the communications and outreach team as the new community outreach coordinator this month. With an extensive network of connections in the Omaha metropolitan area and a background in consulting with startups through her own firm, Pool was the ideal hire for this new role at UNeTech. Since establishing her firm, Pool collaborated with local organizations Fashion Institute Midwest, Omaha Girls Who Code, Union for Contemporary Art, Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, and Theatre Arts Guild, where she will serve as next year’s President, to assist with work like strategic planning and creation of mission, vision, and values. “Growing up in Omaha and working with startups of all kinds I have seen the creativity and innovation that we have in our city,” Pool said. “I am very excited to get the opportunity to connect these communities with the resources provided by UNeTech. Relationships are at the heart of any successful venture, so I look forward to reaching out into the community and developing meaningful connections.” Pool’s experience impressed UNeTech staff who interviewed her, as she will take over some of this work in her new role at UNeTech, working with startups in our incubator as they establish their own missions, visions, and values.
“Jenny’s experience as a freelance consultant makes her a perfect fit for a position like this,” said Dr. Jace Gatzemeyer, UNeTech grant administration coordinator, who interviewed Pool for the role. “Because this is a new position at a relatively young organization, we’re asking Jenny not just to take on the role of community engagement coordinator but also to help us imagine that role and establish what success might look like in the position. Thus, in the same way that she had to be flexible and creative as a freelancer — in lieu of having a supervisor laying out an established set of daily tasks — she’ll have to be flexible and creative in figuring out what UNeTech’s community engagement coordinator position should be, what tasks should be prioritized, what goals should be set, and so on.”
As UneTech’s new community engagement coordinator, she will focus on three main goals:
- ensuring the general community knows who we are and what we do at UNeTech. She will be the smiling face at community events around town: conferences, trainings, parades, educational summits, celebrations, presentations. If there is the chance to talk about entrepreneurship, she wants to be there to let the community know about UNeTech and how we can support startups.
- developing connections with parts of the city that UNeTech has not had the bandwidth to collaborate with before. This might mean nonprofit agencies and organizations that support people in Omaha who could be both innovators and entrepreneurs at UNeTech. We are about more than just academic startups, and it is time we let the community how we can provide resources to support the innovative ideas that are out there!
- supporting the startup businesses in the incubator with customer discovery in whatever form that might take — surveys, research data, grant support. She will be hard at work at UNeTech helping our businesses find out what it takes to reach out to potential customers to make sure our products provide what customers want and need.
Associate director for UNeTech Joe Runge said he is looking forward to the collaboration Pool will bring to the organization. “UNeTech is a joint institute that relies on diverse collaborations with scientists, entrepreneurs and diverse community stakeholders,” Runge said. “Jenny has already began to build a strategy to reach out to so many different communities — I cannot wait to see the networks that she’s able to build!”