Dr. Dixon joins Omaha entrepreneurship program

by Charlie Litton, UNeMed | May 19, 2022

Image with caption: Michael Dixon, PhD

Michael Dixon, PhD

UNeMed President and CEO Michael Dixon, PhD, will be among a nine-person team on a prestigious initiative aimed at developing innovation and entrepreneurship in the area.

"I'm really excited to be a part of this team, and to have the opportunity to help grow our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem," Dr. Dixon said.  "As one of the primary stakeholders of our local innovation economy this program will allow the university to continue to drive our technology and talent."

Omaha joins the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program or MIT REAP as a part of its ninth cohort. Over the next two years, the Omaha team will learn and adapt the frameworks developed by MIT to accelerate innovation-driven entrepreneurship in the region.

"As this is one of the top global entrepreneurship programs in the world, the Omaha team will have access to research and tools that will allow us to continue to build on the momentum we already have," Dr. Dixon said. "The decision to participate in this program was a no brainer for UNeMed. This project will do more than lift Omaha and the immediate area: It gives all of us here at the University of Nebraska more options, more clout, more opportunity to get our inventors and their discoveries out the door."

MIT REAP is a global initiative that engages with communities around the world to supercharge IDE ecosystems and transform economies. The Global program employs an evidence-based "team" approach, translating MIT research and insights into a practical, actionable, and strategic framework that convenes and educates key stakeholders, and empowers regional leaders to drive meaningful, long-term economic and social change. 

Kansas City, Des Moines and St. Louis will be in the same cohort as Omaha; and collaborators from Brazil, Australia, Hungary, Dominican Republic and Hungary will add international flair.

Goals for the Omaha cohort are:

  • Address research-identified challenges such as ensuring the entrepreneurship talent pipeline, risk aversion throughout the community, a lack of consistent goals and gaps in programming and resources.
  • Build mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships with Cohort 9 teams representing the American heartland: Kansas City, Des Moines and St. Louis. 
  • Make the Midwest a premiere place for startups to establish, grow, and scale their businesses by leveraging opportunities that Omaha’s unique entrepreneurial ecosystem provides and discover how we can work with other nearby cities, such as Lincoln, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, to further its reach and connect the greater Nebraska ecosystem.

MIT REAP Global teams participate in a two-year program focused on accelerating innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE) in their regional innovation ecosystems and are provided opportunities to collaborate with teams within and across their cohort.