LaunchLNK awards $25K grants to Lincoln startups

Published: Jan. 29, 2020 at 10:22 PM CST
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In recent years Lincoln has solidified itself as a member of the silicone prairie with resources and support for startups popping up across the capital city.

Now four Lincoln startups are getting tens of thousands of dollars to grow the silicon prairie even more.

LaunchLNK provides Lincoln-based startups with $25,000 grants and various community partnerships.

Tucked away in the back of BVH Architecture is Layer, one of LaunchLNK’s 2020 winners, it’s a multi-platform app used to collect, manage and share building data.

“We had an issue with how we actually take all of this field data that we had and how we relate it back to the way that we were designing spaces,” said Zach Soflin Layer’s founder. “We built a prototype in-house to solve that problem and after that project was over we took it to market.”

That was a year and a half ago. Layer won its grant by winning the 2019 Innovation Summit Pitch Contest over about 60 other startups.

They will use their money to hire another team member and continue to expand.

“One of the new opportunities we have is in the banking space,” said Jeff Eells Layer’s business director. “When loan service departments go out and inspect commercial, residential or ag buildings once a month they’re now using Layer to become more efficient in that and making sure all the documentation is in one spot.”

Across town it’s a little more hectic at Pawlytics, another recipient of a $25,000 grant from LaunchLNK.

Pawlytics is a software system that uses microchips to create real time pet records.

“For animal shelters and animal rescues so that they can streamline their operations and centralize their work,” said Liz Whitacre the founder. “It helps us collect medical information on pets so that when they take that next step to go to the vet clinic, a boarding clinic or the groomer the next pet professional is gonna have all the information on the animal.”

Whitacre says in the last six months her company has grown to about 100 shelters and businesses that use her software so the grant will allow her to bring another team member on board to help with the expanding workload.

“We’ve actually had to slow down the amount of customers that we’re taking on,” said Whitacre. “Now we can take on as many customers that want to be part of our program.”

Both startups say a lot of credit goes towards the city of Lincoln as well, calling it a great place to build a business with lots of different resources.