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Success Stories

Scott Mueller of Samson LLC

It started when Scott Mueller had ambition to grow beyond raising crops and feeding cattle on the family farm in north-central Nebraska. Today, he's the head of Samson LLC, a diverse, environmentally-responsible agricultural business in Columbus, one that's grown a workforce from two employees in 2001 to eight today, and a 9.5 percent bump in sales over the past three years, to $3.1 million in 2014.

As if that weren't enough, for diners with a palate for juicy, tender Certified Angus Beef, Mueller met with cow-calf producers for his feed lot to meet the high standards for the brand.  Then, becoming the only licensed feed lot and restaurant combination in the country, he, along with his wife, Pat, opened the now-popular Traditions Inn and Restaurant in town to serve up those prized steaks.

And from that taste of the hospitality industry, Mueller teamed with investors to secure $1.7 million in financing from an SBA 504 loan with help from the Nebraska Economic... Read More

Li-COR products, such as this Open-Path device, are used extensively in climate change research.

Having accurate data measured from frigid Antarctica to the broiling tropics is crucial to studying climate change. There's a small business in Lincoln that's provided most of the tools over the years used by scientists around the world to measure exchanges of greenhouse gases between the earth and our atmosphere, and furthering our understanding of the process and impact on our world.

A program coordinated by the SBA is helping this company develop a new sensor technology that could meet demand for high-accuracy atmospheric gas concentration measurements.

The goal is for this new device:  require less power to run and offer more precise data collection of carbon dioxide concentration in remote places. 

Oh, and one more thing: make it cost a fraction of current laser-based models in use around the world.

'High-Tech, High-Touch' craftsmanship

The company tackling this project, LI-COR Biosciences, started with Bill Biggs, an engineer working to develop... Read More

James C. James of Lincoln-based James Enterprises

When he was seven years old, he knew how to drive a Mack truck so well he says he would train new drivers for his dad’s sand, gravel and rock hauling company.  Years later, James C. James not only still drives those big rigs, but along with his wife, Michelle, has expanded the operation to 10 employees of his own running the family-owned company in northwest Lincoln.

If you drove through the highway expansion work between Omaha and Lincoln, or on U.S. Highway 77 south of town, chances are pretty good there was a truck from James Enterprises offloading gravel there.  If you've flown out of Omaha's Eppley Airfield, you've taken off from a runway they've helped rebuild. And, if you're a Lincoln area homeowner you may have boulders and glittering rainbow rocks decorating your professionally-done landscape project delivered by them, too.

The business chalked up $1.75 million in revenue in both 2013 and 2014.

Business got off to rocky start

But it hasn't been easy.... Read More

She's not the stern and demanding homework taskmaster now.  She's back to the loving mom who smiles that her son is glad to see her when she walks in the door after a long, busy day, thanks to Back2Family's much-needed after-school services.

This is a scene that's being played out over the last year and a half in a number of busy homes in Lincoln and Omaha thanks to the up-and-coming company which claimed the SBA's InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge in March at Lincoln's Southeast Community College Entrepreneurship Center.

InnovateHER sought to unearth and empower entrepreneurs, developing products or services with a measureable positive impact on the lives of women and families, had the potential for commercialization, and filled a need in the marketplace. As demands on women and families grow in this country, the need for products, services, and technology addressing those needs increases.

During the competition in Lincoln, Delley... Read More