University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has announced the winners of two NU awards honoring extraordinary efforts in entrepreneurship in Nebraska: the Peter Kiewit Student Entrepreneurial Award and the Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Award.
The Peter Kiewit award recognizes University of Nebraska students who have worked toward community and business improvements through creative, innovative uses of information technology. The award is accompanied by a $2,500 prize.
This year’s Kiewit award winner is Keith Fix, a senior management major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Fix, who started his career at age 16, has worked in sales for American Express and client services for Convergys Corp., where he had direct responsibility for revenues in excess of $7 million. He previously founded a technology support company that garnered national attention in Entrepreneur Magazine for its innovative use of mobile technology.
More recently, Fix developed DailyMav.com, a five-figure revenue-generating daily deal program based out of UNO. Using a model popularized by sites like Groupon and Living Social, DailyMav has created a new way for local businesses to connect with the UNO community while also providing training and development opportunities for students, who run the program by sourcing deals from business owners who have a connection to the university. DailyMav has garnered nearly 8,000 email subscribers, sold thousands of deals, and earned a competitive edge through its unique partnership with the university community.
“Nebraska’s economic competitiveness depends in part on our ability to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of young people,” Milliken said. “The University of Nebraska has an important role to play in these efforts. Keith Fix is an excellent example of how students can combine their talents and creativity with the resources available to them at the University to grow the economy in their communities.”
The Walter Scott award is designed to encourage existing businesses with a presence in Nebraska to create partnerships with the University of Nebraska in the area of technology. The award comes with a $10,000 prize to be used for the promotion and/or creation of student work experiences in the fields of information science, technology and engineering.
This year’s Scott award winner is Valley Medical Management Services, a Kearney-based business that provides management services to medical practices, facilities and hospitals in the area.
Valley Medical employs 40 people who help fulfill the company’s goal to keep its clients on the cutting edge of patient care. To that end, Valley Medical has built a close relationship with the University of Nebraska at Kearney through an information technology internship program that complements UNK’s IT-related degree programs. The internship program strengthens Valley Medical’s business practices and provides opportunities for students to gain valuable real-world experience. The program also provides a pipeline to employment for UNK graduates, helping keep young talent in Nebraska.
Valley Medical Management Services intends to use its award to hire more interns to take its IT Department to the next level, from assessment of new products and technologies through implementation.
“Among the University of Nebraska’s highest priorities is attracting talented people to the University, seeing that they graduate, and then helping them pursue their ambitions – especially in Nebraska,” Milliken said. “One way we can do this is by partnering with businesses to provide high-quality internship and job opportunities for our students. I commend Valley Medical Management Services for its collaboration with the University, which enhances the educational experience for students, provides opportunities that entice young people to pursue their goals in the state, and grows the economy in Kearney and Nebraska.”
Contact: Melissa Lee
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