Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities


APPLY NOW to Host the 2018 CEC Conference on April 18 & 19, 2018.

The inaugural Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference hosted by McCook was a success.  We had almost 80 registrations with representation from four states and most regions of Nebraska.  We estimate that the conference was responsible for approximately $9,000 in additional revenue to local business owners collectively.  In addition, McCook earned numerous positive comments about their hospitality and vitality that have been shared around the state.  Check out the editorial sent by one of the Michigan participants by clicking here

Host application is available here -

 The Nebraska Extension’s Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference team is seeking an engaged community to serve as host for the 2018 conference to be held on April 18th and 19th.  This premier entrepreneurial conference is for all persons interested in building entrepreneurial communities throughout Nebraska and beyond.  Key components of the conference include:

  • The conference is a “Noon to Noon” conference, so many registrants will spend the night at a local hotel or B&B.
  • All general sessions are held in a large venue able to accommodate all participants - most likely 100+ people.
  • All breakout sessions are held in local venues (i.e. restaurants, retail stores, art gallery) with opportunity to meet the business owner.
  • Networking and learning from each other is a key objective. The conference is designed for participants to have enough time between sessions to network and shop.
  • Sessions are designed for participants to learn from each other, gain resources/information to take back to their communities and, as a community team, think differently about how to spur entrepreneurial growth.
  • CEC content provides a holistic look at the entrepreneurial community.  Sessions help a community create a sense of place where entrepreneurs want to live as well as build a supportive entrepreneurial culture.

More information, including basic community requirements for host communities and an electronic application can be found  

Only proposals submitted by the deadline will be considered.  Deadline for consideration to host the 2018 CEC Conference will be no later than 5pm on Friday, July 1, 2017

Please contact Ben Dutton of the Nebraska Extension CEC Conference planning team via email at with questions or comments about this process of the conference in general.





McCook Website Image

Schedule at-a-glance.

Full Agenda.

Session Topics and Venues.

About McCook.




For more information about the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference, contact a team member:
Ben Dutton -                                                                 Connie Hancock –                                                            Charlotte Narjes –                                                               Marilyn Schlake –                                                             Becky Vogt -                                                                         Rex Nelson -                                                                                 Sandra Barrera -