Skip to content

Investing In the Next Generation of Nebraska Founders with Charlie Cuddy

Scale Omaha was thrilled to host Charlie Cuddy, a beacon in the Nebraska startup ecosystem, for an insightful fireside chat at our latest event.

Charlie, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of MOVE Venture Capital and the Executive Director of the Nebraska Startup Academy, is at the forefront of shaping the future of entrepreneurship in the region.

In the conversation, moderated by Scale board member and Founder of SheMate Teresa Friesen, Charlie delved into his unique journey from high school math teacher to leading a venture capital firm. He shared how his experiences in education, learning to code, and working at startups positioned him perfectly to guide and inspire the next wave of Nebraska’s startup founders.

A key focus was on the work and philosophy behind MOVE Venture Capital, which has partnered with 16 incredible portfolio companies since launching in early 2023. Charlie provided a behind-the-scenes look at MOVE’s investment process, the traits they look for in founders at the pre-seed stage, and how they aim to be a value-add partner to their portfolio.

He also outlined his ambitious vision for the Nebraska Startup Academy, a non-profit focused on connecting the community and providing education for entrepreneurs and investors across the state. The goal is to dramatically lower barriers to entry for people to start companies in Nebraska.

Throughout the chat, Charlie dispensed wisdom applicable to early-stage founders anywhere, not just in the Midwest. Key takeaways included:

  • Focus on delighting customers, building an innovative product, and recruiting a great team before seeking funding
  • Avoid taking on venture capital prematurely; if you can’t get early traction without funding, you’ll face even greater challenges after
  • Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs to accelerate your learning
  • Don’t get discouraged if you’re not in that 5% that raise VC right away; keep building and hitting milestones
  • It was an illuminating conversation showcasing the exciting developments underway in the Nebraska startup ecosystem and providing a glimpse of what’s to come. We look forward to seeing the continued impact Charlie and his organizations will undoubtedly have in activating more founders and innovation across the state.

Watch the full video of the fireside chat here: