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The fourth annual Fremont Creative Collective entrepreneurial conference will feature a variety of movers and shakers from within and outside the Fremont community.

Dubbed Forward Fremont, this year’s conference will be held on Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in private dining rooms at the dining hall on the campus of Midland University.

According to organizer Brock Ellis, the theme of this year’s conference is ‘move.’

“Last year’s theme was ‘cultivate’ and we had all of our speakers talk about what it takes to cultivate an entrepreneurial community,” he said. “This year’s theme is ‘move’ – so we are focused on people who have done things and gone out there and made action happen.”

The event will feature a variety of speakers who will talk about bringing great ideas to life and business practices designed to help small businesses succeed.

“We have people who have started their own companies and we also have some people who are part of organizations that made specific initiatives happen,” Ellis said. “They are going to come and share their story about why they were pushed to make things happen, struggles they had when they were trying to get other people to move with them and the outcomes of the things that they have done. “

Ellis says that after focusing on bringing in outside entrepreneurs to speak at past events, this year the focus has shifted to feature speakers from within the community.

“The first few years, we really put an emphasis on drawing people from outside Fremont – from Lincoln and Omaha,” he said. “This year with the theme of ‘move,’ we really wanted to look inward so we have a lot of speakers from our local community who are doing really cool things.”

The first three speakers at the event are all local with Fremont City Councilmember Susan Jacobus kicking off the conference at 9 a.m. Her presentation will be followed by Brandon Zobel and Nathan Ragsdell at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Zobel is a local entrepreneur trying to help small businesses make better use of their data. His services include data modeling and interaction, process refinement and improvement, and operation and financial analysis, according to information released by the Fremont Creative Collective.

“He is starting a consulting business here in town which is an amazing thing for the small business community but not a lot of people know that he is here and making an impact,” Ellis said.

Ragsdell is the coach of Midland’s eSports team and his presentation will focus on the rise of eSports and streaming and the opportunity for kids to turn their passion for video games into a lucrative career.

While Forward Fremont features a variety of local speakers this year, it still includes entrepreneurs from outside the community including keynote speaker Paul Jarrett whose talk begins at 12 p.m.

Jarrett founded the subscription box company Bulu Box in Lincoln in 2011. Jarrett has received awards including “Start Up of the Year” by Silicon Prairie News, Pipeline Innovator of the Year and Executive of the Year.

“He is a huge mover and shaker in the Lincoln start-up ecosystem and the guy is just 100 percent passion, hustle and energy,” Ellis said. “We are really excited to have him speak – he’s done things from a concept that no one really thought could go the places it has.”

The conference will also include Brandon Peterson who began his business career as a regional director of Anytime Fitness overseeing five locations.

According to information released by Fremont Creative Collective, Peterson currently juggles the responsibility of founding his own co-working space, serving as the COO of a non-profit, running his own geo-location access control company and serving as the Director of Business Development for DPA Auctions.

The conference will be capped off with a presentation by a group of entrepreneurs and business people who served as judges in the Fremont Creative Collective Pitch It! In Fremont competition held earlier this year.

The conference is free to attend and no registration is necessary.

“It’s completely free. We dropped the registration fees because we noticed over the past few years that people don’t really show up for the whole thing,” Ellis said. “It’s kind of a come as you can event.”

More information about Forward Fremont can be found online at


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