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Bettering Our Community Through Innovation and Investment

At Nelnet, we are constantly seeking diversification and growth – it’s one of our core values. We take great pride in doing this through innovation and investment in our community. Our various innovations begin inside our own walls, with our Innovation Hub, and span into communities across the Midwest where we make angel and real estate investments.

Through our years of experience, we know that our business succeeds when our communities are vibrant. That’s why we are proud to support innovation and improvements in our community by investing in start-ups and real estate that we believe can make a positive impact.

Investments and Start-Ups

Angel Investments

  • Internal

  • Internally, angel investments outside of our current business segments are led by our Innovation Hub, a team that develops and launches new products and services into new or existing markets. The team evaluates ideas submitted by associates based on their desirability, feasibility, viability, and the problems they are intended to solve.

  • ClassBundl, an e-commerce, bundled school supplies provider, was the first start-up to successfully launch out of the Innovation Hub in 2014. The company partners with schools to give parents the option to conveniently purchase their kids’ supplies online in just a few clicks, based on participating schools’ grade-specific lists. Schools then receive 5% of their parents’ purchases back as cash and parents have the option to donate to their kids’ school during the online purchase process.

  • External

  • Nelnet has been involved in angel investments for about 10 years, but began investing more aggressively over the last six years. We currently have over 40 active investments, primarily consisting of start-ups based in the Midwest.

Real Estate

  • Telegraph District

  • Through a partnership with Speedway Properties, we are currently involved in a revitalization effort of the Telegraph District in Lincoln. As part of this effort, we purchased an outdated building that we are refurbishing so that a portion of our customer contact center can operate there. Additionally, our Lincoln ALLO Communications retail store moved into the district in late 2016.

  • The vision for the district includes vast expansion, including the addition of restaurants, coffee shops, living and working space, small shops, and more!

  • Haymarket

  • Nelnet and Speedway Properties announced a partnership in mid-2016 to complete a major development of Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket, including the addition of a grocery store within a three-building complex. The complex will also include apartments geared toward young professionals and retirees, as well as office space.

  • FUSE Coworking

  • We partnered with Speedway Properties and the founders of FUSE to expand FUSE Coworking, a space in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket that houses a variety of start-up companies and provides all of the necessary office amenities, including desks, high-speed internet, and complimentary coffee and snacks.

  • The high-energy coworking space is utilized by companies at various stages of growth, which supports development and networking opportunities. It is also regularly used for community events.

  • Hudl Building

  • Nelnet, along with Hudl, WRK LLC, Chief Industries, and Speedway Properties, has invested in the construction of a new headquarters for Hudl, a sports video editing software company, located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The seven-story building, located in the west Haymarket at P and Canopy streets, broke ground in the fall of 2015 and opened in the fall of 2017. .

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