Bettger named Center for Entrepreneurship fellow

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - 3:00pm

The Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has named 43 professionals as the inaugural class of Entrepreneurship Fellows—one of which is Rick Bettger, a CoJMC alum who graduated in 1985 with news editorial degree.

Bettger is the owner of Omaha Car Care. In 2001, he became the second-generation owner of House of Mufflers & Brakes, which he rebranded to Omaha Car Care in 2016. His previous experience includes a startup auto parts wholesale company that was sold to a venture capital group in 1999.

Bettger has served for 10 years on the board of directors for the CUES Fund and the CUES School System in Omaha which operates three inner-city Catholic schools: Sacred Heart, All Saints and Holy Name. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters and, soon, one grandchild.

This group of successful entrepreneurs who impact the university’s students in a variety of ways throughout the academic year. Engagement opportunities include guest lecturing, mentoring, connecting students to internships and serving as judges for the center’s annual competitions.

“The Entrepreneurship Fellows will help us build tomorrow’s business leaders,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean and professor of finance. “The world needs more entrepreneurs — people who spark economic growth and introduce innovations that improve our way of life. Our students will learn how to further build, grow and innovate from these experienced entrepreneurs.”

With more than 1,300 students enrolled in entrepreneurial courses in the College of Business and many more participating in events and workshops every year, the center helps develop the skills to start, operate and grow a business. Fellows will enhance the students’ experience by sharing their knowledge and networks.

“Students learn best from someone who was in their shoes and found a way to succeed,” said Sam Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of practice in management. “The fellows will help us expand our ability to deliver world-class experiential education that provides students with real-world experience and networking opportunities. Furthermore, the fellows will help us build a larger entrepreneurship community at the university, which helps us in cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Fellows were identified and selected by the center’s faculty and advisory board. They bring experience ranging from founders, innovators within established organizations, family business leaders, franchisors and franchisees, and investors.

“For the first class, we wanted a very diverse group of entrepreneurs representing different industries and size companies,” Nelson said. “For example, we looked for early-stage entrepreneurs, some who have recently sold their business and some who are running large organizations. Additionally, we wanted some of our fellows to be service providers within the state’s startup ecosystem, such as Invest Nebraska, Startup LNK and Proven Ventures. Most importantly, we selected individuals who will provide positive interactions and learning opportunities for our students and are looking to make an impact on the future drivers of Nebraska’s economy.”

The Entrepreneurship Fellows, listed alphabetically, are:

  • Aakriti Agrawal, American Express
  • Brian Ardinger, Nelnet
  • Christopher Aumueller, FanWord
  • Erik Bird, Eat Fit Go
  • Rick Bettger, Omaha Car Care
  • Mark Buss, PAL of Indy, LLC
  • Rick Cantril, Tebra
  • Carey Gille, Franchise FastLane
  • Breck Collingsworth, Resort Lifestyle Communities
  • Charlie Colón, Chick-fil-A franchisee
  • Josh DeMers, Prepare Insurance
  • Bart Dillashaw, Enterprise Legal Studio
  • Sid Dinsdale, Pinnacle Bancorp
  • Mike Dunlap, Nelnet
  • Don Eckles, Scooter’s Coffee
  • Brenda Fleck, Fleck and Sons
  • Laura Frantz, House of Colour Lincoln
  • Andrea Fredrickson, Revela
  • Angela Garbacz, Goldrenrod Pastries
  • Scott Henderson, NMotion
  • Dan Hoffman, Invest Nebraska
  • John Hogan, PLUS Services, LLC
  • Paul Hogan, Home Instead Senior Care
  • Jason Hornady, Hornady Manufacturing Company
  • Umeda Islamova, Rabata
  • Julian Ivey-Caldwell
  • Paska Juma, Google
  • Ashley Kloxin, Perspire Sauna Studio
  • Todd Koca, CrownSource
  • Sam Manzitto Jr., Manzitto Construction
  • Brooke Mullen, Sapahn
  • Chuck Norris, Nelnet
  • Reed Nyffeler, Signal
  • Christina Oldfather, Rabble Mill
  • Graham Pansing Brooks, SEAChange, LTD
  • Vern P. Powers, Hastings Industrial Manufacturing, Vestal W2O, Echo Canyon Corporation
  • Brandon Rigoni, Gallup
  • Janna Ronert, Image Skincare and Hush and Hush
  • Grant Stahla, Stahla Services, LLC
  • Jeff Vaske, Charter Hill Partners
  • Erica Wassinger, Proven Ventures
  • Matthew Wegener, ISoft Data Systems, Turbine Flats
  • Lizz Whitacre, Pawlytics

For more information on individual fellows, click here. To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship, click here.

Rick Bettger
Rick Bettger