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Flywheel founders help launch new startup in Omaha

Flywheel founders help launch new startup in Omaha

Ten of Omaha’s major happenings of the last 20 years and what lessons they might offer for Omaha’s future.

A new Omaha tech company has been launched, buoyed by $3.5 million in investor money and a leadership team that previously grew two of the area’s star startups.

The new startup, Workshop, offers an internal communication software product that gives co-workers a go-to place for important information and an easy way to create and share internal news.

Founders include Dusty Davidson and Rick Knudtson, who started web hosting company Flywheel. Acquired by Austin-based WP Engine two years ago, Flywheel is settling into new headquarters at the emerging Millwork Commons district of Omaha’s north downtown.

Ben Stevinson and Derek Homann, Workshop’s other top executives, founded co-browsing company Median and two years ago sold it to Dallas-based telecommunications firm Loup.

The four entrepreneurs said they share a goal of “helping other organizations create positive, engaging company culture through great internal communication.”

Out of that came Workshop, which also offers common intranet features such as personalized updates, pinned resources, an employee directory and global search. Davidson, CEO, said the software can complement existing internal communication tools such as Slack and email.

“We’ve learned over the years that one of the most important — if not the most important — factor in a team’s engagement, alignment and productivity is understanding and having access to company strategy, updates and more,” Davidson said. “Increasingly, all of those vitally important bits get drowned out in a sea of chats and emails.”

Company founders say their latest venture continues their support of the Midwest as a hub for great technology and startup opportunities.

They said sources of the $3.5 million in seed money are mostly local and regional, including Ludlow Ventures, M25 and Linseed Capital.

The funds are to be used to build the Workshop team, with the current focus on recruiting software engineers. Davidson foresees the company hiring a dozen employees this year and settling into a home in Millwork Commons, which he views as a neighborhood for creatives and techies.

Homann, Workshop’s chief customer officer, said response so far has been positive. “It’s clear from feedback from our early customers that we’re solving some of their biggest pain points.”

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Cindy covers housing, commercial real estate development and more for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @cgonzalez_owh. Phone: 402-444-1224.

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