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Omaha Magazine

Developing Economics

Jan 22, 2019 12:24PM ● By Sarah Wengert

Marco Floreani is working to raise the profile of the city where he was raised.

“I’ve always loved Omaha, so trying to understand the business community and the resources available is enjoyable,” says Floreani, a graduate of Creighton Prep and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “I’m passionate about working on projects that develop the city.”

Floreani is the senior director of business development at Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. His role is part of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, a regional coalition through which the Greater Omaha Chamber partners with several area economic councils.

“We’re [communicating with] companies out of market to see if there’s an opportunity for them to grow in Omaha and we’re working with local businesses to help them grow,” Floreani says. “My work focuses on the traded sector, looking at goods and services that are, or have the potential to be, exported out of state.”

Floreani says the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership implements a cluster approach, which means growing clusters of industries or companies that work in tandem. One such cluster is financial services, which is a traded sector.

“Financial services is a big cluster in Omaha, with all the global banks here, payment processing, insurance, compliance, and regulation, cybersecurity…all of that is part of the financial services cluster,” Floreani says.

He also says Omaha serves as global hub for payment processing, compliance and fraud detection, trading and brokering, insuring value, and investing and funding in value creation. Some of Omaha’s largest corporations—First Data, TD Ameritrade, Paypal, and others—all deal in financial services and are high-performers, globally, in the business of moving capital.

“That’s everything from processing a payment transaction and being part of the payments ecosystem, to ensuring money movement is a secure process,” Floreani says. “The technology now called ‘Fintech’ is a huge part of the cluster, especially as finance becomes more digital. Omaha is primed to continue growing its Fintech portfolio.”

Floreani himself has helped move financial services to this area by creating events to bring like-minded businesspeople together.

“Marco was an important catalyst for me as I was starting my blockchain company in 2017,” says Kyle Tut, co-founder of BlockEra. “At the time, there wasn’t much happening with blockchain in Omaha. Marco’s early vision to ignite conversations around blockchain through his ‘New Kids on the Blockchain’ event gave me the confidence and network to be where I am today.”

Omaha’s cluster, and Floreani’s work with this cluster, are reasons why two companies in financial services technology thought Omaha would be a great place for their second headquarters. Toast is a technology company specializing in systems management for restaurants that will bring around 100 employees to Omaha in the coming year. The company i2c helps financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies with payments through a cloud-based computer system called Agile Processing. They are projected to hire around 300 people by March 2019.

He believes that growing a pro-business community not only allows commerce to thrive, but also enhances culture, services, and lives community-wide.

“A healthy community has prosperity across the board and grows together. It’s the ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ mindset,” says Floreani, adding that a commitment to Omaha’s urban core is crucial for the community’s overall success.

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This article was printed in the February/March 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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