An Omaha community-builder talks connection and authenticity

J ason Feldman is a local Nebraska community-builder who organizes entrepreneurial spaces such as Open Coffee. And he’s all about using connection to create change. We sat down recently to talk about how connecting with others, building empathy, and striving toward authenticity can make or break entrepreneurial ventures.

Transcend boundaries

Jason says that a huge source of division in our world is fear. We gravitate toward the safety of those who are like us, he says, but in doing so we also limit ourselves. His ventures are all about connecting a wide variety of people, from aspiring change-makers to successful business-owners, to share knowledge, collaborate, and inspire each other.

“The more you expose yourself to, the better you’re going to be,” Jason said.

The more you expose yourself , the better you’re going to be - Jason Feldman Click To Tweet

Overcome fear

One of the biggest reasons people fail to chase their dreams is a fear of failure. We’re afraid to be vulnerable. We’re afraid to put ourselves—and our ideas—out there.

But Jason believes it’s crucial to “allow yourself to be challenged.” Furthermore, you shouldn’t fear failure—because by failing, you’ve actually gained a learning experience that can propel your success in the future.Don’t try and make yourself out to be somebody that you’re not.


Above all, be authentic

Jason mentioned that “fake it till you make it” is part of the entrepreneurial mindset. But he also said it shouldn’t be. “Don’t try and make yourself out to be somebody that you’re not,” he said. “The consumers…will gravitate because you are being authentic.”

Don’t try and make yourself out to be somebody that you’re not - Jason Feldman Click To Tweet

About Jason Feldman 

After studying Criminology and serving in municipal law enforcement in Indiana, Jason found the career not to be a good fit and decided to move home to Omaha. He found his tribe in a very unexpected place — an emerging tech startup community. Jason’s ability to build professional relationships allows him to get involved on community projects focused on addressing the needs of startups in Nebraska.

In late 2014, Jason joined a team focused on attraction and retention of entrepreneurial talent leveraging a unique tech startup incubator design called: Year of the Startup. During his time on this project, he discovered his passion for creating spaces that fostered serendipitous connections between innovative people and started Open Coffee, a weekly community event. Initially, it served as a low barrier entry point for entrepreneurs to get involved in the business incubator and has expanded to conversations on today’s challenges.

Jason is passionate about supporting ecosystem-building initiatives that promote equitable access to the entrepreneurial resources.

How has authenticity helped you succeed? Which of your traits do you think could make your business ideas shine? I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out more of Jason’s insight in the full interview.

Marco LeRoc
Marco LeRoc
Marco LeRoc is a three-time author, an international speaker, an accountability partner and the founder of Marco LeRoc & Co.

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