Engler is a family of like-minded, driven individuals who want to make a powerful change for the better.
This program is home to University of Nebraska–Lincoln students who dare to forge their own paths. Our mission is to empower enterprise builders in the courageous pursuit of their purpose. Engler lives for the students who recognize that college should be more than just homework and grades; if you’re not content waiting four years to start building your future and want more than the generic college experience, you’re in the right place.
Engler provides experiential, community-based learning to help students build their own enterprise from the ground up. Rather than sitting in lecture halls all day, students engage in entrepreneurship the old-fashioned way: they just start doing it. Our cohort-style model encourages students to get to know each other and build relationships as they work together. We believe there’s no better place on campus to meet honest, hardworking future entrepreneurs — just the right spot to meet friends, partners, and even co-founders while you pursue your goals. If you’re tired of the sidelines and desire the thrill of the game, join our team.
By intentionally investing in people, we believe they can create vital, successful companies that will ultimately uplift and revitalize communities across Nebraska and the world. Engler’s roots are in agriculture, but we welcome all kinds of entrepreneurs and businesses. We care about more than just what an individual or company does; we care about why they do it. In this program, people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets collaborate to turn problems into solutions.
Not everyone who walks down the entrepreneurial path chooses to stay on it — and that’s okay. We believe that each person has a purpose they are born to fulfill. Whether that calling lies in pushing innovation in your own startup or making an impact in an established company, our program is designed to help you discover and understand that purpose.
Are you Engler Material?
Do you ever wish for the opportunity to build something worthy and wonderful? Do you long for the chance to challenge yourself, find a better way of doing something, or spend your life working as your own boss? Us too. That’s why in Engler, we do things a little differently.
Students should expect an experience unlike any other college course or program: no exams, rules, or pre-requisites. Drop the traditional-style classes, dump the rubrics, and nix the mindless busy-work. Engler encourages you to boldly pursue your purpose through the art and practice of entrepreneurship. Not sure what your purpose is yet? No worries, we’ll help you figure it out.
From your very first day in the community, you are treated as a capable, intelligent decision maker with valuable input and contributions. You’re fully accountable for your own business venture, and with guidance and coaching along the way, you’ll learn entrepreneurship through real successes and failures. The Engler community celebrates and encourages both outcomes equally. This is a question-driven, supportive environment where learning and improving are the ultimate goals. Most importantly, you will experience entrepreneurship.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and daisies. If you want in on the entrepreneurial adventure, you’ve got to be willing to put in the work and make some sacrifices. It’s difficult, but for true Engler entrepreneurs, it’s worth it.
Our students are independent, ambitious, curious, confident; they exemplify Engler values and pursue their purposes with sincerity. Any business schemes designed to just “get rich quick” won’t work around here. But if you’ve got a hopeful dissatisfaction with the status quo and are willing to create something incredible through sweat and elbow grease, welcome to Engler.
What can you Expect?
Engler is a program that gives you the opportunity to create what you want with the knowledge you have and are gaining while still in school. It gives you a great opportunity compared to only getting a degree and job searching after graduation.
Like a baby bird learning to fly, you can say goodbye to your comfort zone. Engler challenges students to leave the familiar and instead venture into the unknown.
Chances are your education has been a series of classroom experiences — mostly watching and listening, like a spectator at a sporting event. We believe it’s time you shrug aside nerves and take to the field. Entrepreneurship is a grand experiment. It’s tangible, messy, and best experienced when your feet leave the starting blocks and you actually begin. Learning by doing is not always easy or comfortable, but you figure out how to overcome failure, be persistent, think on your feet… and you’ll be changed in the process.
Students have the chance to build a professional network, share in a one-of-a-kind community, and build enriching relationships. Entrepreneurial development happens in real time — sometimes at warp speed — as you remain an active participant in the entire process. We appreciate theory, but we learn first by doing, then pick up theory along the way.
Engler entrepreneurs graduate better equipped to give and receive constructive criticism, understand their own strengths and shortcomings, and be determined, creative leaders in their families and communities. Whether or not you start a business while in college, you’ll leave Engler with the skills and know-how to build something meaningful — something that made you laugh and cry, but in the end something you can call your own.
Engler Philosophy of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the ability to be more than just yourself. It’s breaking out of the norm and your box and exploring new directions and ideas.
Entrepreneurship is not cute. At its core, it means putting your talent to work in pursuit of your purpose. We believe that solving problems and pain points for customers allows you to live out your aspirations and improve the world around you. But it’s messy, takes no small amount of hard work, and is not meant for everyone.
This program is designed as more than just a way to decide if an entrepreneurial lifestyle is right for you. Engler encourages you to take steps to grow an idea into a real business that meets a need in the market, all with guidance and peer support along the way. We won’t tell you what future you should choose, but we promise to challenge you in seeking the answer.
The Engler philosophy means empowering students to be independent and create something meaningful. It’s this desire to be part of something wholly worthwhile that often spurs students on toward their purpose. We believe entrepreneurship can be a vehicle to achieve a mission, like the goals you set for your life and future.
This outlook echoes the American Dream, and it revels in the pride of ownership and the freedom of working for yourself. We believe entrepreneurship can eliminate the burden of outside expectations and instead allow you to do things that are truly important to you, whatever they may be. Entrepreneurship also serves as a channel to create wealth. Despite a popular misconception, you should not feel bad about making money. Profit is a good thing. Much like our founder, it gives you the means to help people, including yourself, your family, your customers, and the community.
Engler uses an experience-based model to teach entrepreneurship, which means our students experiment, succeed, or fail in the “real world”. We realize coming up short in some form or another is more than just inevitable; it’s necessary to advance ideas and develop future solutions. That’s why Engler celebrates failure. It seems counterintuitive. Aren’t you supposed to succeed? Yes, of course, but failure is unavoidable in both life and entrepreneurship. You’ve got to embrace it, learn from your mistakes, and move on, all with the support of coaches and friends. It’s these learning experiences on which entrepreneurs can build a foundation for future success.
These all sound like high and mighty goals — and they are. But before you can cross any finish line, you’ve got to just get started.
They stand for characteristics that truly make a business successful and unique from other companies. By standing in these pillars, you realize business is fun, exciting, and very challenging at the same time.
When Engler was founded, the students and staff members came together to decide what they wanted the culture to become. It took well over a year to fully narrow and refine these six core values. The Pillars are not just words: they’re an invitation to seek something greater along your own journey. These six Pillars sum up the Engler mindset, what we stand for, and what we value. Just like entrepreneurs need teamwork and collaboration to reach their goals, each Pillar depends on the others.