Discovering the Entrepreneur Within

Marina Brown


After 15+ years working in corporate America, Marina Brown was ready for a change. One night, as she sat wrapping Christmas presents, she came to a realization; why not create her own start-up company? With that thought, the seed was planted for Brown’s startup, Moneiva.


Moneiva and I-Corps

Brown’s Nebraska-based startup company, Moneiva, aims to support Supply Chain executives who struggle with managing transportation surcharges. The company’s AI-based software automates the visibility, workflows, predictability, and payments of such charges.

“We help connect carriers, freight brokers, shippers, and factoring companies in an information and payments exchange, providing unprecedented level of visibility and manageability. Currently, when companies ship freight, they don’t know the final price of the load until they get an invoice. We help these businesses predict all the additional charges that come up during transportation. This reduces the amount of friction that happens within operations departments and improves cashflow.” – Marina Brown

After several years working in the transportation industry, Brown realized how inefficient payment systems and processes were slowing down new orders and sales. She believed a solution that addressed these inefficiencies could be the foundation of a new company. However, she wanted to make sure. That’s where the University of Nebraska I-Corps’ Introduction to Customer Discovery course came in.

Hosted by Nebraska’s Nutech Ventures, the course teaches teams about customer discovery. By talking to and interviewing potential customers and industry stakeholders, teams learn what problems matter to their customers. In turn, teams can improve their company’s product or service. For Brown, I-Corps was a key piece of the puzzle in growing Moneiva.

“The Customer Discovery class taught us a lot of techniques that helped us ask the right questions and do the right customer interviews to learn the best information from potential clients. They helped me schedule interviews with ideal customer profiles and taught me how to conduct those interviews. By the end of the class, I had a high level of certainty that what I was solving for was a real need in the transportation supply chain.”

It Takes a Village

Creating a startup is challenging, and having a support network is paramount for success. Brown found support in the local 1 Million Cups entrepreneurial network. With group meetings in cities around the country, 1 Million Cups provides a community for entrepreneurs to gather and connect, where they can work through business challenges and identify opportunities.

“1 Million Cups is an entrepreneur network that meets in most of the largest cities every Wednesday at 8:30 in the morning. These great people wrap their hands around you and gently coach and motivate you forward. I’m proud of the ecosystem in Omaha and Nebraska for everything they have done to motivate more entrepreneurs.”

However, Brown’s most important support group was her family. As a Mom, leaving her job and taking the risky move to start a new business was no easy task. But Brown took the leap, and her family supported her the entire way.

“I had the support from my family, which helped tremendously. My daughter is super excited about her mom having started a business of her own. She’s like, ‘My mom’s an entrepreneur!’ It’s fun because you become a role model for your own family.”


The Future

For Moneiva, the future is bright. The company has developed a prototype of its software and has started a pilot with a few companies. Additionally, Moneiva is a Techstars Boulder company. Techstars’ mentor-driven accelerators allow pre-seed companies to learn, grow, and refine their product offerings. With support from the accelerator, Moneiva continues to run its pilots, hoping to raise more capital in the future. Entrepreneurship can be a long journey, and it takes initiative and support to succeed. By utilizing the resources and communities around her, Marina Brown and her company are poised to make an impact.



Learn more about Moneiva by visiting their website.


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Quotes Edited for Clarity


NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region, 2024