LINCOLN — CompanyCam has more than 9,000 users across the U.S. and in several other countries.

But the Lincoln startup wants to get the word out to more Nebraska companies and get more of them using its project management app that improves communication between contractors and their employees.

To that end, the two-year-old company is offering its product for free for a year for any Nebraska-based contractors.

"This is our home state, and we at least want to give everybody in our home state a chance to learn about it," said Chrissy Frerichs, CompanyCam's marketing project manager.

The free offer starts Sept. 18 and goes until Oct. 31. Any Nebraska-based company can sign up for the CompanyCam app for as many as five users, and it will be free to use until Oct. 31, 2018.

The service usually costs $12 a month per user, so that's potentially $60 a month in free services. The hope, of course, is that some of those users will find it so valuable they will start paying for it once the free trial period ends.

CompanyCam is dubbing the promotion "Home Field Advantage" and is using Husker football season to spread its message. The company plans tailgate parties at its office at 809 P St. before the Rutgers game on Sept. 23 and before the Ohio State game on Oct. 14 to get the word out about the company and the promotion.

CompanyCam is the brainchild of Luke Hansen, who developed the app after struggling with coordinating job site communication while working at his family's business, White Castle Roofing.

The app allows companies to take "smart" photos on a job site that automatically connect themselves to the right job and instantly sync back to the home office.

It has been a success not only in attracting users, including large companies such as Pella and 84 Lumber, but also in attracting investors. CompanyCam won the pitch competition in June at the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit at Pinnacle Bank Arena, beating startups from Nebraska and three other states. The win came with a $100,000 investment from Nelnet.

CompanyCam has used the pitch competition investment to ramp up its staff and now has 15 employees, with six current openings to fill, Frerichs said.

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