BTN: In the Silicon Prairie, fin-tech startups ‘are the new cash crop’
Bank Technology News (BTN), a publication written for finance industry CIOs, CTOs and IT professionals, took a close look at Silicon Prairie "fin-tech" (financial technology) startups in an article published Thursday, "In Middle America, Amber Waves of FinTech Startups."
"The geographic triangle drawn around Omaha, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Mo., (one of several regions to share the Silicon Prairie name) has been a technology powerhouse for decades," BTN's Sean Sposito writes. "But in the past five years that trend has accelerated, with numerous new companies taking root there to help retail banks keep ahead of technology trends, even amid the recession."
Sposito, a reporter whose past coverage includes Dwolla, T8 Webware and SmartyPig, says that these new companies don't act as competitors, but that they instead offer complementary services and feed off one another's expertise. "The younger companies in this region attribute much of their success to the advice and mentorship they received from their more experienced predecessor," Sposito writes.
Take Bill Fisher of Treetop Ventures in Omaha. He sits on the board of two fin-tech companies, Lodo Software and Financial Transmission Network. Or look at Suku Radia of Bankers Trust in Des Moines, who provided critical advice to Dwolla co-founder Ben Milne in Dwolla's early days.
The article also presents an important history lesson – "the underpinnings of Silicon Prairie go back to the 1950s when the U.S. Air Force relocated the Strategic Air Command south of Omaha" – and in total, mentions 13 companies that either have ties to or are currently based in the Silicon Prairie.
Sposito closes his story with a mention of Silicon Prairie News and our role in highlighting a number of the companies in the article. In his research, Sposito spoke with our own Geoff Wood, as well.
Read the article: "In Middle America, Amber Waves of FinTech Startups."
Credits: Screenshot of article from americanbanker.com.