Congratulations to the six winners of Thinc Iowa tickets
Dwolla's Ben Milne and Tikly's Emma Peterson collaborate on a high five at Thinc Iowa 2011.
Last week, we announced that the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the top sponsor of Thinc Iowa 2012, would give away six tickets to our upcoming event. To enter, individuals were asked to answer this question: "How can the Silicon Prairie region (in and around Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City) better collaborate to improve conditions for all entrepreneurs in the area?"
With the regional community in mind, tickets are being awarded to two individuals that reside in or around the region's three flagship cities. At Thinc Iowa, they'll be invited to join Kauffman Foundation representatives for a dinner to further discuss the question.
How can the Silicon Prairie region better collaborate to improve conditions for all entrepreneurs in the area?
In all, we received 35 entries from across the Silicon Prairie and from a few states outside of it. Four themes emerged from the responses:
- A need for a stronger tie between colleges/universities and the entrepreneurial community
- Broader awareness of and access to existing resources for entrepreneurs
- A directory of information about the community
- Increased awareness of entrepreneurship as option for college/university students.
Congratulations to the following winners who each answered the question with a real focus on collaboration. (Following their names and location below is a snippet of their entry.)
Des Moines area
James Eliason (West Des Moines, Iowa) - "What I would like to see is a online 'hub' of Prairie companies who make introductory videos on who they are, and what their product is."
Andy Kleinschmidt (Johnston, Iowa) - "I suggest the creation of a regional entrepreneur advisory council with a goal to promote entrepreneurial development as part of an overall economic development strategy."
Alex Kirts (Omaha) - "Bring the Prairie's experience / expertise from all regions available to everyone using discussion, video, design, & user interaction in a monthly breakfast lecture series / website."
Heather Sticka (Lincoln, Neb.) - "If there was a website dedicated to listing those who are willing to assist those of us who have no idea where to begin, imagine how many more would be more courageous?"
Kansas City area
Jamison Shipman (Kansas City, Mo.) - "Establish a 'sharing' network among the major universities and colleges in the region to allow an entrepreneur located in one area of the region to utilize particular expertise of a school located in another area of the region that might not be available at a local school."
Mary Taylor (Kansas City, Mo.) - "People need to eventually meet in person. So, if you're talking about just this region (Omaha, Des Moines & Kansas City), I think having little hubs between the city where you can actually discuss a project in person would be great."