Silicon Prairie News

4114_e3597cfd7e_small May 10, 2012 by Macy Koch

Omaha Jim McKelvey, the co-founder of Square, is someone who can definitely sport the title of a serial entrepreneur. After starting seven companies — five of which he still owns — over the past 20 years, McKelvey has the insight to inspire entrepreneurs to strive for more than mediocre. As the last speaker of the morning session today at Big Omaha 2012, McKelvey took the stage at KANEKO to tell stories of business and glassblowing … read more

4134_7c9807afc6_small May 10, 2012 by Danny Schreiber

Omaha Our Big Omaha venue partner, KANEKO, is not only providing a physical space for attendees to gather this year, but an online space, as well. Found at – a site available to non-Big Omaha attendees, too – users can either participate … read more

4133_076508f6d9_small May 10, 2012 by Chris Wolfgang

Omaha Sahil Lavingia is a 19-year-old who likes to build things. Apparently big things. The founder of Gumroad, a site that "lets you sell like you share," Lavingia draws on his background with Pinterest and Turntable to produce more, better, faster. "I build products to scale myself," the founding Pinterest designer said during his morning talk at KANEKO for Big Omaha 2012. "If you build an app in an hour that … read more

4112_ddd7a71096_small May 10, 2012 by John T. Meyer

Omaha Ben Lerer of Thrillist was the second speaker to take the stage at The KANEKO for Big Omaha 2012. Lerer is the co-founder of Thrillist, a digital media company; of JackThreads, a members only fashion site for men; and of Lerer Ventures, a venture capital firm that he started with his father. Lerer used his talk to tell his entrepreneurial story and also share a few lessons he learned along the way. Here are some key insights from Lerer's talk. … read more

4111_f4d568ced6_small May 10, 2012 by Riane Menardi

Omaha Ted Rheingold, founder and general manager at SAY Media, has ridden the entrepreneurial roller coaster. As founder of popular pet-networking sites Dogster and Catster, Rheingold saw tremendous revenue in the early 2000s, survived the recession of 2008 and came out on top. He opened Big Omaha 2012 and shared his story with a buzzing crowd at KANEKO. The roller coaster It's one wild ride, and Rheingold said there are times when you're … read more

4130_7c57ba499a_small May 10, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Omaha A near-capacity crowd filled The Slowdown on Wednesday night to kick off Big Omaha 2012 with an event that featured beverages, breakdancing, badge decoration … and plenty of other enjoyable things that don't fit this half-baked attempt at alliteration. Before taking in a day of talks today at the KANEKO, conference-goers and a large contingent of other guests gathered to get (re)acquainted at Big Omaha's Opening Bash, sponsored by The Kauffman … read more

4110_fc550fafff_small May 10, 2012 by Riane Menardi

Omaha Courtney Zurcher, lead knitter at InezGill, is beautifying Big Omaha 2012 with yarn art. In the past month, Zurcher has knitted more than 2,464 square feet (using about 6,000 yards of yarn) for one of this year's art installations, a custom indoor and outdoor exhibit that will involve attendees and provide unique souvenirs for anyone at Big Omaha. Zurcher got involved with Big Omaha randomly … read more

4126_2e89e62a46_small May 10, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Omaha One of the biggest names at Big Omaha 2012 isn't anywhere to be found on the speaker list. At Big Omaha 2011, Marc Eckō took the stage and shared the story of how he built a billion-dollar business, and he injected a bit of the unexpected into the speaker Q&A. But this year he'll eschew the stage and don an attendee badge like most of the 650-plus people at The KANEKO. And that's fine by Eckō. He prefers it … read more

The polls are open!

Through August 22, help us decide the winners of our inaugural Silicon Prairie Awards, which will recognize 12 companies and individuals. You can vote once per day per category.
Winners will be announced live on stage at
our August 30 event.