Silicon Prairie News

Posts by Guest Contributor
6095_170dae3803_small September 25, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Omaha One common trait among the most successful startups that come out of the Midwest is their founding team’s ability to attract attention from New York to San Francisco and everyone in between. And for one Straight Shot startup, Cosmic Cart, that trait is shining through ... read more

6086_1e358dab29_small September 22, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Columbia I'm a big believer that the best place to start your company is your home town. Often times, however, the best place to grow your company is somewhere else. That has been the case for us at Zapier. In October 2011, we debuted at the inaugural Startup Weekend Columbia (Missouri). Eight months later, we earned an invitation to participate in Y Combinator ...  read more

6076_2f7a4db7ec_small September 19, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Omaha Typically, banks try to prevent hackers from entering their systems. But later this month, First National Bank of Omaha and Straight Shot are inviting them in ... read more

6055_fe13cf0e45_small September 16, 2013 by Guest Contributor

San Francisco Last week the Omaha-based Cympel team—a digital advertising agency—hopped on a red-eye flight to San Francisco carrying a small banner and orange tablecloth and made its way to TechCrunch Disrupt. The Disrupt conference is one of the startup world’s most notable launching pads for budding technologies. Its star-studded speaker lineup included the likes of SV Angel’s Ron Conway, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer, the Winklevoss twins and even Mark Zuckerberg himself. Hundreds of startups previewed, demoed and debuted their companies in Startup Alley and on stage ... read more

6015_e6579c0eb3_small August 23, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Last year, leading up the 2012 Silicon Prairie Awards, Leap2 was on its last legs. For months we had searched far and wide for new investors. Frustrated, exhausted and burned out, we decided we would send the team up to Omaha to be part of the Awards ... read more

5988_6cefc39971_small August 19, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Omaha Rick Turoczy is the editor and founder of Silicon Florist, a 20-year veteran of the startup industry and co-founder of the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). I guess you could say we liken him to the Jeff Slobotski of Portland. Last week Turoczy brought a fresh perspective on what makes entrepreneurs successful to the more than 50 individuals gathered at DJ’s Dugout in Omaha. The group came together for the second installation ... read more

5983_ee5b03972c_small August 18, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Omaha In 2012, I was working for a large company in Omaha, in an unproven and newly introduced role managing social media. While social wasn't new to me, it was always a side of my desk operation, an addition to other duties, similar to how many startups are operating today. Things had changed—it became my only duty and the pressure was on. Every day I'd read the top tech news sites for any information that could help validate the responsibilities I had with stats and information, all while maintaining my own database to use ... read more

5973_2d860c6d06_small August 11, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Kansas City I fall down. A lot. But, in the process of founding two companies, I've learned a little secret: If you want to be the founder of a successful startup, there is nothing more important than resilience. You have to be able to take some tumbles and then, brush your shoulders off and get right back up again. When you learn to fall and fail with grace, the slip-ups that make starting your own company so challenging can actually be turned into successes. To take a literal example, when I was in Kuwait City in 2010 securing some key contacts for the first company I founded Prepay Nation, I had the opportunity to prove just how resilient I could be. I was entering the office of the CTO of one of the largest mobile operators … read more

5972_3f1fa434f5_small August 11, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Omaha Setting up shop in Omaha (or Midwest for that matter) has been the one decision questioned regularly by many of our coastal counterparts. But the many startups that have successfully built, launched and attracted major investment dollars right here in the Midwest know that no matter the location, if you're the best—relentlessly the best—success will follow. Nick Bowden, founder of MindMixer, joined more than 40 Straight Shot mentors and issued … read more

5961_5cfcb7f7d7_small August 5, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Kansas City “Have you lost your mind?” “No. This company is going to make it really big!” That was my go-to answer whenever someone felt like passing judgment. While I wasn’t 100 percent sure I bought my own story at the time, I was sticking to it. After 12 years at PepsiCo, I accepted an offer with a startup called Front Flip. The job meant I’d be kissing my life in Dallas goodbye and relocating my family to Kansas City ... 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.