Silicon Prairie News

Posts by Willis Jackson
2995_754b33749f_small March 1, 2012 by Willis Jackson

Overland Park While starting a successful company usually requires exceptional effort, a founder sometimes is able to transcend what is normal even for hardworking entrepreneurs. Brian Gruber (left) has built Lucky Orange by himself, integrating a variety of technologies and lessons from his background into a comprehensive web marketing and analytics package. In doing so, he has managed to position the product at a price … read more

3378_7669d13da0_small February 4, 2012 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City (This is a commentary by Willis Jackson.) When I first started out on my entrepreneurial journey, it was almost impossible to find people to talk to. I spent three to five hours a night combing through Google search results for three consecutive weeks because I was determined to get connected with people that could understand what I was going through. At the end of my search, the only event that seemed like a good fit for me was KC Roundtable, which at the time … read more

3339_4437904603_small December 20, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Overland Park Overland Park, Kan. is home to a brand-new coworking space. The KC Commons, which occupies the old Ford dealership building, was renovated in 2001 after a fire. Andrew Stanley, who manages the space, hopes it can now be a productive place for Johnson County residents. KC Commons had its grand opening party over the weekend, and I took the opportunity to look around. If you are interested in … read more

3214_ab504afa49_small November 23, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City Last week, we checked in with Tim Jahn and Stella Fayman of Entrepreneurs Unpluggd before they traveled to Kansas City to put on their first event in the Silicon Prairie. The theme for the event, which was held Nov. 15 at Screenland Crown Center and featured Bo Fishback of Zaarly, Tyler Prochnow of Think Big Partners … read more

3162_fa5782e948_small November 15, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City Entrepreneurs Unpluggd comes to the Silicon Prairie today with an event in Kansas City featuring a fantastic lineup of speakers. Behind Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, a Chicago-based blog and event production company, are co-founders Tim Jahn, who has been a regular at Big Omaha, and Stella Fayman … read more

3034_9529696ea7_small October 25, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City If you have ever thought about trying your hand at freelancing, do you know where to start? Do you have any idea how to find the right clients? What about dealing with difficult clients? Regardless… read more

2569_e03af9d33b_small August 17, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Wichita A Kansas company backed by Nebraska money is looking to make its mark in an industry most prominent in places like Southern California, the Pacific Northwest … read more

2647_1f418580ac_small August 13, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City I recently quit my job to work on my first startup, ShownHome, full-time. Well, sort of my first startup. It all started because I hate to shave. We have no revenue, a hard to reach market and it is so unsexy that TechCrunch will never touch us with a 40-foot pole. So, what in the hell am I doing? Well, I did evaluate a number of factors that I deemed to be the most critical for me. It is based in part on my previous experiences languishing in my last startup attempt, on my personality … read more

2693_f1100351d8_small August 12, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City Not too long ago, a Facebook event popped up for a Zaarly-hosted happy hour at their Kansas City office. Since I hadn't yet had the chance to stop by, I thought this would be a great time to make a visit. When I arrived, I found complimentary beverages, snacks and plenty of people having a good time. When speaking with one of the event's organizers, Josh Coleman of Zaarly, I learned that this is … read more

2463_df99e54105_small June 27, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Kansas City On Saturday, I made it out to the first full-blown Maker Faire put on by anyone other that Make Magazine and O'Reilly Media. O'Reilly Media developed a playbook for organizing and executing the event, and Kansas City was home to the pilot of that program, using the historic Union Station as the venue. The event brought out all kinds of makers, including the Open Source Ecology group … 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.