Silicon Prairie News

4441_b5d819b2e0_small July 10, 2012 by Danny Schreiber

Santa Monica Divshot, a Kansas City, Mo. startup born at Kansas City Startup Weekend in April, took first place today at Crowdstart LA, a live pitch event hosted by crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder. Today's competition in Santa Monica was the culmination of a 7-week crowdsourced startup … read more

4438_71f4288f3c_small July 10, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Omaha MindMixer last week announced it has been chosen to participate in the first Code for America Accelerator, a four-month program run by Code for America designed to give tech-based civic startups the network and training they need to grow. MindMixer, an Omaha startup that makes a web-based platform for community engagement, was one of seven companies chosen for the program … read more

4434_65b8ecb6a8_small July 10, 2012 by Sarah Binder

Cedar Falls T8 Webware unveiled today its new name, Banno, and its broader focus on building personal finance apps. "The Banno story is really our kind of change the world story," Wade Arnold, CEO of the 4 year old Cedar Falls-based company, said in a phone interview Monday. "It's somewhat of a coming out … read more

4406_fec47484b4_small July 9, 2012 by Sarah Binder

Cedar Falls Aaron Schurman fell in love with casino gaming at a young age and decided to bring the concept home. His company, Phantom EFX, became known for creating casino games for home entertainment, especially for developing mobile and social platforms. In June, Cedar Falls-based Phantom EFX was acquired by WMS Gaming. Schurman answered some questions via email about how his company started from scratch and grew to be acquired by a longstanding leader in the casino industry. | Silicon Prairie News: How did you decide to start the business … read more

4408_5d37fa513c_small July 6, 2012 by Sarah Binder

West Des Moines Often, startups are fueled by passion. For Deb Gore Ohrn, the decision to end her 18-year career at Meredith Corporation for an 18-month old startup was in following her heart. "It was just like, 'Oh my God, I need to be working with (Goodsmiths),' " Gore Ohrn said in a phone interview Tuesday. That feeling was mutual. On top of her expertise and relationships in the world of crafters and makers – her resume includes six years as editor in chief/marketing director of the Better Homes and Gardens Crafts Group – Goodsmiths CEO James Eliason said her enthusiasm … read more

4415_6ceba28a1b_small July 6, 2012 by Danny Schreiber

West Des Moines Bawte, a social media application for sharing purchases, is getting some major marketing fuel this summer through a promotion run by Kum & Go, the nation's fifth largest privately held, company-operated convenience store chain. Through the end of August, the West Des Moines-based chain is giving away a gift card weekly to someone who shares a fountain drink purchase on Bawte (left). "For us to work with Kum & Go has been invaluable," John Jackovin, co-founder … read more

4382_2ebc4069e2_small July 3, 2012 by Sarah Binder

Ames Historically, if farmers wanted to check their crops for insects or disease, it was a tedious, inaccurate process. They would carry a couple of guidebooks, hundreds of pages each, to try and identify what they saw, recording observations with handwritten notes and sketches of the field. After completing a crop scouting internship in rural Iowa, Michael Koenig (left) decided to change that. "Crop scouting is kind of cumbersome, and just not fun," Koenig said, "we wanted to make the process a little easier to manage." ScoutPro … read more

4389_97dc414393_small June 29, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Prairie Village AgLocal has raised the first $1 million of a potentially larger seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz and OpenAir Equity Partners, AgLocal CEO Naithan Jones said in a phone interview Thursday. The seed round also involves a variety of angel investors based in Kansas City and in Silicon Valley. The Kansas City contingent includes AgLocal advisors Thad Langford, Sarah Gambach and Dan Carroll, VinSolutions and Stackify founder Matt Watson and Tradebot Ventures partner Andy O’Hara. Based in Prairie Village, Kan., and co-founded by Jones and Jacob … 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.