Silicon Prairie News

7091_ea51f4769b_small July 22, 2014 by Megan Bannister

Des Moines Last week ABC reality show "Shark Tank" hosted an open casting call in Des Moines and more than 100 entrepreneurs and inventors turned out for an opportunity to swim with the sharks. It's still too soon to say if any of the companies that pitched last Monday will make it on to the show's taping. But in the meantime, we asked a couple Iowa entrepreneurs who came out for the event to tell us, in their own words, about the experience and what they learned from pitching the producers of "Shark Tank." read more

6913_f3e8cb7846_small May 31, 2014 by Regan Carrizales

Kansas City To all startup founders and CEOs, freakishly celebrate and learn from your mistakes. There 's no greater teacher when it comes to building your company. Thursday's second installment of our Let’s Talk session, hosted in partnership with Missouri Bank, was a great reminder of this and drove home that there is no playbook for how you build a team and culture. As our small group gathered around the table to talk about building a team—recruiting talent, the interview process, building culture and local startup examples of how it's done, performance and accountability—it was clear this is the most critical, painful, semi-miserable and rewarding part of building a startup. read more

6878_3f2ba0646c_small May 19, 2014 by Guest Contributor

Omaha (Guest post by Andy von Dohren) The last two weeks have been a lot of work. I'm not talking about project work, which can actually be a lot of fun. I'm talking about mock interviews, resume writing, portfolio building and documentation writing work. Omaha Code School has done a lot for us over the last 12 weeks. They've taught us, helped us overcome difficult problems and provided mentors for us to learn from. But at no point have they been more helpful than the last two weeks. Lately we have been working on getting all our work ready to show to potential employers. read more

6842_9a84223a79_small May 13, 2014 by Guest Contributor

Iowa City (Guest post by Amanda Styron, co-founder and CEO of Seed Here Studio and one of the organizers behind EntreFEST.) EntreFEST is a celebration of those who make Iowa awesome: the entrepreneurs creating the future prosperity, vibrancy, companies and communities of our state. Part summit, part festival and part resource hub, there’s a lot happening at EntreFEST 2014 in three short days. If you haven’t yet, register online. read more

6797_7584ea60ae_small May 5, 2014 by Guest Contributor

Omaha (Guest post by Andy von Dohren) Having a client is a powerful thing. We started on a group project last week for SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer, a local organization that makes sock monkeys for cancer patients. Their founder, Jen Windrum, went through a devastating lung cancer case with her mother, who sadly passed away last year. Her mother lived 2,000 miles away, and she wanted to give her mother something she could keep with her during appointments and procedures when she couldn't attend. read more

6779_88e1726832_small May 2, 2014 by Megan Bannister

Des Moines In March, I wrote a post about starting an entrepreneurial-themed book club in Des Moines. While we're still trying to figure out some of the logistics, as of last week we wrapped up Des Moines' Startup Book Club's first book: "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" by Gary Vaynerchuk. I've never been a big fan of book reviews, but because the point of our Startup Book Club is to learn something new, I decided to share some of the social media lessons I learned along the way. Think of this as a highlight reel of sorts if you happen to be too busy to pick up Vaynerchuk's book yourself. read more

6730_3018df00a6_small April 21, 2014 by Guest Contributor

Omaha Six weeks, officially half way. It feels like we have been here three months already, but at the same time, like we just started. Long days are starting to catch up with me. I can hardly keep track of the days of the week anymore. My language has changed from English to a weird set of acronyms and terminology I had not heard until recently. I literally code all day, over meals. I even dream about code. But this is what I signed up for, and I'm having a blast… read more

6695_497f89b835_small April 11, 2014 by Guest Contributor

Des Moines (Guest post by Frank Merchlewitz) A list post! Hooray! It was only a matter of time before I created some good old-fashioned clickbait. Let me start by saying I love Codecademy. I couldn’t have gotten to the level I’m at now without their introductory Javascript course. But as any good web developer will tell you, the best way to learn is by actually building something… read more

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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.

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