Silicon Prairie News

4315_beb0fc7c09_small June 15, 2012 by Guest Contributor

Des Moines Startup founders establish the culture of their companies. Culture means different things to different people, but here we're discussing the way the startup works, how team members interact, their work ethic, how they behave and how they react to outside inputs. How that culture expresses itself can be a strong asset to the startup or a destructive force that contributes to its death. We all have vague ideas of what we'd like to see in our working culture and more can say exactly what constitutes a toxic culture. Far too many have experienced the abusive boss, the stifling bureaucracy and resistance to change. For some, those factors caused them to start a company to begin with. The founder has the obligation and challenge to set and perpetuate … read more

4283_c0d9cd365e_small June 9, 2012 by Guest Contributor

Des Moines This week Tej Dhawan, Andy Stoll, Amanda Styron, and I trekked from Iowa to Boulder Colorado for the Startup America Partnership Regional Leaders Summit to represent StartupIowa. Over the two days, the SUAP team and our peer regions (states) were relentless in sharing best practices and programs that they have developed to build their entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Summit has had me thinking deeply about where we are in the gestation of StartupIowa and the overall ecosystem … read more

4274_8841b6e8ea_small June 8, 2012 by Guest Contributor

Omaha First things first, the role of a founder is to do things like this. Share their experience, learn from others' experiences, and give back to communities that have helped shape and grow their companies. I believe founders have both strategic and tactical roles. Strategic roles are things like crafting the vision, creating and maintaining a desired culture, recruiting the best team, and generally keeping the ship moving in the right direction. These are likely consistent throughout … read more

4244_e37d156728_small June 2, 2012 by Guest Contributor

Omaha Last week the last of the second batch of the Stored Potential banners went up in Omaha. The project was ambitions, the work was hard, and the final project is exceptional. Defunct grain elevators were transformed into a piece of art which speaks for the city. The city didn’t do it. You and I didn’t do it. Emerging Terrain, an Omaha non-profit, did it. And they are to be thanked. It is organizations like theirs which are helping … read more

4243_2adb687ed0_small June 1, 2012 by Guest Contributor

Kansas City (This is a guest post by Jessie Bishop.) In 2011, I founded Klink Mobile, a company that uses cutting-edge mobile technology to transfer minutes and money to mobile devices worldwide, and in retrospect, I didnʼt fully comprehend what I was getting into. I didn't realize that I was embarking on a path that would transform me, a twenty-something living with my parents in Kansas City, into the public visage of a potentially billion-dollar company; a path that would take me out of my comfort zone and into a war zone; a path that would show me, time and again, the importance of intuition in the face of adversity. But, I did know that my heart was telling me something. And lucky for me, I listened. As a female founder of a mobile technology startup … read more

4210_4e2efce7f5_small May 25, 2012 by Guest Contributor

(This is a guest post by Rodrigo Neri.) Today marks the last day at my corporate day job. That's right people, I'm making the jump. I'm leaving my safe and comfy job to work on the startup I cofounded called Instin! But hold on, it wasn't that easy, for the past 15 months I've been planning for this day. If you read last week's post by Bo Fishback, I'm part of the group of people that "Side projects turn into companies". 15 months ago me and my co-founders Ryan and Keith, who also made the jump … read more

4181_f22af852ca_small May 18, 2012 by Jeff Slobotski

There are many articles which talk about how and why people leave their day jobs to pursue their dreams. It seems as though I read almost an article a week on the subject. Though there are common themes around what it's like to quit a perfectly good job where things are going right but you don't feel like it's where you're supposed to be, I wanted to share some of my thoughts for this week's Founder Friday post. When I launched the idea for Silicon Prairie News almost four years ago, it started out as a side project which I was passionate about. I was intrigued by what was going on in the city after seeing other innovative communities and knew that our city had the same individuals doing amazing work here. … read more

4170_226f3501c3_small May 16, 2012 by Guest Contributor

Kansas City (This is a guest post by Bo Fishback.) I get questions about this a lot. It seems that just about everyone wants to "do a startup," and that just about that same number of people (read: everyone) "has an idea." But if that's the case, why isn't everyone working for themselves? Setting aside for the moment that the dream and the reality of running a startup are very different things and that many of those "ideas" are likely terrible, there is clearly … read more

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