Silicon Prairie News

5347_d57b252f07_small March 1, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Kansas City I'm not an expert. Honestly, I've only been to a single startup conference in my entire life: Thinc Iowa 2012 organized by Silicon Prairie News. Even so, that single conference changed the course of my life in several ways, many that I'm still discovering. With Silicon Prairie News' next conference Big Kansas City just a few short weeks away, here's what you should expect from it: 1. You will meet people that … read more

5346_c611bd2a66_small March 1, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Lincoln (Guest post by Stephanie Jarrett.) My husband Paul and I have put our marriage to the test more than a few times. We've worked at ad agencies together, we've been poor together and we’ve moved cross-country more than once. Each time after moving furniture into a new apartment, in a new city, I've looked at Paul as we sit amongst our packed garbage bags and say, "We did it! And we hardly even argued." And Paul's common response is "If that's the hardest challenge we face, our lives will be cake." I used to think that moving, creating a home or financial strife were some of the toughest tests … read more

5300_01c0df1b67_small February 22, 2013 by Geoff Wood

Des Moines Iowans are everywhere; at least that's how it feels to me. I'm the type of person that loves to catalog and share random knowledge, and when I learn that someone has a connection to this state I make a mental note of it. Those connections – people born, raised, educated or who otherwise lived here for a significant amount of time but have now moved elsewhere – are what we're calling "expats." As I wrote … read more

5319_d135764dca_small February 22, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Lincoln (Guest post by John Wirtz.) I'll never forget the most intimidating spreadsheet I ever had to face. It was winter 2009, and this piece of paper was just sitting there on my desk staring at me. It wasn't our sales goals for the year. It wasn't a list of the hairiest bugs in Hudl. It wasn't our steadily-decreasing statement of cash flows. It was a list of head football coach names, email addresses, and phone numbers from high schools here in Lincoln, Neb., and it was scaring the hell out of me. | Hudl in winter 2009: Going into the 2008 football season, our Hudl video analysis system was up and running … read more

5299_560a0da531_small February 15, 2013 by Geoff Wood

Des Moines Growing the Silicon Prairie startup community has been part of our organization's mission since its earliest days. That includes drawing attention to new startups, shining a spotlight on those making strides, sharing news about great events in the region and highlighting the folks working hard behind the scenes. When I presented "Silicon Prairie News, the Startup," at 1 Million Cups - Des Moines a few weeks ago, one of the questions asked of me was: "What are you doing to bring new people … read more

5307_c69da46dcc_small February 15, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Des Moines (Guest post by Mike Colwell.) Selling to businesses (B2B) can be hard but I will argue it can be very rewarding. I gained my selling to business experiences in the 80s and early 90s with a company called Norand Data Systems out of Cedar Rapids Iowa. We were selling new technologies (mobile and wireless computing) to established and mostly lethargic large corporations around the world. Based on those experiences, here are six things I think are critical to successful selling to businesses. 1. Sell on hard ROI. What is hard ROI? It is a return on investment that eliminates a budget item … read more

5279_e44e8862ca_small February 8, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Lincoln (Guest post by Collin Caneva.) I just completed testing for a new fitness boot camp. I'm not sharing this with you to brag, but because sales and this experience go hand-in-hand. To many people, "selling" is a dirty word. Of course every business needs sales, but the sales process is where the negative tone sometimes comes to mind. Who hasn't had an experience with a pushy, know-it-all salesman that seems numb to the word "no"? You say "no," but it seems like he/she hears "yeah, maybe" and keeps pushing. Yuck. Whenever someone cold calls me and wants to meet, I instantly build … read more

5257_99887f8a40_small February 1, 2013 by Guest Contributor

Kansas City (Guest post by Kirk Hasenzahl.) There are a number of tremendous ideas and new startups in the Silicon Prairie these days. It is an exciting time to be a startup around here. In all my worldly travels as a startup founder (2 years worth), it amazes me that many of the most incredible ideas I hear consistently are missing a key part to the solution: sales. The goal, I believe, is that at some point you do this to generate cash flow. Right? Or am I missing something? Even if you start a non-profit; money creates jobs, growth, and helps the company accomplish whatever ... 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.