Silicon Prairie News

1772_6636019a4b_small February 9, 2011 by Christopher New

Urbandale If Ryan Parlee started one company at a time, you might call him a serial entrepreneur. But the 30-year-old Altoona resident juggles multiple endeavors at a time, so perhaps "parallel entrepreneur" is a more fitting moniker for the father of four (soon to be six). "My dad owned a construction company. I was just around that and knew what it took and what it was like to run your own business," Parlee said. "And I knew it was a lot of work." Parlee's big jump into entrepreneurship came… read more

1747_27ff4ec6a5_small February 2, 2011 by Dan Beenken

Cedar Falls When you walk into the HQ for T8 Webware and its sister companies at Barmuda Companies, you know you’ve reached the heart of the Cedar Valley’s innovation district. As Wade Arnold likes to say, "Some firms are on the cutting edge, we’re at the bleeding edge." For Arnold, a gifted PHP and Adobe coder, that’s exactly where he wants to stay. T8 is his baby, make no mistake. And although he has attracted… read more

1737_05823dce3a_small January 31, 2011 by Danny Schreiber

Omaha When I stopped by Benaissance on January 4th to take pictures for our feature piece on the company – "Benaissance reaches profitability in under two years" – I also grabbed a short video interview with Benaissance vice president Mark Waterstraat. In the first 30 seconds, Waterstraat gives a brief overview of Benaissance. He then provides a short backstory of how he came to partner with John Jenkins… read more

1618_b4fe3af339_small January 27, 2011 by Dan Beenken

Cedar Falls My first official post here at Silicon Prairie News is on an organization that I’m closely tied with, MyEntre.Net, a division of my employer, the Incubation Services at the University of Northern Iowa. Truth be told, my editor actually requested that MyEntre.Net be my first topic. MyEntre.Net has come to be the face and a huge part of what we do at UNI to foster entrepreneurship locally, around the state of Iowa and beyond. MyEntre.Net was… read more

1699_2d64113f7a_small January 24, 2011 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln On a recent visit to Nebraska, Jeffrey Dachis, founder and CEO of Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, offered his advice for entrepreneurs: "Do what you love, don’t do anything you don’t love. I’d be doing this whether I’m getting paid or not. This is the stuff I believe in, this is the stuff I’ve always wanted to do, this is the stuff that I’m passionate about… read more

1667_0050f34427_small January 11, 2011 by Geoff Wood

Des Moines (Zach, left, and Ben Anderson of 8/7 Central. Photo courtesy of Eric Rowley/Juice.) Custom-designed T-shirts are a hot commodity among tech startups, and custom screenprinting and design studio 8/7 Central (87c) has positioned itself as the provider of choice for the local entrepreneurial community. "I'm not smart enough to be an engineer or developer, but I always thought it would be awesome if I was," said Ben Anderson, 25, co-owner… read more

1608_6a79836907_small January 6, 2011 by Steven Adams

Omaha The Omaha-based insurance software administrator Benaissance didn’t start overnight. It started about 15 years ago when John Jenkins (left) founded COBRA Outsourcing Company, the company that would lead Jenkins and Mark Waterstraat (right) to found Benaissance. In 1995, Jenkins built COBRA Outsourcing Company (COCO) as a third-party… read more

1602_6c14d0e846_small December 29, 2010 by Andrea Ciurej

Omaha Before moving his recently-acquired Glenwood, Iowa, company to the 10th floor of the Omaha World-Herald Building in downtown Omaha, Doug McGregor went "dark" for nine months to repackage it. McGregor, a recently transplanted Minnesotan and former managing director of the private equity firm Rational Equity, had partnered with ECI, a provider of enterprise-level lending solutions to financial… 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.