Silicon Prairie News

2569_e03af9d33b_small August 17, 2011 by Willis Jackson

Wichita A Kansas company backed by Nebraska money is looking to make its mark in an industry most prominent in places like Southern California, the Pacific Northwest … read more

2709_d44a6f071b_small August 15, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Des Moines In case you didn't catch wind of it through our announcement last week or via the Facebook event page, let this serve as a friendly reminder that Chris Pirillo is stopping by Amici Espresso (206 6th Ave.) for a meetup tonight from 5:30-8:30. Pirillo, the Des Moines-born founder of the Lockergnome blogging network and the Gnomedex conference, now lives in Seattle but has made time for get-togethers with tech enthusiasts in his hometown on trips back to Iowa over the years. For Gnomedex, which Pirillo started in 2001 and organized for the 10th time last year, change is coming. … read more

2678_bf55532229_small August 10, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Ames To categorize Sam Schill’s immersion into the world of tech startups using the lexicon of that land, the Ames businessman has quickly gone from just checking in to becoming a veritable super mayor. A little more than a year removed from making his first foray into the landscape of tech entrepreneurship — when he helped his firm, Sigler Companies, forge a relationship with Foursquare — Schill can’t seem to shake the startup scene, whether it’s in his role at Sigler or with his nascent side project … read more

2567_fe53c92108_small July 19, 2011 by Brittany Mascio

Omaha Steven Michael Kelly has quite the sweet tooth for innovation. And rightfully so. He's the master chef behind The Educated Baker, a for-profit bakery with a social mission. And ironically enough, he is the mastermind of the iDROP, an iPhone application for diabetes management. The Educated Baker, Kelly's primary project, is a for-profit wholesale bakery that specializes in producing frozen cookies and scones, operating under what he calls … read more

2546_4836338521_small July 13, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Des Moines Zach Cox grew up in Marshalltown and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Iowa State University, so he's no stranger to central Iowa. But when Cox moved to the Des Moines area last summer after spending several years on the East Coast and in Canada, he had to work to acclimate himself to the area's tech startup scene. "What I wanted to do as soon as I got back here was just try to network … read more

2530_be5c7e9513_small July 12, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Columbia Telling the story of his move from northern California to middle Missouri, Jim Spencer peppers in a couple of punch lines that have become well-polished with use. In 2008, Spencer relocated from San Francisco to Columbia, Mo. to start Newsy, a provider of multi-platform, multi-source video news analysis. "I explained to the folks in northern California," said Spencer, “that really the two main … read more

2392_570af2ea6b_small June 16, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Des Moines VolunteerLocal has a clear message for event organizers seeking a better way to orchestrate volunteer forces: if you want your volunteer process to excel, scrap the old spreadsheet. "We know we’ve fixed the problem, and I think a lot of our big task is educating the market that there’s tools like this available," said Brian Hemesath, VolunteerLocal’s founder. "Our biggest competition is … read more

2359_9b327ae951_small June 9, 2011 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln Shane Farritor had no plans of becoming an entrepreneur, but things changed in 2006. “This started with an alumnus from the university who is on the dean’s advisory board," said Farritor, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "He’s been very successful doing startup companies and wanted to help the university with his expertise. He wanted to help engineers … 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.