Silicon Prairie News

2196_f27a57a820_small May 5, 2011 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln Young entrepreneurs, students and professionals from the Lincoln business community were all ears when the Entrepreneurship Committee from Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group put on its latest event at the Raikes School on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. John Wirtz, COO of Hudl, interviewed Steve Kiene, managing director of Nebraska Global, and Kiene talked about his background, startup experience and tips for new entrepreneurs. … read more

2185_4150491dad_small May 3, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Columbia As he has worked to bring his nonprofit startup to scale recently, David Cohn hasn't encountered any shortage of people willing to help. Cohn is the founder and director of, a web-based platform for community-funded journalism that we reported on last week. allows the public to commission and participate with journalists to report on important and perhaps overlooked topics. Cohn launched in late 2008 and has worked for the last year as a Donald W. Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri's … read more

2174_504e7031d2_small April 29, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Columbia David Cohn didn't necessarily set out looking to launch a startup when he entered the working world. But it wasn't long before Cohn's line of work led him down an entrepreneurial path. "I was writing about technology all the time and how technology was influencing culture and different industries, etc.," Cohn said. "Eventually I started scratching my chin and said, 'Well, how does it change journalism – the actual profession that I’ve chosen?' And that was … read more

2171_c9fc19221d_small April 28, 2011 by Jeff Slobotski

We're just two weeks away from Big Omaha 2011, and we want to share a conversation we recently had with Dan Martell, co-founder of Flowtown, a company focused on providing web-based tools that allow small businesses to measure their online marketing efforts. In November, Silicon Prairie News contributor John T. Meyer wrote a Tools for the Trade piece on Flowtown. Martell has an interesting entrepreneurial background, and that's why we're thrilled to have him in the lineup for this year's event … read more

2050_01fe960691_small April 12, 2011 by Christopher New

West Des Moines Justin Schoen won't build your e-commerce website. That is to say that he's not a designer. Though his business is helping businesses market themselves online, don't just assume he's all about web design. "A lot of people ask," Schoen said as he sat in office in Clive, Iowa. It's a point of confusion that the University of Iowa graduate and MBA student is quick to clear up. He has a couple of experienced firms he consults that do design work… read more

1907_67f67f6441_small March 11, 2011 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln was the first online pet store, and it's still growing after 15 years. Earlier this week, we profiled owner Darcie Krueger. When I met with Krueger, I asked her to give us some advice for entrepreneurs. Along with "don't buy the airplane," another thing Darcie says that’s gotten her company through the down times is her outlook on competition: "I don’t care about the competition, there’s enough money out there for everybody, and there… read more

1914_a882d1ce7d_small March 11, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Lincoln Calvin Pappas seems to eat, sleep and breathe online privacy policy. Sometimes almost literally. Pappas, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Nebraska and founder of online privacy manager said he has brushed up on internet privacy by reading more than 600 policies — most of which amount to 2,500 words of drowse-inducing legalese. “It’s a good way,” he said, “to fall asleep at night.” And for Pappas, it’s been a good… read more

1853_29887e59b1_small March 10, 2011 by Christopher New

Des Moines (SmartyPig CEO Bob Weinschenk, middle, poses with co-founders Jon Gaskell, left, and Michael Ferrari pose for a picture at Finovate 2009. Photo by Christophe Langlois of Visible Banking, from When you're in the air as much as Bob Weinschenk, you should know where you're headed – even if the route is winding and long. But even the CEO of Des Moines-based SmartyPig, who commutes over 2,000 miles a week for his job… 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.