Silicon Prairie News

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 clanglois.blogs.com.) 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

1888_e7c399fe96_small March 9, 2011 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln When I arrived at SitStay’s warehouse to interview owner Darcie Krueger, she was finishing up the hiring process with her new customer-service employee. She told me that while I waited for them to wrap up I could play catch with her dog Gibbs. As I was throwing the ball down the office hallway, I could tell that SitStay’s culture was laid back, pet-friendly and really fun. During our interview, Krueger confirmed what I had guessed about SitStay. read more

1905_bac6bfb417_small March 8, 2011 by Christopher New

Des Moines One would think that with more than 100 programmers and tech entrepreneurs crammed into Cabaret in West Glen on Wednesday, March 2, all eyes would have been on the TVs showing Steve Jobs introducing the iPad 2. Instead, they were fixed on founder Ben Milne and the rest of the Dwolla team as the social payment service presented its newest… read more

1904_8f3775fe6a_small March 8, 2011 by Danny Schreiber

Lincoln Almost 10 years ago to this day, a Silicon Prairie-based ecommerce startup, SitStay, was featured by Inc., a print and online magazine featuring stories and tips for small business owners. At the time the article was published, SitStay was in its fourth year of operation, and while the previous year saw the iconic dot-com failure of Pets.com, the Lincoln-based startup was recording its fourth year of profits. Today… read more

1817_0fed6f04b1_small February 18, 2011 by Chris G. Shaw

Kansas City As the managing partner of Think Big Partners, Think Big Kansas City and bizperc, Herb Sih has been busy over the last three years (Left, photo from thinkbigpartners.com). Most recently, Think Big announced a collaboration with Angel Capital Group, a Tennessee-based investment group, to launch 4-6 companies in an incubator right here in Kansas City. The Think Big KC incubator is based on the Y Combinator/TechStars proof-of-concept model. Founders apply with a business plan and receive a little funding, along with some legal and marketing help, and 90 days of… read more

1782_d29d45d874_small February 17, 2011 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln During a recent interview with Green Bein' president & CEO Collin Caneva – see: Kid Command adds 56k users in Jan., Aaron Davis joins Green Bein’ team" – I saw that he is not only motivated by his business, but also by his team at Green Bein’. I wanted to learn more about their culture so I stopped by the Green Bein' office to capture a video… read more

1799_fb8eaeefc7_small February 15, 2011 by Royce Haynes

Westwood Red Nova Labs takes its name and mission from "luminous red nova," the label applied to a new class of stellar explosions. Just as these astronomical phenomena are thought to occur when two stars merge, Red Nova Labs set out in similar fashion in 2009 "to merge business and customers via the web." Red Nova Labs is a web think-tank that transforms ideas into profitable web products. If you’re not familiar… read more

1784_9e4e0d7845_small February 14, 2011 by Christopher New

Urbandale Ryan Parlee has a knack for managing several enterprises concurrently, and has a diverse resume of interests that he attends to, but he says the two keys to working that way are creating strong partnerships with trusted associates, and "knowing when to say no." He notes that his daily priority is on Flying Hippo Web Technologies, described as a "web strategies company." "One of the lessons I've learned along the way is that of focus," said Parlee. "Realizing that with what we're doing… 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.

Vote!