Silicon Prairie News

6339_e88d09d968_small December 23, 2013 by Jordan Pascale

Kansas City Albert Tong's career path is a mix of skill and serendipity. Out of college at the University of Michigan, he fell into a job that combined his two passions—computers and health. The Detroit area-native found himself at Cerner, the Kansas City-based health IT company, in 2005... read more

5960_da44940789_small September 4, 2013 by Patti Vannoy

Lincoln Technically, Lincoln-based app shop SectorNow has a massive mission: to use data to improve people's lives. "We want to build really niche products that meet specific market needs that work really well for people," said co-founder Evelyn Bartlett (right). But ultimately, the company's focus is on two narrower areas that ignite its co-founders' personal passions: behavioral health (that's co-founder Craig Lutz-Priefert) and environmental issues (Bartlett and her husband, Roger)... read more

5416_0a519e440d_small March 26, 2013 by Kate Ellingson

Lincoln When Jill Thayer Liliedahl, founder of the frozen treat company Pop Art, and Amber Pankonin, creator of the health-oriented recipe app StirList, met on the Lincoln, Neb. startup scene, the pair began noticing a missing demographic at the events they were attending. Both women were startled by the lack of female entrepreneurs. "We would show up to all these startup events, and we were practically the only women there," Thayer Liliedahl said. "We wanted more to show up." Inspired by … read more

5361_f27e1cd2df_small March 6, 2013 by Joe Stych

Kansas City Rob Sweeney says we're in the midst of a tech-based disconnect, and it's based on age. This generation of digital natives can master an iPhone by age four. But our grandparents could care less about hashtags, Facebook timelines and texting. That's where the failed connection happens. Kansas City native Sweeney sees a starightforward way to alleviate grandma's tech-based communication woes, and he calls it messageQube. The idea is simple: instead of teaching elderly relatives to use text messaging to communicate, messageQube acts as a receiver for the messages, and automatically prints them on a receipt-style sheet. That way, grandma can consume … read more

5193_d99529e2e5_small February 8, 2013 by Annie Sorensen

Overland Park The future of education may be right here in Kansas City, tucked away in a modern building in Overland Park, Kan., bustling with teenagers. The Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), part of the Blue Valley school district, takes an entrepreneurial, innovative approach to education that aims to provide more than 900 junior and senior high school students with hands-on, real world experience. … read more

5029_cd33633d05_small January 11, 2013 by Paige Yowell

For years, startup founders and entrepreneurs across the Silicon Prairie have sought to get out of basements and coffee shops and make the move to professional workspaces. Thus, a startup culture staple – coworking – emerged. Coworking spaces in and nearby the region's flagship cities of Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City have been on the rise in the past couple of years, with desks to lease – at our last count – at 15 coworking spaces in a dozen cities. … read more

4465_14dc800123_small July 23, 2012 by Paige Yowell

Kansas City Sharmil Desai was working at STIX restaurant in Kansas City, Kan. when the restaurant owners needed a website for customers … read more

4416_d6a44d00ea_small July 11, 2012 by Sarah Binder

Kansas City PlanetReuse recently gained national media attention for its plan to encourage the reuse of building materials, but InvenQuery, the technology that powers it, is just beginning to grow. The two Kansas City, Mo. companies share the same leadership team of Nathan Benjamin and Willow Lundgren. Benjamin has been building PlanetReuse for four years, and the team has worked on InvenQuery … 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.