Silicon Prairie News

5088_b05b2228ae_small December 6, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Kansas City Silicon Prairie News: Given that you once doubted you'd join a big firm, what was it that drew you to Polsinelli Shughart? Kristin Kenney: Polsinelli is an entrepreneurial firm that values lawyers who think like business people. Although it’s now a large national firm, Polsinelli has remained headquartered in Kansas City and is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the Midwest. I decided to join Polsinelli because I’m encouraged to use my business experience in addition to my legal skills. | SPN: What experiences or lessons learned during your time as an entrepreneur have proven most valuable in your work an attorney for entrepreneurs? KK: There are two big lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. First, develop relationships … read more

5004_49e9018711_small November 13, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Omaha Silicon Prairie News: To what would you attribute your interest in social entrepreneurship? Can you pinpoint any particular individuals or experiences that sparked it? | Lucas Turner: I first became aware of social entrepreneurship as a potential career path after coming to Creighton. It sounded like the perfect major because it allowed my passions of business and engaging with people from all backgrounds to intertwine. Participating in service trips, working at Camp Laurel South in Maine and being involved in philanthropy events all have driven me to want to start something that will make a difference for everyone. Also, seeing how connected, personable and fun the startup communities are really excites me. … read more

4969_8b3a3e741c_small November 5, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Kansas City Silicon Prairie News: What's the latest and greatest on the interactive marketing front at AMC? | Shane Adams: For the last couple of years, I've been working pretty hard on a project to completely overhaul the site. We started first with the architecture. All our developers are in-house, and we're using an agile methodology, which is a great way for us to build new pieces of functionality quickly. And having the developers in-house instead of as vendors means we have people who care about the quality of the site. Our previous vendors did not seem to care quite as much. AMC has some experience with trying to outsource … read more

4964_b88f605cbd_small November 2, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Yankton Silicon Prairie News: You spent several years in magazine publishing before opening Ben's Brewing Co. What led to your decision to make such a significant career shift? | Ben Hanten: I don't see publishing as being a lot different than running a bar. Both types of businesses need to be run like a campaign in order to be successful. Both require you to work long, erratic hours. Both involve creative marketing campaigns. I think publishing prepared me well to run bars. | SPN: Looking back at year one of the Wire Me Awake conference, what stands out as one thing you might do differently in the future and one smashing success? | BH: We really have been overwhelmed … read more

4954_53e3f17206_small October 31, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Des Moines Silicon Prairie News: What were your main takeaways from the Big Dream Gathering last week at Drake? | Katie Weiler: I love the connections that are made at Big Dream Gatherings. We had someone who wanted to learn Hebrew who was able to connect with someone who speaks it fluently. There as also a woman who wanted to learn how to work on antique cars, and she was able to connect with someone who does it as a hobby. It amazes me how much people can help each other if they're just willing to share what they need. | SPN: As someone with a passion for teaching and learning, what are ways — aside from your formal education — that you make both of those part of your daily life? | KW: Outside of school, I’m constantly reading books about self-improvement and subjects … read more

4946_115e68b785_small October 29, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Pella Silicon Prairie News: What are the biggest challenges you face in helping cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset among college students? | Wade Steenhoek: Students often mistakenly think that entrepreneurship is reserved for someone else and question their own place in this space. Part of my role is to establish competence in starting a new venture but also develop the confidence that allows students to believe in their ability to achieve their dream of starting their own business. | SPN: As a big fan of Steve Blank's work, what are a couple of the most important lessons you've taken from him? | WS: The single most important lesson is that products … read more

4920_163019df9d_small October 23, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Cedar Falls Silicon Prairie News: What were the biggest challenges you encountered last year moving from a job in the advertising industry to your current gig with Banno? | Abby Goltz: I would say the biggest challenge was just learning and working in a completely different niche. I went from proof reading disclaimers and pulling manufacturer incentives for automotive advertising to product implementation and support for financial institutions nationwide. This industry is a much more technical environment and very highly regulated. I feel challenged and learn something new every single day which is only one of the many factors attributing to my happiness at Banno. | SPN: Banno colleagues have praised your knack … read more

4883_10279a9a21_small October 12, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Des Moines Silicon Prairie News: What are the most important lessons about being a community builder you've learned in your eight months at Volunteer Local? | Kaylee Williams: I think most importantly, know your product. Know its strengths and weaknesses. That’s important. Second, know your competitors. My first project for VolunteerLocal was to complete in-depth reviews of our top four competitors. I still look to those reviews when I’m speaking to prospective clients today. Third, respond quickly. It builds trust and lays … 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.