Silicon Prairie News

4447_03caf9caff_small July 12, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Iowa City Silicon Prairie News: You're working on a project tentatively called "Shakespeare in the Kitchen." Can you explain what the project is and what your goals are for it? | Sophie Milord: “Shakespeare in the Kitchen” is a fun project that appeals to my creative side. It is a cheerful product line of kitchen apparel and décor. Playing on the passionate nature of Shakespeare’s expression of love in his work, all the pieces in the collection will feature a slightly modified quotation on the topic of love. This variation is where the uniqueness of the product manifests itself. The quotations will be humorous yet recognizable, hopefully generating appeal across a wide market. My plan is currently to start showing prototypes at craft shows. All products will be sustainably produced, featuring organic … 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

4443_850bf87431_small July 11, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Omaha Silicon Prairie News: At last check, had a couple of new products in the works. What's the latest with those? | Bill Hipsher: Our development team, led by Brandon Taylor, has been pushing hard and will meet a Sept. 1 deadline for our most exciting new product, which will be launched at the major industry trade show in early September. The core group here is constantly brainstorming, and we are branching out into new areas too, utilizing the technologies we developed for To make this site work there really were no plug-ins. The number of pieces Brandon and his team had to develop to make this site work are staggering. Many of those pieces have potential in other areas that we are excitedly … read more

4404_361a25c156_small July 2, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Lincoln Silicon Prairie News: Having run a successful Kickstarter campaign for The Prop, what words of wisdom can you offer other people hoping to bring their own good ideas to life through Kickstarter? | Justin Brouillette: We found Kickstarter to both be wonderful and perplexing. The largest challenge is not knowing what you are getting into. Your project may blow up — our project was more successful than we had hoped — and you will get orders from all over the world and most likely have no idea how to fulfill those orders. Ultimately, be very specific about your budgeting, from margins on rewards, to manufacturing quotes, to shipping costs. …  read more

4317_4b35ef3b72_small June 15, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Kansas City Silicon Prairie News: How have you seen your role and responsibilities shift since the formation last fall of KCnext - The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City? | Mary Noulles: Since KCnext formed last fall, Ryan Weber, president of KCnext, will say, “Mary makes me look good.” All joking aside, my responsibilities have grown incrementally. I work closely with Ryan to support our Tech Council members, and focus on maintaining strong member relationships. I manage our marketing and communications platforms – from website content to email blasts, and orchestrate all KCnext events and sponsors. Also, I communicate quarterly with our Board to provide an update on global marketing strategies and events. … read more

4303_2d4d8a1596_small June 13, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Prairie Village Silicon Prairie News: AgLocal wrapped up 12 weeks at the NewMe Accelerator last month. What were a few of the team's main takeaways from that experience? | Josh Coleman: That access to networks of influence are key to startups and having the resources they provided are so valuable to young startups like ours. | SPN: You spent 10 years at Batts before making the jump to Zaarly in 2011. What compelled you to make that big career change? | JC: I had become frustrated throughout the last couple of years at Batts and knew I needed to make a change in my career. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I had been researching and talking to people about startups for several years and was fascinated with what I was finding. … read more

4292_38a9fc20ef_small June 12, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Kansas City Silicon Prairie News: In your short time with NeighborWorks America, what have you witnessed as far as what entrepreneurship can mean to a community in terms of the creation of jobs and wealth? | Jason Arnold: NeighborWorks is a very well regarded organization in the field of Community Development. Historically, the conversation has been about helping families achieve homeownership, which is seen as a first step towards economic and social stability. Today, under the U.S. CDFI fund, local organizations are providing access … read more

4278_ad74eb6981_small June 8, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Omaha Silicon Prairie News: Having presented Arch recently at events like i2iowa and Cornstalks, you've had a chance to fine-tune your pitch. So, for those who aren't familiar with Arch, what's the 30-second version of that pitch? | Tim Hermanson: Arch is a location-based, mobile app that leverages the flexibility and distribution of smartphones to let users ask for information and media from any remote location. We think of the millions of smartphones as a worldwide grid of eyes and ears. Arch gives you the power to tap into that grid. | SPN: Two-plus years into your work on Arch, what are some of the most significant changes it has undergone in that time? | TH: As with any long-term project, Arch has been through several iterations in terms … 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.