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Big Omaha – Showcasing the startup T-shirts of the Silicon Prairie

May 27, 2011 by

It’s true what they all say: any more, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between Big Omaha and Paris Fashion Week — well, sans the Goyard-toting Kanye West, but we’re working on booking Yeezy for next year — because both events are all about who you’re wearing. The buzz around a Parisian runway — “Did you get a look at the latest Versace?” — is nearly indistinguishable from the chatter at KANEKO — “Have you seen the new Kiene?”

All right, so Big Omaha might be about a tad more — innovation, entrepreneurship, all that jazz — than just who you’re wearing. Even so, the influence of the T-shirt at our conference is undeniable. Sweet shirts are ubiquitous across the startup landscape, and that phenomenon really came into focus at Big Omaha. Every startup, it seemed, was sporting or slinging its schwag, and we did our best to document as many of the top threads as we could track down.

We wanted a glimpse of Zaarly‘s garb. Chad Elliott delivered what we wanted, when we wanted it. He showed off Zaarly’s new gear from the front …

… and the back.

Brandon Ratzlaff showed Dwolla makes good financial and fashion sense with his company’s special-edition Big Omaha shirt.

Emily Munderloh sported one of the myriad models of Don’t Panic Labs shirts present at Big Omaha.

Mike Varilek, Hari Wiguna and Nick Graef rocked another of Don’t Panic Labs‘ offerings, an homage to Steve Kiene.

John T. Meyer, Silicon Prairie News contributor extraordinaire and 9 Clouds co-founder, modeled his 9 Clouds tee against the backdrop of a cloud-filled sky. See what we did there?

David Spinks of BlogDash showed off another of the big guns in Zaarly‘s T-shirt arsenal.

Drew Larson from BrownWinick supported another Des Moines shop by wearing this Dwolla mainstay.

From Michigan’s maize and blue to the New York Jets’ hunter green and white and everything in between, Hudl‘s Kyle Murphy, Brett Kunz, Matt Mueller, David Graff and Bryant Bone showed their company’s true colors.

Nick Ebert went with a more — ahem — vibrant variation on the classic Kiene. If anyone had trouble hearing Big Omaha’s speakers, it may have been because Don’t Panic Labs‘ SHIRTS WERE TOO LOUD.

Robert Hidajat won Startup Wekeend Des Moines with the idea behind bHeroic and donned his startup’s shirt at Big Omaha.

In a timeless example of life imitating T-Shirt, Rick Knudtson wore a shirt emblazoned with Tripleseat‘s three-seat logo while sitting, per our request, in the middle of — you guessed it — THREE SEATS!

Is Big Omaha a startup? Not exactly. Do we care? Not at all. So we’ll wrap this post up with a little shameless self-promotion, courtesy of the wardrobe of our own Danny Schreiber.

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