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Roundup of the Silicon Prairie at SXSW 2012

With South by Southwest Interactive one week behind us, we’ve compiled links to articles, blog posts, tweets, photos, audio and video that cover or mention Silicon Prairie-based entrepreneurs and startups that took part in the event. During the five-day festival in Austin, Texas, a number of individuals from the Silicon Prairie participated on panels, competed in the accelerator, attended the awards or threw a party.

Editor’s note: Links will be added as we find them. If you know of an item we’re missing, whether it’s a blog post or tweet, please send it to editor@siliconprairienews.com.


The Field of Dreams Manifesto

Dwolla’s Ben Milne and Zaarly’s Bo Fishback speak with our own Jeff Sobotski about founding startups in the Silicon Prairie.

Moderated by our very own Jeff Slobotski, this Saturday morning panel featured Bo Fishback of Zaarly, a startup based in San Francisco with an office in Kansas City, and Ben Milne of Des Moines-based Dwolla. The hour-long session gave a behind-the-scenes look at how startups are taking root outside of Silicon Valley, specifically in Kansas City and Des Moines.

Audio: “The Field of Dreams Manifesto




Think Global, Blog Local: The Regional Tech Blog

Twilio’s Danielle Morrill leads a conversation about regional tech blogs with our own Danny Schreiber, TECHdotMN’s Mike Bollinger, Technically Philly’s Sean Blanda and Silicon Florist’s Rick Turoczy.

Assembled by our managing editor, Danny Schreiber, the “Think Global, Blog Local” panel on Saturday afternoon focused on the backgrounds and importance of regional tech blogs. The discussion was led by Twilio‘s Danielle Morrill, a former editor of a Seattle tech blog, and included representatives from TECHdotMN, Technically Philly and Silicon Florist.

Audio: “Think Global, Blog Local: The Regional Tech Blog 


How to Build Entrepreneurship Communities

Kohort’s Shane Reiser (far left), a former Des Moines resident, moderated a panel on building entrepreneurship communities. 

On Sunday afternoon, Nick Seguin of Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and our very own Jeff Slobotski took part in a discussion focused on the key ingredients of successful startup communities.

Audio: To be released on sxsw.com


Blog posts:




Internet Bubble the Sequel: 1999 All Over Again?

TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis (middle) led a discussion on whether or not there’s a tech bubble approaching.

Dwolla’s Ben Milne took part in a lively conversation comparing the Dot-com bubble in the ’90s to the current environment. With Dwolla’s headquarters in Iowa, Milne was the one panelist from outside of Silicon Valley and New York. The other panelists included Ethan Kurzweil of Bessemer Venture Partners, Peter Pham of Science and Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer of AirPR.

Audio: To be released on sxsw.com


Encouraging Innovation and Empowering Entrepreneurs

Capital Factory’s Joshua Baer interviews U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas at SXSW.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) made his first visit to SXSW on March 10 in order to spread the word about The Startup Act, a bill introduced by himself and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on the premise that the easier it is for creative individuals to take risks and start a business, more jobs will be created.

Audio:Encouraging Innovation and Empowering Entrepreneurs” 


Blog posts:





SXSW Accelerator

Innovative Web Technologies category

Naithan Jones of AgLocal delivers his pitch onstage at the SXSW Accelerator.

AgLocal co-founder and CEO Naithan Jones took his company’s “power to the meat lover” motto to the SXSW Accelerator‘s innovative web technologies categories. Though it did not advance in the startup competition, it did win another event during SXSW, the Startup America pitch contest on March 9.

Video: “Naithan Jones pitching at SXSW Startup America Austin City Limits Live!!” and “AgLocal winning Startup America pitch at SXSW




SXSW Awards

Technical Achievement category

The LiveOn team gathers around a table during the Interactive Awards ceremony on March 13.

LiveOn, based out of Kansas City, Mo., was an Interactive Awards finalist in the technical achievement category and though it didn’t win, it made the most of their first trip to SXSW experience.





Blake Miller of Think Big Partners

Blake Miller (back left) and the Get Wished team on their way to Austin. 

Blake Miller of Kansas City-based Think Big Partners participated in the Las Vegas StartupBus team that launched Get Wished during the 72-hour hackathon on its way to SXSW. Though it didn’t make it to the finals, GetWished launched its beta site on March 10.

Press release: Las Vegas StartupBus Launches GetWished.com During 72-hour Hackathon

Blog posts:



Silicon Prairie Cereal Bar

Hundreds of SXSW attendees gathered at Halcyon on Sunday morning. 

On March 11, more than 600 SXSW attendees joined SPN and other attendees from the Silicon Prairie region for networking over a free bowl of cereal.


Blog posts:


More Silicon Prairie startups at SXSW

Rockupied (Columbia, Mo.)

Dwolla (Des Moines)

Local Ruckus (Kansas City)

Zaarly (San Francisco-based, Kansas City office)

Also, published on SPN, SXSnippets

Credits: Photo of the “The Field of Dreams Manifesto” by Danny Schreiber. Photo of the “Think Global, Blog Local” panel by Dana Vachon. Photo of Blake Miller by Diana is broccolini. Photo for “Encouraging Innovation” by Danny Schreiber. Photo of “Entrepreneurship Communities” by Alison Lindland on Twitter. Photo of “Internet Bubble” by Danny Schreiber. Photo of SXSW Accelerator by Brittany Mascio. Photo of SXSW Interactive Awards from liveon.comPhoto of Blake Miller from Diana on Twitter. Photo of Silicon Prairie Cereal Bar by Otto Helweg.

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