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Startup founders, investors share notes of thanks

For the second year, we asked founders, investors, executives and other participants in the Silicon Prairie startup community one question: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday? We limited answers to 50 words and though our focus on Silicon Prairie News is to cover startups, we left the focus of their answers up to them.

Some thanked their clients – “my clients … who trust our vision” – others, their families – “my fabulous husband” – others, the things that keep them connected – “my Macbook Pro” – and others, the things that keep them going – “I’m incredibly thankful for the Gangnam Style.”

In all, 21 community members shared what they’re thankful for this holiday.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday?

Adam Arredondo, Local Ruckus

Personally, I’m thankful for a supportive family that I have pushed beyond every comfort zone they’ve ever had.

Professionally, I’m grateful for Matthew, Rob, Monica, Eden, Julian, Hannah, Morgan, Frank, Benton, Shawna, Foster and Sam who make Local Ruckus possible.

Randomly, I’m incredibly thankful for the Gangnam Style.

Sam Bao, Backly and Silicon Prairie StartupDigest

Lots, but I am particularly thankful for my wife, my Macbook Pro, my phone, my team, the internet, beer, Oklahoma Joes, coffee, Spotify, and of course Silicon Prairie News.

Ben Barreth, Homes for Hackers

Jesus Christ. My wife. My kids. My health. New beginnings. Change. Meeting cool people. Forward motion. Community support. Awesome donations. The KC Startup Village. Google Fiber. Great neighbors. Free stuff. Publicity. Coffee. Cookies. Family gatherings. Big challenges and stretching myself. Gittin’ stuff dun. Helping people. My stuff. My Roth IRA.

Joni Cobb, Pipeline

I am thankful for my fabulous husband. He has come into my life and embraced both my family – as well as my entire “entrepreneurial family.” He keeps me focused on all that is right in world. He even cooks the Thanksgiving turkey. I mean, how good does it get?!

Michael Farmer, Leap2

The Believers! The entrepreneurial journey inevitably is one filled with peaks and valleys. There are days, where you find yourself seeking the simplest, slightest suggestion of encouragement. Inevitably, this encouragement comes people who ‘believe’ in your vision. To all our team members, investors, advisors, partners, and customers: Thank you!


Emily Holdman, Book’d

It’s about the people. 

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my colleagues and the collaborative environment to which we all contribute.

I am thankful for my peers who are supporting my endeavors (shout out, SPN!) and also “making it happen” for themselves.

Hasani Hunter, Obsessive Software

I am thankful for my family who enables me to pursue my dream of entrepreneurship.

I am thankful for my true friends.

I am thankful for my clients and customers who continually push me to create better tools that solve problems.

“I am thankful for my family who enables me to pursue my

dream of entrepreneurship.” – Hasani Hunter

John Jackovin, Bawte

I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. Wife and kids, business partner, family, friends, mentors, startup community, and all those that care about a silly little startup that strives to change the world in our own way.

Paul Jarrett, Bulu Box

Adam, Baileigh, Joe, Kate, Kelsey, Michael, Rex, Ruby, Steezy, Stephanie, Tegan… oh and Silicon Prairie News (duh).

Stephanie Jarrett, Bulu Box

I’m thankful for amazing family and friends. If this doesn’t seem like a “startup-type-of-response,” think again. Family and friends made up Bulu Box’s first few hundred subscribers 🙂

Also, our Bulu Box team is pretty badass. I’m thankful for them every day.

Joe Ketcherside, Cognovant

My family who tolerates all the hours and worrying I do as we built PocketHealth.

And the incredible opportunities we have for people with ideas to make something new.

My perfect day – going to bed with a dream, waking up with a purpose.

Dale Knoop, RAZ Mobile

I give thanks for my faith, my family and the daily opportunity to connect millions of people with the causes they love and support.


Rick Knudtson, Flywheel

I am thankful for my amazing friends and family that support and believe in me and for the opportunity to love going to work. Oh, and the fact that my girlfriend is okay with me wearing startup T-shirts nearly everyday.


Blake Lawrence, Hurrdat

If the Midwest were a turkey, Silicon Prairie News would be the stuffing. At Hurrdat, we are thankful for the support we get from the Silicon Prairie community. Personally, I am thankful for the amazing team we’ve built at Hurrdat and opendorse over the last 2.5 years.

Oh, and the fact that my girlfriend is okay with me wearing

startup T-shirts nearly everyday.” – Rick Knudtson

Jim & Karen Linder, angel investors

We are thankful to have each other, our family and friends and immensely grateful to work together to build the Silicon Prairie. Our lives are enriched by interacting with creative thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs and others dedicated to making our home a better place. For this, you have our gratitude.

Nate Lowry, EliteForm

I’m thankful for the incredible people in my life. My family, friends, and coworkers are always supportive. I’m also thankful for the ability to constantly learn and for just how lucky we are to be in this place at this time. We are all extremely fortunate.


Calvin Pappas, SelectOut

Amazing support from peers, mentors/advisors, the Silicon Prairie community, users of SelectOut, and most importantly my family. Without the continued support and help pushing me forward I don’t know where I’d be.

I’m also thankful for Skype, email, high speed Internet, Google, turkey, and Husker football. Go Big Red!

Asim Pasha, Sporting Innovations

I am thankful for …

My Family – who make me who I am

My Associates … who make everything possible

My Clients … who trust our vision

and everyone else … who challenges us and make our resolve more concrete to change the game.


Christian Renaud, StartupCity Des Moines and Presentio

I am thankful for everyone in the broader Midwest who have stepped forward to embrace the entrepreneurial renaissance we are experiencing. And our significant others for not killing us for all the long hours.


John Schnipkoweit, RecBob

I’m thankful for the people…

…who encourage me

…that tell me I am crazy and then offer to help out

…on my team who stay late and believe

…that won’t let me give up

…who are with me through failure and success

Without all of you, I wouldn’t be me.


Matt Watson, Stackify

I am thankful for all the hard work the team at Stackify has put in this year. We just released version 1 this week and we are excited to see what the future holds!

Happy Thanksgiving from Silicon Prairie News!

And from Analog the Prairie Dog!

Credits: Ben Barreth photo from linkedin.com. Dale Knoop photo from linkedin.com. All other photos courtesy of respective individuals.

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