Meet the 6 finalists for New Startup of the Year

2015 SPAwards Icons-05


2015 SPAwards Icons-05

As we get closer to the Silicon Prairie Awards, we still need you to help us determine which individuals and companies will take home these shiny golden analogs. We’ve compiled a few highlights from the mass amounts of nominations we received, so you can get to know the finalists a little bit better.

Remember, you can vote every day for your favorites and you still have 4 weeks to spread the word! Voting ends August 31st


2015 New Startup of the Year Finalists


Bugeater Foods is an insect-based food company redefining what people eat and changing the consumer perception on eating insects. The company is less than a year old and they’ve already developed and launched their product and are now for sale online and in select stores.

Recently, Bugeater Foods graduated from Lincoln’s NMotion startup accelerator, where they created two products including a cricket-based protein shake and cricket rice. Bugeater Foods plans on making more products and is excited to experiment with different insects in the future.

What’s special about Bugeater Foods is that they genuinely want to make an impact on the startup community and culture in Lincoln. They’ve utilized their resources and are very passionate about what they do.  Vote now

Want to read more about Bugeater Foods? Check out our pre-demo day coverage here.



Drive Spotter uses wearable devices, image processing and other patent-pending technologies to reduce driver distraction. They are building a video analytics web platform to improve safety, maintenance and fuel efficiency for commercial vehicle fleets. Their product is in private beta with ten fleets totaling 5,000 drivers. Since their recent graduation from the Global Insurance Accelerator, the team continues to build their product and expand across the Silicon Prairie.  Vote now

HowFactory-Logo 500x500
HowFactory’s primary service is the HowFactory web app, a cloud-based solution that allows companies to document Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), work instructions and training in a new and innovative way.

Since their participation in the first cohort of the Iowa Startup Accelerator in 2014, HowFactory has celebrated some major wins. They were the first company from Iowa chosen by TechCrunch for Startup Battlefield as well as the People’s Choice and Dream Big Grow Here winners at EntreFest.

Within a year, this startup went from 0 to 5 employees, no software to a web app in the market and no customers to corporate users in 7 states. Vote now



Nightlife Transit is a late-night shuttle service that combines technologies such as GPS, mobile applications and eco-friendly biofuels to help keep drunk drivers off the road and increase alternative transportation. Nightlife Transit is currently a part of Omaha’s Year of the Startup residential business accelerator program.

What’s special about Nightlife Transit is that they took their concept to a service in less than 5 months and have gathered tons of support from local businesses and bar goers alike. Customers are excited about Nightlife Transit and are happy to have a service like it in Omaha. The affordable shuttle service not only reduces drunk driving, it makes late-night transportation fun.  Vote now

Want to read more about how they got started? Check out our coverage here.


PopBookings is a mobile and web-based application that connects event-staffing companies with talented and reliable people who have been prescreened and have references. Agencies can rate and review staff that they have hired and receive access to other agencies’ reviews as well. PopBookings automates the process of finding, recruiting and booking people to work events with the click of a button.

In the past year, PopBookings has gone from an “idea on a napkin” to a full-blown enterprise. Since their graduation from the Spark Lab KC accelerator, PopBookings has reached some exciting milestones including: the expansion of their team, signing 10 beta clients, booking over 300 events and providing work for over 11,000 brand ambassadors.

PopBookings was also nominated for Kansas City’s 2015 “New Startup of the Year” and is currently in the middle of closing a seed round of $250K in investment. Vote now



Viirt is an online platform dedicated to bringing transparency to the roofing industry. Using cutting-edge technology, Viirt is able to provide homeowners with an instant estimate, as well as an online dashboard full of resources for customers to access during the entire roofing process.

Viirt Directly connects homeowners to vetted installers and saves customers thousands of dollars while adding speed, quality assurance and communication back into the roofing industry.

Since their graduation at Omaha’s Straight Shot accelerator in 2014, Viirt has celebrated some big wins. In March, they raised $900,000 in venture capital from Dundee Venture Capital and have experienced 30% month over month growth since January of 2015. Vote now



Join us at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln on October 1st to celebrate our region and to recognize the individuals and companies who are doing big things in the Silicon Prairie!


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