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SPN Kernels: News from across the Prairie

opendorse signs first women’s sports property with LPGA agreement

(Lincoln, Nebr.) opendorse announced on Tuesday an alliance with the Ladies Professional Golf Association, which will provide more than 200 LPGA Tour players with access to share LPGA content and create new social revenue stream opportunities.

opendorse is a leading athlete marketing platform that helps sports brands share content on social media. The LPGA is the first major women’s sports property on the opendorse roster.

“The LPGA has long been a leader in helping their pros build brands that last beyond their days on tour,” said opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “This partnership is a great example of how properties and players can work together to expand their audience, maximize the value of content, and ultimately grow their game.”

More than 280 female athletes and over 100 professional golfers now use opendorse.

“The opportunity for our athletes to be more actively engaged in social and brand conversations is something that will enhance not just their storytelling but the LPGA overall, and we are excited to get things moving,” said Tina Barnes-Budd, LPGA Senior Director of Social Media/Marketing.

Brittany Lincicome became the first LPGA Tour player to use opendorse’s athlete marketing platform at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic last month.


Renter SafetyNet launches in Iowa

(Iowa) Renter SafetyNet, a first-of-its-kind insurance program that pays rent for tenants who experience an unexpected layoff, illness or injury, launched earlier this month in Iowa.

Landlords who buy a policy through Renter SafetyNet can help keep renters in their homes while protecting the rental revenue they rely on, should a tenant experience a sudden income shock leading to the inability to cover rent.

National data shows that nearly eight out of 10 workers are living paycheck to paycheck, and 69 percent of people admit they have less than $1,000 in savings.

“Just one financial emergency would prevent most people from being able to cover essential monthly bills, like rent,” said Dan Murray, vice president of product development at SafetyNet. “We knew there had to be a better way, so we created Renter SafetyNet to be a simple, affordable, no-nonsense type of insurance to account for lost income for both renter and landlord.”

Many landlords consider themselves a small business and depend on rental income as their largest source of revenue. Renter SafetyNet ensures that they’ll get paid even if a tenant loses their job or can’t pay rent for another reason.

“We’re excited to give Iowans greater peace of mind over their financial security by helping them out when they need it most,” said Murray.


Accelerate DSM announces roster of keynote speakers

(Des Moines, Iowa) The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced plans for the third annual Accelerate DSM event, held on Thursday, April 5 at the Science Center of Iowa. The daylong event allows startups and entrepreneurs to gain key takeaways from peers and experts alike.

“Accelerate DSM is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs from throughout the region to learn from each other and from experts from all parts of the startup ecosystem,” said Mike Colwell, Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Attendees will have the chance to make worthwhile business connections and learn lessons that will help them grow their business.”

The day will feature roundtable sessions and panel discussions. Programming throughout the day will be focused on how to accelerate business growth. The day will end with a TechBrew sponsored by the Technology Association of Iowa. Scheduled keynote speakers include:

Brian Hemesath, Managing Director of the Global Insurance Accelerator
Hemesath has built a career around technology startups as founder and co-founder of two successful businesses serving multiple industries.

Tej Dhawan, Chief Data Officer for Principal
Dhawan utilizes his background in small business ownership, startup advocacy, accelerator mentorship and research of data utilization to influence and adopt innovation.

Andrew Kirpalani, Co-founder of Workhound
At Workhound, Kirpalani leads all things product and has over 10 years of experience in development and product management work in employee engagement, aviation and the automotive aftermarket.

Learn more about the event and register here.


USD President recognized for contributions to South Dakota’s innovation community

(Pierre, S. D.) – The USD Discovery District and the Research Park at South Dakota State University recently awarded University of South Dakota President James W. Abbott the inaugural “State of Innovation” Visionary Award for making South Dakota a state of innovation.

“President Abbott exemplifies the dedication, collaboration and leadership that it takes to make decades-long progress for the benefit of our entire state,” said Richard Naser, Jr., president of the USD Discovery District. “This award recognizes the extraordinary commitment made by a true champion of research-driven innovation and economic development.”

A lifelong South Dakotan, President Abbott practiced law, was a successful entrepreneur, a respected legislator and in 1997 was named the first USD alumnus to hold the office of president.

The initiatives championed by Abbott have become the heart of the state’s growing research and bioscience infrastructure dating back more than 20 years. He has been a catalyst for growing health and medical related research areas, strategic workforce development and funding.

The USD Discovery District is an 80-acre corporate and academic research park with the goal of providing access to research facilities and infrastructure for research business development and spurring innovation-driven businesses.

“The goal of the Discovery District is to strengthen the region’s capacity to support and grow innovation-based businesses,” said Naser. “President Abbott has had this vision for a long time and is now seeing the realization of these efforts. We congratulate him on receiving this inaugural Visionary Award.”

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