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SPN Kernels: News from across the Prairie

Bulu adds second warehouse, dozens of new jobs – Lincoln

Bulu formally announced last week the addition of a second Lincoln warehouse location and new additions to their team to support growth from their private label Subscription Box businesses product.

In 2016, Bulu began to partner with select retailers in building comprehensive Subscription Box programs. Bulu executes comprehensive or à la carte Subscription Box services: creation, fulfillment, procurement, management, digital and data services, and consulting.

Currently, Bulu has nearly a dozen active clients and licensed properties. Bulu added multiple new private label Subscription Box clients between December 2017 and today, including Lululemon.


John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition to Award $100,000 in Prizes – Iowa City

This year’s statewide John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture Competition will be awarding $100,000 in cash prizes, double the amount the competition has awarded in the past.

The annual competition has historically awarded $50,000 in prizes, funded by a contribution from John and Mary Pappajohn to support Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This year’s competition will include an additional $50,000 in prizes matched by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).

Iowa businesses that have been in operation for four years or less, or are not yet cash flow positive are eligible to apply. The competition is open to businesses including, but not limited to:

  • Technology
  • Bio-technology
  • Green technologies
  • Medical
  • advanced manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Education industries

Applications for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture Competition are due Monday, May 21. For more information or to apply, visit pappajohnentrepreneurialventurecompetition.com.


PowerPost Launches The First Virtual Assistant For Content Marketers – St. Louis

PowerPost, a leading content marketing platform, announced on Tuesday the launch of PowerIQ Virtual Assistant, a content intelligence technology that takes the guesswork out of content marketing.

PowerIQ provides brand marketers access to real-time intelligence, competitive insights and identifies the most successful content produced by competitors and industry influencers.

“PowerIQ is a cross between a virtual research assistant and a content coach,” said Dan Curran, President of PowerPost. “For the first time, brands will now be able to identify relevant content topics on-demand, create hyper-targeted campaigns and have access to expert brand journalists—all from a single platform,”

With PowerIQ, brands can now tailor content topics more precisely to attract consumer attention. Early client feedback has demonstrated an increase in social engagement by more than 50 percent by leveraging PowerIQ.


UMKC Receives $750,000 to Pioneer Research Frontiers in Deep Learning – Kansas City

A team of University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Computing and Engineering faculty, led by principal investigator Zhu Li, received $750,000 in National Science Foundation funding to perform cutting-edge, pre-competitive research in engineering and technology areas of interest to industry partners in the areas of big data and big learning.

The UMKC team will collaborate with three other academic sites—University of Florida (UF, South), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU, East) and University of Oregon (UO, West). The universities and more than 50 industry partners across the nation to establish a Center for Big Learning under the umbrella of the Industry & University Cooperative Research Center Program of the NSF.

“This has a positive impact for the Kansas City economy because the center will incubate new companies, new technologies and provide solutions to industries to utilize for their own business logic,” said UMKC SCE faculty member and site director Zhu Li.

The center, which will eventually be located in the new School of Computing and Engineering building opening fall 2020, will also allow for hands-on student learning experiences. Students from undergraduate to post-doctorate levels can be hired as research assistants, which in turn helps area engineering firms recruit experienced talent in deep learning.

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