SPN special report: the 2018 State of the Silicon Prairie

We are proud to announce the next edition of our State of the Silicon Prairie Report. In 2018’s report, we ranked 42 Midwestern startup communities on a variety of factors in order to measure where we are individually so that we might progress as a united region. As part of the AIM Institute, an innovative…

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We are proud to announce the next edition of our State of the Silicon Prairie Report. In 2018’s report, we ranked 42 Midwestern startup communities on a variety of factors in order to measure where we are individually so that we might progress as a united region.

As part of the AIM Institute, an innovative not for profit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent community through career development and educational programs, our mission at SPN is to raise the visibility of the Midwest innovation community and connect entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and talent.

We hope this report will help us accomplish this by providing a starting point for those who are not familiar with the Silicon Prairie, and point of reference for its members so together, we can strive to grow and connect as a community.

Download the report

Typically, SPN covers the communities of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Our primary focus is on the Omaha––Kansas City––Des Moines triangle and surrounding communities:

  • Nebraska – Omaha, Lincoln
  • Kansas – Wichita, Overland Park, Topeka, Olathe, Lawrence
  • Iowa – Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City
  • Missouri – Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia

For 2018, we expanded upon that region to include additional communities that make up our Silicon Prairie Ecosystem. The 42 communities were then broken down into five tiers based on population.

Silicon Prairie News asked Tom Chapman of Chapman and Company, a regional consulting firm, to assist in creating an annual report outlining the state of the Silicon Prairie. Chapman’s consulting practice provides solutions to startups seeking revenue and funding and he works to grow local and regional ecosystems.

Chapman’s area of expertise and focus within the firm is on measuring startup ecosystems. He has a wide range of first-hand knowledge regarding the region and has worked with, visited, presented, and networked in all of the ecosystems featured in this report.

The methodology for the report was created and executed by Chapman and Company. As outlined in the report, their methodology is rooted in the belief that ecosystems have eight specific components.

  1. Small business activity
  2. Cool jobs
  3. Sustaining companies
  4. Structure
  5. Innovation
  6. Venture investment
  7. Community spirit
  8. Connectivity

“Chapman and Company attempted to measure those components using relatively near-term measurements,” says the report. “The challenge in measuring startup activity and entrepreneurship is that there is always a desire for more accuracy – but more accuracy usually occurs at the cost of
time or comparables.”

Download the report to see the full rankings and read a detailed breakdown of each community.

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