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Interview with an Entrepreneur: Karen Linder

By Tom Chapman / November 14, 2019

I have known Karen Linder for many years, and she is an incredible entrepreneur.  Many people do not realize that she has been growing a 3D printing company in Nebraska, called Tethon 3D, for the better part of this decade.  The company is one of the leading suppliers of porcelain and hard to produce ceramic…

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Research: Talent Attraction Case Study (Nebraska)

By SPN Team / November 8, 2019

Last summer, the Aksarben Foundation approached Chapman and Company about creating a landscape analysis on talent for Nebraska.  While this analysis is about Nebraska, there are many lessons for communities throughout the Silicon Prairie region. Here are some broad stroke lessons from the report: The United States is WAY behind on technology talent.  This is…

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Funding Roundup for the Week of Oct. 21

By SPN Team / November 4, 2019

It was a strong week for Minnesota.  Between Total Expert and ShiraTronics, Minnesota based companies brought in more than $85 million in Venture Funding.  There was a little more diversity than in previous weeks with companies in Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin also raising substantial funds.  These fundings are aggregate lists created from Crunchbase, SEC…

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Funding Update for the week of October 14

By Tom Chapman / October 29, 2019

Chicago had another strong week.  Overall the Silicon Prairie more than one hundred million in fundings this month, including some large rounds in Chicago and in biotechnology. Large Rounds (10m+) Apervita – Chicago – $22.56 million – Apervita is a healthcare technology company that provides health insights using machine learning and artificial intelligence. The company…

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ZAF Energy Systems Has a Big Month

By SPN Team / October 25, 2019

In early October, ZAF Energy Systems of Joplin, Missouri announced an agreement to deploy their next generation nickel-zinc (NiZn) battery system in a United States Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic  missile ground facility.  This was a significant achievement.  However, it was just the beginning of a big month for ZAF.  This week, the company announced a…

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Silicon Prairie Podcasts: A List

By Tom Chapman / October 15, 2019

In honor of the IO Summit, which was born out of the IO Podcast, Silicon Prairie News has compiled a list of some of our favorite podcasts from the Silicon Prairie: The Inside Outside Podcast – http://insideoutside.io/ – With over 168 episodes bringing together entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, this podcast is a regional leader in…

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Funding Round Up: Week of September 30

By SPN Team / October 14, 2019

The funding round up is an aggregation of a variety of sources, including Pitchbook, Form Ds, and Crunchbase.  After building a list from these sources, we look for press releases and other mechanisms to provide more information.  If you are would like to appear in the funding round up next week, please email us at…

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Big Round for Spear Power Systems

By SPN Newsroom / October 8, 2019

Spear Power Systems filed paperwork with the SEC and announced that it had raised a round of outside capital this week.  In its Form D filing, the company identified that it had raised more than $14.5 million dollars in an external financing round. Spear Power Systems designs and manufactures lithium ion battery storage systems for…

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Meet a VC: Firebrand Ventures from Kansas City

By Tom Chapman / October 3, 2019

In August of 2016, John Fein started the process of raising a venture capital fund in Kansas City.  He had a target of $7 million as his fund size and as he describes – “zero connections” to the high net worth community in Kansas City. However, he had a mission to raise and invest the…

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Research: State Funding Report for the Silicon Prairie

By Tom Chapman / September 16, 2019

2018 was a terrific year for the Silicon Prairie regarding venture dollars deployed.  More than $6.1B was deployed in the region.  While the number of companies receiving funds was about 8% lower (approximately 1450 companies were venture backed in the region), the amount of funding was up more than 34.5% from 2017 to 2018.  Thus,…

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