Posts Tagged ‘Iowa State University’

Four students take home prizes from inaugural Iowa State pitch contest

Four Iowa State University students who pitched their business ideas last week at a new pitch competition walked away with cash in their pockets and a stamp of approval for their concepts.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Learning Community hosted its inaugural Innovation Pitch Competition on March 20. The competition was open to students from all disciplines on campus and drew 21 participants, ranging from freshmen through the graduate level.

Participants gave a 90-second pitches and engaged a two-minute of question-and-answer …

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Prairie Portrait: Derek Jensen, senior at Iowa State University

What inspired you to start Resimplify?

Derek Jensen: Designing is creating around reasoning, but the practice of web and app design has gained too much focus. In what I found as a problem when thinking about design lies my inspiration. I respected sites like A List Apart, Smashing Magazine and Six Revisions, but they all focus on web design. I wanted to focus on the core aspects of any design, which would be the concept or idea of advertising, identity and user experience. I was inspired by the ignorance of core design …

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Events: BIZ Luncheon and TechBrew

Every Monday, look for our events post to keep you in the loop on the happenings of the week. From meetups and conferences to workshops and pitch sessions, if it’s happening in the Silicon Prairie, you’ll find it here.

For more, visit our events page for a calendar of upcoming events from us and others in the region. To submit an event for …

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Prairie Portrait: Grant Awes, senior at Iowa State University

Silicon Prairie News: Involved with as many startups as you are, how do you divide your time between them all? What’s your startup schedule like for a typical week? | Grant Awes: Dividing up time between them all can definitely be difficult, but I focus on which have the biggest initiatives coming up the soonest. My startup schedule mainly relies on when I have exams and large projects due. If I have a test or project during the week, I usually work on startup to-do’s one day on the weekend. If I don’t have any exams or big projects during the week I usually just focus on startup to-do’s evenly …

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Business Record finds increased interest in entrepreneurial education

I love that our friends in the larger publications in Des Moines are writing more and more about the startup community in the area (did you see Juice just highlighted “The Startup Scene” as part of their “Hot in Des Moines” issue?), and I was especially excited to see that the Business Record ran a story on entrepreneurial education in Iowa’s largest universities, “Students see benefits to entrepreneurial studies.”

Writer Kyle Oppenhuizen interviewed …

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Prairie Moves: RockDex, Smelly Puppy, Uppward & more

(Photo by Mark Michaelis via Flickr) Published every Tuesday, Prairie Moves keeps our readers informed about career moves, media coverage, product development, and more from the companies and individuals we cover on Silicon Prairie News.

If you or your company would like to submit one of the items below for our next Prairie Moves post, please email And if you have suggestions on how we…

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PrairieCast: Aayush Phumbhra of textbook rental website Chegg

This week on PrairieCast our guest is Aayush Phumbhra, co-founder and senior vice president of Chegg, a Santa Clara, California-based company often described as the “Netflix of textbook rentals.”

Aayush earned his MBA at Iowa State University in Ames and joined forces with the founders of, a local website focused on saving students money. Several iterations and years later, Chegg now boasts more than 120 employees, a headquarters in Santa Clara and a shipping operation across the street from Zappos in Louisville, Kentucky. According to a TechCrunch post last month, Chegg has raised more than 140 million dollars…

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TechCrunch goes in-depth on Chegg

Last week TechCrunch published an in-depth review of Chegg as part of their TC Teardown series. This series, which analyzes a company’s business model and estimates their revenues, has previously looked at Zynga and Groupon. In this analysis the researcher estimates that Chegg will generate $130 million in revenue this year from their textbook rental service.

Chegg, now based in Santa Clara, California…

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PrairieCast: Brad Dwyer of the Facebook app company Hatchlings

Our guest on PrairieCast this week was Brad Dwyer, the founder of Hatchlings, an online social game built utilizing the Facebook platform. Brad, a senior at Iowa State University majoring in computer science, is making a lot of waves in Central Iowa’s entrepreneur community. Most recently, he took home the award for the Student Innovation of the Year at Technology Association of Iowa’s Prometheus Awards.

Andy and I talk with Brad about technical aspects of his company and its product…

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