Des Moines, Ames and Greater Iowa

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Developing Leadership When Things Are Not Good

By Tom McCauley / April 23, 2020

Originally posted on the AIM Institute blog No one knows how the coronavirus pandemic will evolve, how long the economy will stay underwater, or even what recovery looks like.  But the radical workplace upheaval and sudden ad hoc shift to remote technology over the past month suggest two truths:  We need more tech talent.   We…

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“At Home in a Crisis Trying to Work”: Cheered on by the Startup Collaborative, Founders Face Grim Future with Hope

By Tom McCauley / April 10, 2020

Erica Wassinger, Senior Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation for the Greater Omaha Chamber, exerts considerable energy and influence helping entrepreneurs weather the storms of starting up. Her work as cofounder of The Startup Collaborative often brings her as close to founders as public health guidelines currently allow.  For the past month, she’s been speaking with…

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Hybrid85 passes profits onto farmers

By Henry Nunn / March 4, 2020

At the very top of the Nebraska State Capitol building stands a 32-foot tall bronze statue of the Sower, a figure representing agriculture’s vital role in the development of modern civilization. Maybe it wasn’t the best fit for the state license plate, but the Sower is an undeniable symbol of Nebraska. According to the Nebraska…

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Weekly Funding Report

By Tom Chapman / December 17, 2019

The Silicon Prairie had an excellent week as deals appear to be closing before the holiday rush.  St. Louis and Minneapolis had strong weeks.  And we had a big round in Oklahoma.  The Zero Card of Tulsa which provides an interesting software solution to healthcare costs received significant outside funding – including participation from the…

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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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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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Flywheel founder Dusty Davidson at TechBrew

By SPN Team / October 10, 2019

Last week, Dusty Davidson visited TechBrew in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  We were in attendance and taped some of what he had to say.  In particular, we thought that his response to a question about growing up in the Midwest was poignant.  So, we thought that we would share it with you.

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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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Kingland Systems Raises Another Round of Capital

By Tom Chapman / September 17, 2019

Last week, Kingland Systems which has offices in Clear Lake and Ames filed paperwork with the SEC that it had received $1 million in angel capital.  September 2019’s $1 million is in addition to the $1.5 million that was raised in 2018. Kingland Systems was founded in 1992 by David Kingland.  The company provides a…

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