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IO2020: the New Innovators’ Summit connects entrepreneurial community (and tickets are free this year)

By SPN Newsroom / October 15, 2020

Great ideas start with curiosity. Bringing those ideas to life is its own challenge.  That’s what longtime entrepreneur Brian Ardinger believes, and that’s why he’s made it his mission to help Nebraska startup founders, business leaders and innovators solve those challenges.  Ardinger is cofounder of InsideOutside.io, an innovation-focused resource network for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, enterprises,…

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Startup studio Beeso embraces do-or-die approach

By SPN Newsroom / October 12, 2020

Early on a Thursday, Beeso Studio founder John Bunting is typing a quick email while apologizing for not having his webcam on. This interview, by his estimate, is already his fourth or fifth meeting of the day. Bunting has been busy working out a deal that involves hiring a new team by the following Monday,…

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Funding Roundup for the Week of Nov. 11

By Hannah Rotschafer / November 26, 2019

The Silicon Prairie had a strong funding week — more than twenty deals and many large ones.  Oklahoma and Manhattan, Kansas with some noteworthy +1mm raises. Chicago continues to be a leader, but the deals are spread throughout the entire region. Large Rounds (10+ million) Vyriad – $24.38 million – Rochester, MN – Vyriad is…

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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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Iowa State Fair hosts Iowa State University pitch competition

By Justin Krug / September 4, 2019

More than 200 Iowa State University student and alumni entrepreneurs representing 168 business ventures gathered to pitch their products and services as part of Iowa State University’s exhibit in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair. The event took place from August 8-18. Each pitch contestant competed for $1,000 to $5000 awards in the “Great Iowa State University STANDING innOVATION…

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Rantizo: improving the ag industry one drone at a time

By Justin Krug / August 22, 2019

Last week, SPN had the chance to speak with Michael Ott, founder and CEO of Rantizo – a company offering a unique, easy-to-use and cost-effective solution to agrichemical spraying via drones. Rantizo sells agricultural drones and drone spraying services. These drones deliver targeted sprays precisely where they are needed for various agricultural applications. Rantizo’s upgraded…

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Healthcare startup offering supply chain management solutions gains funding

By Razia Aziz-Seible / August 21, 2019

Based in Bloomington, Minnesota, Emerging Therapy Solutions (ETS) is a predictive intelligence platform designed for the payer community to simplify the management of emerging therapy processes. In late May, the company secured $1 million in equity funding from San Francisco, California-based Telegraph Hill Partners, a private equity firm that regularly invests in life science, medical…

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Omaha based Bot Image raises money on Start Engine

By Tom Chapman / August 16, 2019

On the 8th of August, Bot Image filed paperwork with the SEC that they had received $355k in funds from outside investors. The company used Start Engine, a cloud funding website that has helped more than 275 companies raise more than $100mm in investments. Bot Image is an artificial intelligence software tool for accurately identifying…

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