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Homegrown medtech company Centese develops game-changing device for surgery patients

By SPN Newsroom / January 19, 2021

A new Omaha-based medtech company has developed a self-cleaning chest tube system that provides more precise measurements for monitoring patients recovering from surgery on their heart or lungs.  Startup Centese developed the device, called Thoraguard. Through a novel self-irrigating mechanism, Thoraguard eliminates one of the main hazards of analog chest tubes: the need for medical…

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Leash Pet Transportation puts pets on the go

By SPN Newsroom / January 7, 2021

Omaha startup Leash Pet Transportation was founded on the idea that, much like people, pets have places to be.  Whether it’s a session with a groomer, a day at doggy day care, or a trip to the veterinarian or a boarding facility, pet ownership can mean more errands, making humans feel like bona fide pet…

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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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