Cedar Rapids and Iowa City

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ReEnvision Ag develops new way to plant

By Tom McCauley / February 5, 2021

A northeastern Iowa agtech startup is developing technology that will change the way farmers plant crops, all while saving them money and reducing environmental impact. Nora Springs, Iowa’s ReEnvision Ag is one of five agriculture technology companies participating in the AgLaunch 365 accelerator program, which aims to cultivate startups that will transform regional agriculture; create…

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Midwest art and music turn to technology to keep making fans—and money

By SPN Newsroom / January 14, 2021

As it has with nearly every aspect of life over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we experience art. With many galleries and performance venues closed or limiting in-person attendance, art organizations and artists across the Midwest are increasingly turning to technology to showcase their work safely and maintain relationships with…

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HTI Labs fights human trafficking through research, technology, policy

By Tom McCauley / January 6, 2021

An Omaha-based company using a data-driven approach to combat human trafficking recently raised funding to expand its crucially needed work to support law enforcement, victims and survivors of the practice.  HTI Labs,  a social enterprise corporation combating human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault through data-driven research and tech, has grown far larger than CEO…

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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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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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Funding Roundup for the Week of November 4th

By Tom Chapman / November 18, 2019

The Silicon Prairie had a dry week when it comes to outside fundings.  So, the winning cities really appear to be Fayetteville, Arkansas and Iowa City, Iowa.  While neither city had huge deals, they both participated in the creation of ground breaking technologies that have received multiple mechanisms of support from the universities, local economic…

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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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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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iotaMotion Completes $2.52 Million Round

By SPN Team / September 3, 2019

Last week, Iowa City based iotaMotion CEO and co-founder, Chris Kaufmann, MD, announced that the company had completed its usability testing and raised $2.52 million in funding to help the company continue building products and managing the regulatory hurdles associated with commercialization. “We’re pleased to have completed this second round of friends-and-family financing with participation…

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Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Provides Funds

By Tom Chapman / July 26, 2019

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (“IEDA”) announced that five companies had received demonstration funds from IEDA last week The five companies funded by the IEDA are:  Home Painter received a proof of concept loan of $25,000,  Lender Close received a Propel Loan of $250,000 from the Iowa Acceleration Fund,  MakuSafe received a…

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