Cedar Rapids and Iowa City

More than 600 attend Heartland Shark Tank casting call

By Rod Armstrong / April 15, 2019

The first step in getting on Shark Tank, the reality TV startup pitch competition, is a casting call. On April 6, 150 teams got their chance to pitch to one of five casting producers in Lincoln. The event was organized by the Engler Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “This is the time of…

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We are having the wrong conversation about workforce development

By Ola Ayeni / April 12, 2019

It’s no secret: The Silicon Prairie has a workforce problem. It isn’t just us, either. Employers across America can’t find enough qualified workers. With a historically low unemployment rate, qualified, talented workers aren’t just sitting in front of a screen browsing ZipRectuiter and CareerBuilder. This talent shortage hasn’t gone unnoticed by workforce developers. That said,…

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8QS With a Silicon Prairie Founder: Tamara Brunow

By SPN Team / April 5, 2019

Tamara Brunow is CEO of Brunow Contracting and H2W Apparel. Tamara Brunow is the CEO of Brunow Contracting, an SBA 8(a) Certified, Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned, HUBZone Concern based in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Tamara has overcome gender barriers and other challenges in a male-dominated industry to become one of the few women in the country to…

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Rantizo Wins AgTech Innovation Competition in Des Moines

By SPN Team / February 12, 2019

Iowa City agritech startup Rantizo won the $20,000 Grand Prize, sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America, at last month’s AgTech Innovation Competition in Des Moines. Rantizo is an Iowa based agricultural tech startup creating a targeted drone spraying platform that utilizes electrostatic technology to safely and precisely deliver cartridge dispensed agrichemicals when and where…

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RAYGUN raises $582 K in angel funding

By SPN Team / February 7, 2019

                    RAYGUN, raised $582,000 in angel funding from undisclosed investors on January 15. The company is a Des Moines, Iowa-based e-commerce platform selling printed apparel, home, and kitchen items. In addition to printed t-shirts, the RAYGUN’s online products include drinkware, paper products such as postcards, notebooks,…

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Iowa Startups of 2018

By SPN Team / December 21, 2018

Since the beginning of 2016, more than 150 Iowa companies have received a venture investment according to Pitchbook – totaling more than $100 million in venture activity in the state. Surprisingly, the Iowa City region has received more $1 million+ investments than any other community in Iowa, including Des Moines. And in that group from…

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Cedar Rapid’s NewBoCo Launch Day will highlight Iowa innovators

By SPN Team / December 4, 2018

Launch Day, NewBoCo’s annual event that celebrates accomplishments in entrepreneurship, innovation, and tech education in Iowa, is coming next Tuesday, December 11 to Theatre Cedar Rapids. “Launch Day is our annual opportunity to really celebrate the big wins for Iowa’s startups, innovators, and tech educators and students,” NewBoCo Chief Operating Officer Aaron Horn said. “I…

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Companies pitch at Dream Big Grow Here in Sheldon, Iowa

By SPN Team / November 30, 2018

Five finalist companies in northwest Iowa competed for a chance to win cash prizes to help grow their businesses. The fifth annual Dream Big Grow Here event, held at Sheldon, Iowa’s Crossroads Pavilion Event Center, took place on November 15. The committee selected five finalists to compete for first, second and third place prizes totaling…

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