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A Kansas City-based program that supports small business owners is accepting applications for its next cohort.  The GROWTH360 program is centered around giving small business owners in the Kansas City metro a 360-degree perspective on their companies, helping them make better business decisions and avoid blind spots. The program is free to accepted entrepreneurs.  Through…

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A Lincoln startup focused on neighborhood-level data and insights has been acquired by Fathom Holdings, Inc., the companies announced last week.  After the acquisition is finalized, LiveBy will become a wholly owned subsidiary of IntelliAgent, itself a subsidiary of Fathom Holdings.  In a press release, the companies said the purchase price is expected to be…

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The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) will be hosting the Iowa Technology Summit Presented by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield on May 24-25, 2021.  The summit—a free, two-day virtual conference—aims to educate and connect technology professionals across the state. The summit will feature four themed tracks: cybersecurity and technology innovation on May 24 and…

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The story of Adam Martel, Rich Palmer and their startup named Gravyty is a story about great leadership. These two relatively young founders created and succeeded with a completely new category of product in a difficult and conservative market. They overcame the odds and did so with leadership and talent. And, they would not have been given the chance to do so had investors not spotted those leadership skills.

It’s full speed ahead for Omaha startup Workshop.  The company, which provides an employee and internal communications software product, raised $3.5 million in a seed round.  Also, former Flywheel founders and executives Dusty Davidson and Rick Knudtson are joining Derek Homann and Ben Stevinson as co-founders for the new endeavor.  The four men previously all…

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An Omaha-based managed service provider and data center has been named to a list honoring North America’s top 250 tech companies, according to a statement released yesterday. The company, FNTS, has joined the CRN Tech Elite 250 List, an annual register of IT solution providers of all sizes in North America that have earned cutting-edge…

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Finding investors and raising enough money to fill a round is something many entrepreneurs and their deal leads have to endure. After exhausting friends and family money, most startups are financed using a process that we investors refer to as “syndication.” For entrepreneurs the syndication process can be long, arduous frustrating and tedious. And for deal leads it is not only a lot of work, there is some reputation at risk as well. However bad it is, there is something even worse: going through the process and failing.

A Sioux Falls-based embedded integration platform developer for B2B software companies announced its general availability launch today. The company, Prismatic, strives to provide an easy-to-use integration platform in an era of increasingly specialized business software usage. A few years ago, Prismatic CEO and co-founder Michael Zuercher noticed a need for B2B software companies to have…

The post Sioux Falls B2B software integration developer Prismatic launches today appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

The 2021 gener8tor CommUNITY Growth Summit will be held virtually from March 30 to April 1 and features keynote speakers, fireside chats and panel discussions involving representatives from startups, the arts and workforce development. The event will be hosted by gener8tor, a Silicon Prairie-based entrepreneurship cultivation platform that includes startup accelerators, corporate programming and conferences. …

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If you are helping an entrepreneur raise money, there is no way you are going to avoid one or more “deep dive” meetings. Whether you are working with the company’s very first investors, or trying to build out the syndicate for a round, once a founder makes a successful pitch to an investor or group of investors, the next step is always more involved. Coming out of the pitch, most investors will ask to hold a longer more in-depth meeting to unpack the company’s story in greater detail. As most angels know, a lot of investors refer to this kind of meeting as a “deep dive meeting.”

Companies and tech-savvy individuals alike are increasingly adopting blockchain—a decentralized, distributed method for storing data securely—for their business needs, with global spending on blockchain solutions forecast to top $17 billion by 2024.  Used in everything from food supply chain tracking to public transaction ledgers for cryptocurrency, blockchain presents a win for cybersecurity and data safety.…

The post Omaha startup Pinata specializes in blockchain, plays vital role in emerging digital art market appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

This is a guest post from Irena Ducic of Embroker, a digital insurance company.  As small businesses or startups grow, so do their needs for expanding their networks of business partners and collaborators. In order to stimulate and accelerate growth, business relationships are formed, partnerships are forged and third-parties are hired to help provide value…

The post Deep dive: startups, contracts, cyber insurance and more appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

Watching your family lose their home to entrepreneurial failure would scare a lot of people right into a conventional non-entrepreneurial career. Not Jon Strimling. The son of a semiconductor equipment entrepreneur, and the grandson and great grandson of entrepreneurs, he’d grown up around entrepreneurship as a way of life. Jon saw first hand the empowerment that comes with entrepreneurship.

Nebraskans eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can sign up through the state’s Department of Health and Human Services website.  But what if someone lacks access to the internet? What if they are among the 11% of the U.S. population that does not own a smartphone, tablet or computer? Do Space, Omaha’s community technology library…

The post Do Space provides free computer usage, internet access for those who need to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

For years, tech-savvy consumers have bemoaned the planned obsolescence that companies like Apple have encoded into their products like slow-motion time bombs.  If consumers have to pay so much for a device that they use everyday, the thinking goes, shouldn’t they be able to fix a cracked screen or replace a dead battery, for instance,…

The post Kansas City’s Swappa provides peer-to-peer marketplace for gently used tech appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

During my many years working for a large enterprise software company, I participated on dozens of due diligence teams. I had the valuable experience of sitting on both sides of the table during these projects. I ran diligence teams where my company was looking to buy other companies. And, I handled the brunt of responding to a diligence effort when my company was dealing with potential acquirers. Needless to say, it’s a real challenge for both sides, and not everyone understands what it takes to run a good due diligence process.

In Todd Campbell’s home recording studio, a Fender Telecaster rests against a small amplifier in front of a green-screen wall that doubles as a backdrop for the tech leadership classes he teaches virtually. Whenever the application development senior manager for TD Ameritrade gets stuck on a hard technical problem and needs a respite from the…

The post New chair of AIM Institute Tech Leadership Academy encourages representation, giving back appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

Filling out a round through angel syndication is something deal leads and entrepreneurs need to be savvy about. Having a basic plan and strategy in place for approaching the syndication process is fundamental. However, the key success factors are engagement and speed. It boils down to whether or not you can engage other investors enough to start writing checks, and doing this as quickly as possible so that the CEO can get back to her real job, running the business.

GiftAMeal, a mobile app that helps people discover new restaurants and provide meals to the food-insecure, announced today that it has teamed up with Lion’s Choice, a St. Louis-based regional chain (with locations throughout Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas City) that has been serving roast beef sandwiches since 1967. Beginning today, Lion’s Choice customers are eligible…

The post GiftAMeal continues to expand reach of hunger-fighting app with new chain restaurant partnership appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

To help remove barriers to tech education, address the ongoing shortage of tech workers in the Silicon Prairie, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers, the Omaha STEM Ecosystem and the AIM Institute have launched the online STEM Community Platform, presented by Cox.  The STEM Community Platform, located at stemplatform.org, connects youth,…

The post With support of local business and tech leaders, new website aims to encourage interest and participation in STEM appeared first on Silicon Prairie News.

Venture Café St. Louis, a nonprofit organization connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and founders, recently launched a program to support individuals and teams building early-stage startups and education programs that address educational inequity and other systemic challenges. The program, known as EdHub, will feature Dr. Marcus Howard as its first expert-in-residence. Howard is an educator and edtech…

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George Baker was a mid-fifties, tenured economics professor at Harvard Business School when he spent a well deserved sabbatical at his home in Frenchboro Island, Maine. A beautiful place, with a ferry that only runs three days a week, it is infamous for the fog that gives living off coastal Maine numerous challenges.

Previous to the installation of Vinalhaven’s wind farm, it had always been a mystery to George as to why there was no wind generation on the Maine coast. This was despite an electricity cost about three times the national average, and near constant wind availability. George said, “I had this house out here on the island. I was on the board of the little cooperative electric company serving this island and several others. As time went by, I got interested in energy issues, and particularly renewables.” He decided he would devote his sabbatical time and business skills to solving the mystery. 

Scientists at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory have found mutations to the novel coronavirus using new technology that allows the state to track COVID-19 across Nebraska more precisely.  The technology enables scientists to conduct a new kind of whole gene sequencing that helps officials confirm whether cases of COVID-19 reinfection come from the same clone…

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As a director on an early stage company board, how do you deliver on your main responsibility as a board member - maximizing shareholder value? And, what do you do to make sure the CEO is doing her job in increasing the value of your investment in the company? And what good is the increase in value if it is not accompanied by sufficient liquidity to realize it? Those are very important questions that very few early stage company boards take the time and effort to ask early on when it is still possible to have the biggest impact.

Thursday at 10 a.m., Brian Ardinger of the InsideOutside.io podcast will host a virtual fireside chat with Stefano Mastrogiacomo, co-author of the book, “High-Impact Tools for Teams: 5 Tools to Align Team Members, Build Trust, and Get Results Fast.” The event is free and will feature a Q&A session. Mastrogiacomo is a management consultant, professor…

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