Our friends over at Silicon Prairie News are doing good work. Highlighting the technological and entrepreneurial innovations that happen in the “fly-over states”, SPN held its first Silicon Prairie Awards on Thursday evening. From a field of 350 nominees, the public helped to bring the field down to 12 winners.
SPN made a special effort to include categories that we’ve not seen in other awards previously, including Startup Executive of the Year and Service Partner of the Year. All said, there was a great representation within the winners of the geographic area that makes up the Silicon Prairie, so here’s the winner’s list and names you need to know:
- Startup of the Year: Dwolla (Des Moines), an online payments network
- New Startup of the Year: Goodsmiths (Des Moines), an online marketplace for handmade goods
- Consumer Startup of the Year: Dwolla
- B2B Startup of the Year: Hudl (Lincoln, Neb.), a maker of online video analysis and coaching
- Mobile App of the Year: Front Flip, a customer engagement platform (Leawood, Kan.)
- Startup Investor of the Year: Dundee Venture Capital (Omaha)
- Startup Executive of the Year, Ben Milne, Dwolla founder and CEO
- Startup Technologist of the Year: Brandon Weber, Dwolla software engineer
- Startup Designer of the Year: Jake Johnson, Divshot co-founder (Kansas City, Mo.)
- Startup Service Provider of the Year: Greg Kratofil, Polsinelli Shughart PC (Kansas City, Mo.)
- Silicon Prairie Community Champion: Dusty Reynolds, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce director of entrepreneurship and innovation (Omaha)
- Silicon Prairie Ambassador: Rahul Gupta, Big Wheel Brigade co-founder, former Omahan
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
Recognizing talent and accomplishments is something that perhaps occurs far too infrequently within tech. There’s much to be said for the SPN team, as well as the residents of the Prairie itself, for making certain that due credit is given to the people and companies that have helped to make the area great. You can read a bit more about the winners, as well as snippets from their acceptance speeches, over on the SPN site.
Haven’t heard of the Silicon Prairie? Then you’ve missed out on Big Omaha, the most important conference you’ve never attended.