SPN Recap: News from the Prairie

By AIM Team
August 24, 2017

Catch up on regional tech news with these recent top stories from Silicon Prairie News:

Iowa grant program helps medTech industry retain talent in the state

Iowa City-based IDx knows the importance of keeping tech talent in Iowa. The medical device company is entering into clinical trials for their AI technology that automates the detection of diabetic retinopathy in diabetes patients.

If the trial is a success and IDx becomes a leader in AI medTech, they’re going to have to scale up their team of 20. As they look ahead towards the possibility of increasing their staff to 100, 200 or more, they’re asking the question that all tech companies in the area are asking.

Is there enough tech talent in Iowa to sustain the scaling of the business?

Eleven Nebraska startups that could be the next big thing

Nebraska is not California. Omaha is not San Francisco. This sounds glaringly obvious but sometimes entrepreneurs in the Midwest get caught up in proving that we’re the same as any other startup scene in the country.

But we’re not… and that’s okay! It doesn’t mean we don’t have big ideas here. It doesn’t mean there’s no tech leadership here. And it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t build a disruptive tech company here. The Silicon Prairie may not have the same quantity of startups as Silicon Valley, but we have just as much quality. You just have to know where to look.

M25 releases Best of the Midwest: Startup Cities rankings

The Midwest is gaining increased attention as fertile ground for startups and entrepreneurs. Using publicly-available data on such things as number of startups, investor activity and cost of living, Chicago-based venture firm M25 Group has compiled a ranking of 54 cities in the region.

“This has been a five-month process,” said Victor Gutwein, M25’s Managing Director. “We talked with our team and other experts to identify variables that make up an ecosystem and how they should be weighted, including human subjectivity. Then we pulled the data and didn’t tweak it.”

The world needs more co-founders

It’s fitting that my favorite band is Kings of Convenience. Two musicians. Two acoustic guitars. Two voices that sing as one. The duet is a work of art. How one voice compliments the other, identifying notes that strike a chord. The interplay. The duality. Two independent streams that when merged together, create something 10x better.

The duet––there is a strong parallel between two musicians making music together and two founders starting a company together.

David Dugger shares his passion for tech education with high school students

Instructor and tech professional David Dugger has a first-hand understanding of the frustrations and challenges faced by his students at the AIM Brain Exchange in downtown Omaha. Afterall, it was less than a year ago that he was living in a storage room with $70 to his name and a dead end part-time job with no long-term plans or job skills.

“I ended up in the storage room because I had a roommate who caused a bedbug infestation in my apartment and didn’t have money to move out on my own,” said Dugger. “I was living paycheck to paycheck.”