The Silicon Prairie Awards.
Last night, the first annual Silicon Prairie Awards honored those startups and Silicon Prairie members who have greatly impacted our Midwest community in a positive way. With awards ranging from Mobile App of the Year, Startup Service Provider of the Year and the greatly-anticipated Startup of the Year, 12 lucky and talented nominees from Omaha, Kansas City and Des Moines walked away with a golden analog, appropriately shaped as SPN's mascot, a prairie dog.
I was lucky enough to trek across the heartland with two partners from Think Big to partake in the Silicon Prairie Awards. And after we climbed the stairs of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, glided across the orange carpet, got "paparazzied" by a SPN photographer and interviewed with the "Joan Rivers" of the event (Michael Stacy), we finally arrived at the Silicon Prairie Awards.
One thing is for sure--there was a lot of entrepreneurial energy in the room. Lawyers were chatting with startups, sponsors were clinking glasses with executives and even David Cohen, CEO of TechStars, was making his way through the crowd. It took everything in SPN's power to actually stop people from networking to sit down for the awards ceremony--obviously, we have a lot to talk about!
The awards ceremony was equally as impressive. It was all smooth sailing for the SPN team as awards were given to startups, entrepreneurs and service providers from across the Silicon Prairie (namely Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines). Kansas City alone had 17 nominees, three of which went home with a golden analog. Those teams and individuals awarded were Front Flip (Mobile App of the Year), Jake Johnson of Divshot (Startup Designer of the Year) and Greg Kratofil (Startup Service Provider of the Year). The cities of Omaha and Lincoln seemed to walk away with the most analogs, five in total, and Des Moines claimed four (three of which were awarded to Dwolla!). Don't worry Silicon Prairie, we love a little healthy competition!
After the awards ceremony, guests were invited to an after party in the Joslyn lobby which was sponsored by Lincoln startup Hudl. Guests had the chance to walk down Startup Alley, a showcase of nine Silicon Prairie startups including eCreamery, MindMixer, Goodsmiths, Vestn, RAZ Mobile, Stackify, RareWire, Obsessive Software and Bulu Box.
Think Big would like to congratulate all winners and nominees at the 2012 Silicon Prairie Awards. And another big congratulations to Silicon Prairie News for pulling off an event for anyone passionate about startups in the Midwest area!
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