You don’t have to set up offices in San Francisco or New York to draw attention from the tech scene.
Plenty of startups are finding success in the Silicon Prairie, which refers to startups in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa — specifically in the triangle encompassing Omaha, Kansas City and Des Moines.
These startups work closely with local businesses to understand their pain points and develop solutions that build up the community — which is why they’re growing so quickly in their areas.
Here are 25 startups that shouldn’t be overlooked just because they’re not headquartered on the coast.
Based in Omaha, Gazella works to turn public WiFi connections into marketing tools. Its customers have an average of 22 WiFi logins daily, which translates into an average of 175 email opt-ins monthly and 26 percent higher open rates. The goal is to encourage customers to keep engaging with the brand once they’ve logged into the WiFi.
Also based in Omaha, LifeLoop is a software management platform for senior care facilities. Residents, staff and family members all have access to the tool to keep people better connected and updated on their health. Within the app, users can manage appointments, share medical information and post news or updates. The goal is to keep families engaged with their loved ones while helping professionals better care for their patients.
Spreetail is an ecommerce company based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is certainly one of the most ambitious startups in the area. Since its launch in 2006, it has grown into a company with more than 100 employees and 5 million customers — making more than $138 million annually. By 2023, the founders hope to revolutionize ecommerce and have more than 800 employees.
Also based in Lincoln, Liberty Mobility uses smartphone technology to provide a ride-sharing service for rural communities. It was founded in 2015 through a USDOT Federal Transit Administration Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant. Its founders were then accepted to the NMotion Tech Accelerator in Lincoln. As the company deploys drivers across the Midwest, it hopes to find ways to make citizens in rural communities more mobile.
Quantified Ag uses technology to take the guesswork out of livestock health. Some use the tagline “fitbit for cattle” when describing the technology. The company’s goal is to identify illness in animals faster, reducing the spread of the illness and increasing the likelihood the animal survives. This can save ranchers a considerable amount of work and money throughout the year.
Rounding out the list of startups in Nebraska is Drive Spotter, an app that specializes in fleet management. Through video analytics, managers can increase the safety of their drivers, find ways to optimize their routes, and find ways to train or incentivize teams. With the goal of constant improvement, Drive Spotter users can constantly update their fleets.
It’s impossible to talk about the Kansas startup scene without mentioning C2FO. The marketplace works to let buyers negotiate with their suppliers in a way where both parties can increase their gross margin and buyers can earn discounts by increasing their orders.
The software platform also works to move cash faster, instead of keeping invoices stuck in in accounts receivable. The company currently has more than 100 employees and in 2015 passed more than $1 billion per week in capital traded across the platform.
Blooom is located in Leawood, Kansas, and works to educate and help Americans with their 401(k)s. There are more than 100 million people in America between the ages of 20 and 44, and more than half of them haven’t saved any money for their futures. Blooom has plans to change this by encouraging people to start investing in a 401(k) and make smart choices with their money.
The team at Farmobile listens to farmers and works to provide tech tools to provide more insight into their land and crops. Most people don’t realize the vast amounts of analytics that farmers tap into, and Farmobile wants to get these insights to talk to each other to create management recommendations. By digitizing their fields, farmers can make better decisions and increase their output.
Based in Leawood, Kansas, Stackify develops tools to make the programming process easier. Its Prefix tool helps developers find bugs in their code with a feedback loop — reducing the number of fixes they need to make — while its Retrace tool is an APM that offers app metrics, error notices and logs. By identifying problems faster, developers can spend more time building and less time fixing.
Keyzio Real Estate
The team at Keyzio is working to combine technology to make home buying easier. Currently, more than 10,000 customers have the app and have saved a combined $250,000 with its tools. The founders have sold more than 75 homes in Kansas City with the help of the app.
With endorsements by Magic Johnson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern, ShotTracker is becoming the go-to wearable tech in the basketball industry. Located in Overland Park, Kansas, ShotTracker creates technology both for individuals and teams. One player can understand where his success lies, while teams can optimize their performance and work better as a group. There’s a whole new field of analytics on the court.
Edge Up Sports
The team at Edge Up Sports works with coaches and trainers at schools to set lineups and reduce the risk of injury for players. For players, staying healthy can mean the difference between getting scholarship offers and getting a chance to play in the pros, or pursuing a non-athletic career. The company’s partners include IBM Watson and the University of Kansas Hospital.
Located in Kansas City, PayIt is working to modernize government payment processes. Government organizations typically don’t have the budgets they need to modernize their payment processes, which means people who visit websites for the DMV or IRS often face clunky and difficult interfaces.
PayIt is making government payments mobile and easy to improve the current market. Considering 73 percent of citizens are dissatisfied with the government’s digital services, there’s a major opportunity for improvement.
DivvyHQ provides a content management platform to answer the demand of the content marketing industry. From idea through execution and publishing, brand managers can organize their content calendars and ensure their teams are staying on top of their deadlines. This also is a great tool for editors who need to manage multiple writers and content channels with multiple moving parts.
EyeVerify is working to improve smartphone security by encouraging users to take more selfies. By scanning blood vessels in the eyes, facial ID tools could be the next frontier and even replace thumbprint scanners. Through EyeVerify’s software, apps could become password-free but more secure at the same time.
Food truck owners face unique challenges when marketing their business: Their constantly changing locations mean customers have to follow the truck’s updates closely if they want to eat there. Truckily lets food truck drivers share their locations and automatically update their news to social media. This makes it easier for customers to find their favorite eating spots and boosts food truck sales.
With headquarters in St. Louis, Juristat works to remove the uncertainty of the patent process for lawyers. It reviews patent applications and makes suggestions for improvement, while also providing information to prosecutors to increase the odds of a favorable result. This tool also taps into big data to evaluate competition and identify possible violations.
PopBookings is a tool for event planners to find staff, schedule shifts and manage workers. The app lets event managers send job invites, receive confirmations and message employees to give them necessary information about their roles. Through the app, event planners can pay their staffs directly instead of managing separate invoices and paper checks at the end of the night.
Pear Deck was built by educators to help their fellow teachers create interactive presentations and increase student engagement. Pear Deck’s presentations have unlimited storage and are easy to share, so teachers can collaborate with each other and build each other up through team lesson-planning. This tool also provides real-time data on interaction levels so teachers can see how students perform and how their presentation can be improved.
Higher Learning Technologies
Higher Learning Technologies is also carving a niche in the EdTech industry by improving mobile learning. Today, the app is used in more than 192 countries, and has more than 100,000 users who answer more than 575,000 practice questions daily.
Along with resources for college students, HLT has study tools specifically for nursing, dental and medical professionals. More than 80 percent of college students use mobile devices to study, and HLT is working to create the top platform students use.
Also based in Iowa City, Meta has developed its Workgroups DaVinci product to help marketers and creative teams work better together. With this software, it’s easy to track digital assets and approve creative before sending it to get printed or published. Meta’s Approval Manager and ProofMe tools are also valuable for publishers or remote creative teams who are designing content for brands.
For the better part of a year, the team at BREWD sat down with breweries of all sizes to discuss the types of software their employees use and their strengths and weaknesses. It’s this dedication to the customer that makes BREWD’s software stand out. Its tool assists with inventory management, price setting and distribution to make brewery management easy for all employees involved.
My Diabetes Home
Located in Des Moines, My Diabetes Home is a customer-based management platform for people with diabetes. It allows blood sugar monitoring, has medication alerts, and is easy to use on both desktop computers and smartphones. This tool is essential for tracking diabetic health and staying on top of your vitals.
The team at SwineTech is working to protect the lives of piglets, which all too often get crushed by sows. Swine Tech does this by analyzing the piglets’ squeals.
Earlier this year, the founders earned first place in the AgLaunch Ag Tech pitch competition in Tennessee and have continued to promote the product across America and into Europe. They even competed in Germany, representing the United States as Global Student Entrepreneurs of the Year.
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