There are 48 finalists in categories including Startup of The Year, New Startup Of The Year, Innovation Of The Year, Mobile App Of The Year, Executive Of The Year, Designer Of The Year, Student Entrepreneur of The Year, Investor Of The Year, Service Provider Of The Year, Silicon Prairie Champion, and Silcon Prairie Ambassador. The finalists will be narrowed down to 12 award winners and revealed on August 29th.
The awards ceremony will take place at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, Iowa, with a keynote by Brandery co-founder and CMO at Rockfish (and eecincinnati.com speaker) Dave Knox.
Here are the finalists from SPN.
Startup of the Year
The startup everyone was talking about. The one that made marked progress toward solidifying its success, having an all-around banner year.
New Startup of the Year
The new kid on the block that quickly made a name for itself, and for good reason.
Innovation of the Year
This product prototype, release, or advancement made people look twice because it broke a mold, introduced a new way to solve a problem, or challenged a status quo.
- CandyCam, SkyHook video robotics
- EyeVerify, eyeprint technology
- Higher Learning Technologies, NCLEX Mastery
- opendorse, athlete endorsement platform
Mobile App of the Year
This app featured a notable design and user interface, broke the mold for what we’d expect from a mobile app or reached a high number of downloads.
- Battle Bears by SkyVu Entertainment
- NCLEX Mastery by Higher Learning Technologies
- Leap2 Search by Leap2
Executive of the Year
This C-level executive, president or founder led a startup to the next stage, hit milestones and overcame odds.
- Ben Milne, Dwolla founder and CEO
- Nick Bowden, MindMixer co-founder and chief engagement officer
- Paul Jarrett, Bulu Box co-founder and CEO
- Toby Rush, EyeVerify founder and CEO
Technologist of the Year
This team member, freelancer, or consultant made a significant contribution toward development of a startup’s product.
- Kelly Kerns, ABPathfinder co-founder, COO and chief architect
- Matt Secoske, Social Assurance co-founder
- Reza Derakhshani, EyeVerify chief scientist
- Riddhiman Das, Galleon Labs co-founder and EyeVerify software developer
Designer of the Year
This team member, freelancer, or consultant made a mark on a startup’s product by providing an amazing user experience or beautiful design.
- Jake Stutzman, Elevate owner
- Justin Kemerling, MindMixer chief design officer
- Rick Knudtson, Flywheel co-founder and CCO
- Stephanie Jarrett, Bulu Box co-founder and CMO
Student Entrepreneur of the Year
This student or group of students—college undergraduate or younger—built a notable business, launched a praise-worthy app or created an impactful entrepreneurial initiative.
- clusterFlunk (Joe Dallago and AJ Nelson)
- John Ruiz (e-Beacons)
- James Verhoeff (Pickit)
- Sourabh Chakraborty (HIVE)
Investor of the Year
More than funding, this investor provided the all-around package, being a connector and champion of their portfolio startups.
Service Provider of the Year
This lawyer, accountant, marketer or other service provider made things happen for startups, simple as that.
- Bart Dillashaw, Koley Jessen
- BlackOps Development
- Chris Brown, Van Osdol & Magruder
- Matt Westenburg, FUSE Coworking and SP Group
Silicon Prairie Champion
An individual, company or organization that selflessly gave their time, resources or expertise to advance the Silicon Prairie community.
- Brian Ardinger, NMotion managing director
- Cameron Cushman, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation senior advisor
- Kevin McGinnis, Sprint vice president of product platforms
- Amanda Styron and Andy Stoll, Seed Here
Silicon Prairie Ambassador
An individual from the region who has moved away but continues to advocate on behalf of the Silicon Prairie community.
- Calvin Pappas, founder of SelectOut and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate now at AVG in San Francisco
- Rahul Gupta, Big Wheel Brigade co-founder and former Omahan
- Royce Haynes, hackstar at TechStars in Boulder and former Kansas Citian who contributed to Silicon Prairie News
- Steven Chau, Startup Weekend web developer in Seattle and former events chair for the Social Media Club of Kansas City
Go vote here.