I participated Monday in a Chicago TechWeek panel titled “Stories from the Silicon Prairie: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Outside of the Valley.” I was joined by Naithan Jones of AgLocal, Thad Langford of Open Air Equity Partners, Ben Milne of Dwolla and Greg Kratofil of Polsinelli Shughart, who served as our panel’s moderator. This was the first time that most of us had presented on the same panel, and I was interested in hearing stories from each of the businesses represented.
I’ve been a big fan of what each of these gentlemen have created and are continuing to build each day in the Silicon Prairie. The panel served as a fresh reminder for me of some of the sacrifices, ideas and energy that each of the panelists have that make them strong regional leaders.
Here are five points that will stick with me from the panel: