Three Iowa companies – two of them in West Des Moines – are among five companies to watch on the Silicon Prairie, “ the hottest area in the country for tech startups that you never heard of,” the cable news network MSNBC said.
Topping the list is the e-commerce marketplaceGoodsmiths founded by a pair of Waukee entrepreneurs that goes head-to-head with Etsy. It not only gives artisans and craftspeople the tools they need to sell online, but also offers an online community that’s there when you need them. The social networking engine allows users to interact with one another.
James Eliason, who co-founded the company with Levi Rosol earlier this year after his wife and other users expressed frustration with Etsy.
Eliason said the Silicon Prairie location is an advantage.
“The Silicon Prairie is one of the largest untapped talent and resource pools in the United States,” he told MSNBC. “There are over 20 million residents of the Silicon Prairie who are very loyal and passionate about brands and companies they use.”
Also on the list is Social Money of West Des Moines, which uses award-winning SmartyPig techonology to create FDIC goal-saving products for banks, merchants and other industries. These products provide a social networking strategy to engage customers and create new revenue streams.