Megan Bannister

The 5 people who cover Iowa startups

For the last 43 weeks I’ve consistently scanned all the press there is to scan about the Iowa startup community to put together the Welch Avenue Weekly (a super cool news digest of the top three news items each week). That means looking at the big community newspapers (and the small), the local blogs and the national tech press as well as trolling a few lists of startup founders to see who is writing about their companies. What I’ve found through that process is that there are five people who consistently write about the startup community. There are many others who will occasionally write about it — for instance when a community hosts an event like a Startup Weekend that business reporter for the local paper will often cover that event.

Is this Silicon Valley? No, it's Iowa

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year and a half since I had my first brush with the startup community in Des Moines. I was a journalism student in my last year of undergrad who was wholly unsure of what I wanted to do when I graduated.

I had just started freelancing for this startup-y tech blog—Silicon Prairie News—and found myself covering the final pitches of Startup Weekend Des Moines. I had no idea how to spell “start-up” (sorry, Geoff) much less what a Startup Weekend was. But looking back to those first few events (Dwolla’s Old MacDonald Hackathon being another), I can say with a fair amount of certainty they’re what sold me on this community of ours.