The Field of Dreams Manifesto
With easy access to new technologies, resources, and ideas, more and more startups outside the Valley and the Alley are finding early success in places like Kansas City, Missouri and Des Moines, Iowa.Having assisted or launched several startups outside the traditional ecosystems, Dwolla’s Ben Milne and Zaarly’s Bo Fishback will discuss the role that the Internet has had in leveling the playing field for the builders of the 21st century. Moderated by Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News founder, Jeff Slobotski, the candid conversation will provide audiences an unfettered, behind-the-scenes look at how one region is overcoming the odds and cultivating an entirely new kind of startup manifesto."
Ben Milne is a payments outsider and founder of Dwolla, a new network based in the heart of the Silicon Prairie. The company continues to disrupt Visa and Mastercard by building useful and innovative online and mobile products on top of its open and low-cost payment network.
Ben is a repeat entrepreneur, having created and sold another multi-million dollar startup with over sea operations back in 2008. Open, candid, and honest, he is a sought after speaker in the international startup community, payments industry, and tech circles. Ben also has extensive leadership, investment, and mentorship experience with numerous companies, charities, and organizations in the Silicon Prairie region. In 2011, he was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He loves LEGOS.
Founder and CEO of Zaarly.
Previously VP of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.
Jeff Slobotski is the Co-Founder and Chief Community Builder at Silicon Prairie News, an Omaha-based company dedicated to highlighting and supporting entrepreneurs and creatives, and a emerging model for grassroots entrepreneurial ecosystem development within the Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City regions.
In addition to blogging about members of the region's creative class, Slobotski helps organize events to connect these individuals, such as BarCamp Omaha, Startup Job Crawls and the annual Big Omaha and Thinc Iowa conferences which are focused on startup culture, entrepreneurship and innovation. The events bring together thousands of entrepreneurs, innovators, creatives and investors from across the U.S.