The Rise of Silicon Prairie

The Rise of Silicon Prairie

America’s heartland is growing more than wheat these days… it’s growing a tech industry that competes on the global playing field. Fortunately for these young tech entrepreneurs, there is a strong community in Oklahoma City to nurture and advise them in smart business practices through the Open Beta events.

 Green Swag

The Spring Beta was held Thursday, May 2nd, at the IAO Gallery with an after-party at The 404, OKC’s premier coworking space located on Film Row. With food and drinks provided, ample time for networking and a dozen speakers covering a wide range of topics in a lightning talk format, Open Beta is an entrepreneur’s dream. “The Spring Beta was a soft re-launch of the Open Beta series of events,” said Eric Granata, Director of Ecommerce at ROBYN. “It was limited to 100 attendees, but the October event will be wide open.”

From venture funding to bootstrapping, the Spring Beta was chock full of presentations designed to help young start-ups. “There were talks about emerging technologies, 3D printing, how to raise venture capital… even how to cold call properly,” said Eric.

“The idea is to have these Open Beta events twice a year,” says John Kerber, organizer of the event. “While the Spring Beta was more start-up focused than previous ones, we’re planning the Fall Beta to be more encompassing of all things disruptive… of people who are trying to build a better world.” Speaking of building a better world, even the swag bags each attendee received were made from recycled materials!

“It was amazing to me to hear some of the conversations that were happening,” said John. “Many people told me how great it was to see these people in the same room. They were really learning a lot from each other.”

That’s Oklahoma City for you. Silicon Prairie, indeed.