Every Wednesday Geoff publishes "The Pull", a digest of the top news for the Iowa innovation community that week. The following is the introduction to Issue #197.
I had a great time on Thursday at the Technology Association of Iowa's Prometheus Awards event in Des Moines. This was TAI's 12th annual iteration of the event and I'm pretty sure that I've been to half of them. I'm always impressed by how well they're produced and they seem to get better every year.
I know that sometimes industry awards get a bum rap as being too self-congratulatory—I understand where that comes from—but I really like the Prometheus Awards for three reasons:
The technology community in Iowa is often overlooked and under appreciated so its important to celebrate the big things happening in our state. Everything about Prometheus is a celebration: the cheers in the crowd when a winner is announced, the walk-up music queued to each category, the variety of videos that finalists create to introduce their company. It makes for a really fun night.
These awards also mark "the year that was" in our community. Its fun to look back at lists of winners from the past years and see companies progress from winning the startup categories to the growth categories to the big "company of the year" categories. It's also interesting to look back at past winners and see the names of companies that no longer exist but are part of our community's legacy. It's our historical record—at least for the last 12 years.
My favorite thing about the Prometheus Awards is that it brings us all together in one place for a few hours. In this era of constant online connection its really important to hang out in person from time-to-time. It was fun to meet up for a bit with friends and colleagues from Eastern Iowa and Omaha who traveled in but also those from here in Des Moines and Ames that I haven't seen last year's event. Sometimes you just need a reason to get together for Iowa's technology community, the Prometheus Awards are just that (special shout out to the Sioux City crew holding down the fort at the impromptu after party at the AC Hotel bar in the East Village).
If you haven't done so already, mark April 12, 2018 on your calendar now so you don't miss the next one.