Silicon Prairie

Last updated

The Silicon Prairie, a take on the Silicon Valley, can refer to one of several places in the United States: in Illinois, particularly in Chicago; Texas; and a multi-state region loosely comprising parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Silicon Valley Region in California, United States

Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology, innovation and social media. It corresponds roughly to the geographical Santa Clara Valley. San Jose is the Valley's largest city, the third largest in California, and the tenth largest in the United States. Other major Silicon Valley cities include Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the third highest GDP per capita in the world, according to the Brookings Institution.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.


Dallas–Fort Worth Silicon Prairie

North Texas's Silicon Prairie refers to north Dallas and Dallas and Fort Worth's northern suburbs, all part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is named for the high concentration of semiconductor manufacturing, telecommunications, and other information technology related companies in the area.

North Texas

North Texas is a term used primarily by residents of Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas to describe much of the northern portion of the U.S. state of Texas. Residents of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex generally consider North Texas to include the area south of Oklahoma, east of Abilene, west of Paris, and north of Waco. A more precise term for this region would be the northern part of the central portion of Texas. It does not include the Panhandle of Texas, which expands further north than the region previously described, nor does it include most of the region near the northern border of Texas.

North Dallas Place in Texas, United States

North Dallas is an area of numerous communities and neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas. The phrase "North Dallas" is also sometimes used to include any suburb or exurb north of Dallas proper within the metropolitan area. The majority of North Dallas is located in Dallas County, while a small portion is located in Collin and Denton Counties. North Dallas generally includes areas of Dallas north of Northwest Highway, along with Lake Highlands and areas of Dallas north of IH-635 known as Far North Dallas. The area has strong social and economic ties to the Dallas enclave of Park Cities, and two inner suburbs of Dallas, Richardson and Addison. It is the wealthiest part of Dallas, but has its adjacent, less resourced areas as well.

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas, officially the City of Dallas, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is also the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.3 million people as of 2017. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.

Dallas–Fort Worth area business in these industry sectors include:

Active Network, LLC American multinational software company

Active Network, LLC, is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas, that provides software as a service for activity and participant management. ACTIVE's management software supports a range of clients including: races, recreation, outdoor activities, camps, sports, schools, skiing services and attractions.

Alcatel-Lucent French global telecommunications equipment company

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. was a French global telecommunications equipment company, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. It was formed in 2006 by the merger of France-based Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent, the latter being the successor of AT&T's Western Electric.

Richardson, Texas City in Texas

Richardson is a principal city in Dallas and Collin counties in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2015 American Community Survey, the city had a total population of 106,123. Richardson is an affluent inner suburb of Dallas. It is home to The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Telecom Corridor®, with a high concentration of telecommunications companies. More than 5,000 businesses have operations within Richardson's 28 square miles (73 km2), including many of the world's largest telecommunications/networking companies: AT&T, Verizon, Cisco Systems, Samsung, ZTE, MetroPCS, Texas Instruments, Qorvo, and Fujitsu. Richardson's largest employment base is provided by the insurance industry, with Blue CrossBlue Shield of Texas' headquarters located in the community along with a regional hub for GEICO, regional offices for United Healthcare, and one of State Farm Insurance's three national regional hubs.

The Telecom Corridor in Richardson is usually considered an area within the Silicon Prairie.[ according to whom? ] There are also a large number of recognized video and computer game developers in the area, known as the Dallas Gaming Mafia, including Gearbox Software, id Software, 3D Realms, and Ensemble Studios. [1] [ better source needed ]

The Telecom Corridor is a technology business center in Richardson, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas, which contains over 25 million square feet of office space and accounts for over 130,000 jobs. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and home to the University of Texas at Dallas, the Corridor is a strip about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) long along U.S. Route 75 (US 75), between President George Bush Turnpike and Interstate 635 (I-635) and is often considered an area of the Silicon Prairie. More than 5,700 companies, including 600 technology companies are headquartered in the area, including significant players such as AT&T, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Verizon, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and MetroPCS. Some of these companies also have offices in Telecom Valley located in California. Although the Telecom Corridor was a booming area of Dallas's economy during the late 1990s, the dot-com bust of 2001 hit the region hard. However, it began recovering in 2004, and that recovery has since picked up momentum, gaining both the operations of many non-technology-related companies and a large number of previously non-existent residential units designed in the New Urbanist style. The name "Telecom Corridor" is a registered trademark and may technically only be used to describe the area mentioned in this article.

A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.

Gearbox Software American video game development company

Gearbox Software, L.L.C. is an American video game development company based in Frisco, Texas. It was established in 1999 by developers from companies such as 3D Realms and Bethesda Softworks, with one of the founders, Randy Pitchford, as CEO. The company initially created expansions for the Valve Corporation game Half-Life, then ported that game and others to console platforms. In 2005 Gearbox launched its first independent set of games, Brothers in Arms, on console and mobile devices. It became their flagship franchise and spun off a comic book series, television documentary, books, and action figures. Their second original game series Borderlands was released in 2009, and by 2015 had sold over 26 million copies. The company also owns the intellectual property of Duke Nukem and Homeworld.

Illinois Silicon Prairie

The Illinois Silicon Prairie typically refers to the Chicago and Champaign/Urbana areas.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.

Champaign, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Champaign is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, United States. The city is 135 miles (217 km) south of Chicago, 124 miles (200 km) west of Indianapolis, Indiana, and 178 mi (286 km) northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The United States Census Bureau estimates the city was home to 87,432 people as of July 1, 2017. Champaign is the tenth-most populous city in Illinois, and the state's fourth-most populous city outside the Chicago metropolitan area. It is included in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area.

Urbana, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Urbana is a city in and the county seat of Champaign County, Illinois, United States. The population is estimated at 41,989 as of July 1, 2017. Urbana is the tenth-most populous city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is included in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area.

The Chicago Metropolitan Area is home to several companies in the industrial automation, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and online services industries. The Illinois Technology and Research Corridor along Interstate 88 and the Golden Corridor along Interstate 90 have particularly high concentrations of such businesses.

Consumer electronics Electronic equipment intended for everyday home use

Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic equipments intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used for entertainment, communications, and home-office activities. In British English, they are often called brown goods by producers and sellers, to distinguish them from "white goods" which are meant for housekeeping tasks, such as washing machines and refrigerators, although nowadays, these would be considered brown goods, some of these being connected to the Internet. In the 2010s, this distinction is not always present in large big box consumer electronics stores, such as Best Buy, which sell both entertainment, communication, and home office devices and kitchen appliances such as refrigerators.

Illinois Technology and Research Corridor

The Illinois Technology and Research Corridor is a region of commerce and industry located along Interstate 88 in the Chicago metropolitan area, primarily in DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb Counties. The corridor is home to the headquarters or regional centers for many Fortune 1000 companies, several office and industrial parks, colleges and universities, research and scientific institutions, medical centers, government centers, and abundant shopping, dining, lodging, and entertainment amenities. In addition to the I-90 Golden Corridor, the I-94 Lakeshore Corridor, and the I-55 Industrial Corridor, the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor is one of the principal economic centers in suburban Chicago.

Golden Corridor

The Golden Corridor is the area around the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, formerly known as the Northwest Tollway, in the Chicago metropolitan area. Its name refers to the "gold" mine of economic profit for communities in the area. Several Fortune 500 company headquarters, office parks, industrial parks, exhibition and entertainment centers, medical facilities, hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants are in the Golden Corridor. With the exception of the O'Hare area of Chicago, all the communities in this region are part of a larger region known as the "Northwest Suburbs".

Among the Chicago area companies and organizations that comprise the Illinois Silicon Prairie are:

Much of the high technology industry base in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area consists of research and small start-up companies working with the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Seven Fortune 500 companies have research entities at the university's research park located in Champaign. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is in Urbana. [2]

Midwest Silicon Prairie

An area of the Midwestern United States is often referred to as the Silicon Prairie. This region can loosely be defined as the states bordering along Interstate 29 in the Upper Midwest; mainly Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska. [3]


Computer company Gateway 2000 and several other companies began using the moniker in the mid -1990s in advertisements and promotional materials. [4]

Silicon Prairie Communications ( - ISP and regional BBS

Founded in 1992, Silicon Prairie Communications started as a regional BBS and UUCP gateway, expanding to a boutique ISP that still serves as the delegated admin for a large group of .us domain localities, both regionally in Iowa and several large metro cities.[ citation needed ][ promotional language ]

Silicon Prairie News

In 2008, the online technology and entrepreneurial news publication Silicon Prairie News [5] was founded to highlight achievements of companies in the region's principal cities such as Des Moines, Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha, Sioux Falls and any adjacent cities. [6]

Silicon Prairie Portal & Exchange d/b/a Silicon Prairie Online

In 2016, the MNvest portal operator Silicon Prairie Online [7] received registration approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce [8] to commence operations as a JOBS Act approved crowdfunding portal operator. [9]

Iowa Governor Culver

In 2009, Governor Chet Culver (D-Iowa) used the term to describe his desired future reputation for his state after their investment in wind and other renewable energy industries. [10]

ISU Research Park

Ames, Iowa [11]

Workiva - An Ames, Iowa-based business enterprise software company. In 2016 Workiva received the Technology Association of Iowa's Prometheus Award for Top Growth Company of the Year. [12]

Des Moines

Dwolla - A mobile payment company, [13] whose business model includes speeding up business to business and business to consumer transactions and payments. [14]

Nebraska Angels [15] - An Omaha-based group of approximately 60 investors [16] who fund local start-ups.[ promotion? ]

Related Research Articles

Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company founded on September 25, 1928, based in Schaumburg, Illinois. After having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, the company was divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011. Motorola Solutions is generally considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, as the reorganization was structured with Motorola Mobility being spun off. Motorola Mobility was sold to Google in 2012, and acquired by Lenovo in 2014.

Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex Metroplex in Texas, United States

The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex encompasses 13 counties within the U.S. state of Texas. Residents of the area also refer to it as DFW, or the Metroplex. It is the economic and cultural hub of the region of North Texas, and it is the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States.

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign public research university in Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, United States

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a public research university in Illinois and the flagship institution of the University of Illinois System. Founded in 1867 as a land-grant institution, its campus is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana.

Nick Holonyak American inventor

Nick Holonyak Jr. is an American engineer and educator. He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light; Holonyak was then working at General Electric's research laboratory in Syracuse, New York. He is a John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been since leaving General Electric in 1963.

William F. (Bill) Opdyke is an American computer scientist, and enterprise architect at JPMorgan Chase, known for his early work on code refactoring.

Mississippi Valley Airlines

Mississippi Valley Airlines (IATA--XV), was a regional air carrier serving the Upper Midwestern region of the United States. It was founded as Gateway Aviation, and had its headquarters in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It began scheduled flight operations on July 22, 1968 between La Crosse Municipal Airport and both Chicago and Milwaukee. The carrier changed its name to Mississippi Valley Airways in October 1969. It became Mississippi Valley Airlines (MVA) and moved its headquarters to Quad City Airport in Moline, Illinois in January 1982. The airline merged into Air Wisconsin in 1985.

Economy of Texas

The economy of Texas is the second largest in the United States. It has a gross state product of $1.645 trillion (2017), the second largest in the U.S. As of 2015, Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall. In 2017, Texas grossed more than $264.5 billion a year in exports—more than the exports of California and New York combined.

Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a research park located in the southwest part of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign campus in Champaign, Illinois. Research Park is a technology hub for startup companies and corporate research and development operations. Within Research Park there are more than 120 companies employing more than 2,100 people including students and full-time technology professionals.


Workiva is an enterprise software company based in Ames, Iowa. Founded in 2008 as WebFilings, its main product is Wdesk, a cloud-based enterprise management and auditing software-as-a-service platform that enables companies to create and file financial and compliance reports and documents to the SEC and other federal and state regulatory agencies. The Wdesk platform integrates information from disparate content formats, including spreadsheets, presentation documents, emails and other unstructured data, into a single cloud-based report. The company employs approximately 1,300 people with offices in 16 cities in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Demographics of Dallas–Fort Worth

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 6,371,773 people. The racial makeup of the MSA was 50.2% White, 15.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 5.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 10.0% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.5% of the population.

The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area has a population of Chinese Americans. In the second half of the 19th century, the area became permanently settled by non-Native Americans, and citizens of Chinese descent began to make the area their home as well. In modern times, the main population of Chinese Americans is scattered around the northern suburbs of the City of Dallas.

The University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is the network of libraries, including both physical and virtual library spaces, which serves the University's students, faculty, and staff, as well as scholars and researchers worldwide. The University Library continues to evolve to serve the needs of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign campus.


  1. International association of science and technology for development - "The IASTED International Conference on Computational and Systems Biology (CASB 2006)." Originally published 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  2. Tech News World" Silicon Prairie May Be Fertile Ground for Emerging Homeland Security Biz." Originally published 7 March 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2007.
  3. Rubin, Josh (2010-07-16). "Techies reject coasts for 'Silicon Prairie'". Retrieved 2010-07-16.
  4. Lohr, Steve (1997-09-04). "Gateway 2000 Chairman Blames Haste for Earnings Lag". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  5. Silicon Prairie News
  6. "About Silicon Prairie News". Silicon Prairie News. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  7. "Silicon Prairie Online"
  8. "" MNvest Approved Portal Operators
  9. "Second Equity Crowdfunding Portal Goes Live in Minnesota". Twin Cities Business. 2016-12-19.
  10. Strawn, Jessi (2009-08-06). "Governor visits Iowa State as part of renewable energy tour". Iowa State University Featured News. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  15. Schaper, David "Silicon Prairie: Tech Startups Find A Welcoming Home In The Midwest", "All Things Considered", March 12, 2015. Retrieved on Oct. 20, 2016