Silicon Prairie

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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, Oklahoma and Kansas. [1]


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.

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

The Telecom Corridor in Richardson is usually considered the birthplace of the North Texas Silicon Prairie with Texas Instruments and University of Texas at Dallas dating back to the 1960s. [2] [3] 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, Nerve Software, Bonfire Studios/Zynga Dallas, and Ensemble Studios. [4] These videogame studios, especially Gearbox Software, helped get public interest and municipal funding for the National Videogame Museum to make its home in Frisco. [5]

Illinois Silicon Prairie

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

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.

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. [6]

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, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska. [7]


Computer company Gateway 2000 and several other companies began using the moniker in the mid -1990s in advertisements and promotional materials. [8]

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

"Scale Computing" Scale Computing eliminates traditional virtualization software, disaster recovery software, servers, and shared storage. Fully integrated, highly available.

In 2008, the online technology and entrepreneurial news publication Silicon Prairie News [9] 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. [10]

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

In 2016, the MNvest portal operator Silicon Prairie Online [11] received registration approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce [12] to commence operations as a JOBS Act approved crowdfunding portal operator. [13]

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. [14]

ISU Research Park

Ames, Iowa [15]

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. [16]

Des Moines

Dwolla - A mobile payment company, [17] whose business model includes speeding up business to business and business to consumer transactions and payments. [18]

Nebraska Angels [19] - An Omaha-based group of approximately 60 investors [20] who fund local start-ups.[ promotion? ]

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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 2018 American Community Survey, the city had a total population of 120,981. Richardson is an affluent inner suburb of Dallas. It is home to the University of Texas at Dallas 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 and networking companies, such as 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 Cross and Blue Shield of Texas's headquarters, a regional hub for GEICO, regional offices for United Healthcare, and one of State Farm Insurance's three national regional hubs located in the community.

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The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, officially designated Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, is a metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas encompassing 13 counties. It is the economic and cultural hub of North Texas. Residents of the area also refer to it as DFW, or the Metroplex.

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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 many 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.

The President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) is a 52-mile (84 km) toll road running through the northern, northeastern and western suburbs, forming a partial loop around Dallas, Texas, United States. It is named for the late George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. At its west end near Belt Line Road in Irving, State Highway 161 continues southwest to Interstate 20 (I-20) in Grand Prairie. The discontinuous free frontage roads along the turnpike from I-35E in Carrollton east to its end at I-30 in Garland are assigned the State Highway 190 designation. SH 190 signage appears only along the Rowlett, Garland, Richardson, Plano, and Carrollton sections of the frontage road with the undersign "frontage road only". At intersections with city streets, only the Bush Turnpike signs are displayed, not the SH 190 signage. Prior to the construction of the main lanes as a tollway, SH 190 was used as the name of the planned main lanes too. Similarly, the part west of I-35E was planned as part of SH 161. Bush Turnpike is signed as a north–south road from I-20 to I-35E, an east–west road from I-35E to the Merritt Main Lane Gantry and as a north–south road from the Merritt Main Lane Gantry to I-30, as Bush Turnpike makes a nearly 90-degree curve in both places.

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Whispering Hills, Dallas Neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, United States

Whispering Hills is a neighborhood consisting of 615 homes within the Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas, Texas adjacent to the suburbs of Richardson and Garland. It is generally bounded by Buckingham Rd along the Richardson border to the north, to the east by the Garland border near Plano Rd, to the south by Walnut St, and to the west by the KCS Railroad and Audelia Branch Greenbelt near Audelia Rd.

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