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The Silicon Prairie News Minute, featuring Ryan Pendell, the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.  Host Jim Collison from – Highlighting the best startup news in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.  Recorded on November 25, 2015

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Jim: I recently heard about this company called Invisible Girlfriend. Sounds a bit creepy. What can you tell me about this?

Ryan: I had the chance to go to Saint Louis recently and sit down with one of the founders of Invisible Girlfriend(and its opposite, Invisible Boyfriend) which started as a bit of a joke. But when it launched in January of this year, however, it received massive national attention–even making it into the Washington Post, the Today show, and Conan.

It was originally meant as a way to fake a relationship–getting fake emails and texts, etc.–so people would stop asking why you aren’t in a relationship. What the company has found, however, is that people are using the service just to have someone to talk to.

Jim: Still sounds creepy, but tell me where I can find out more.

Ryan: To read the rest of our story, go to and click on “Startups.”

Jim: I know deer hunting season just opened in Nebraska and my very own co-host Mike Wieger was out last weekend with no success. Any ideas on how to improve his hunting game with some state of the art tech?

Ryan:  If you want the latest thing on the market, I would recommend the new Powderhook app, based out of Lincoln, Nebaska. The best way to describe it is “Yik Yak for the outdoors.” Simply ask a question about hunting, fishing or any outdoor activity, and the users nearest you will provide their expert advice.

According to Powderhook, they want users to be able to go from absolute beginner to active outdoorsman using nothing but the app.

Jim: What platforms is this available on?

Ryan: It’s currently available on Google Play and the Apple store. If you’d like to read more about Powderhook, go to and click on startups.

Jim: Ryan, I am a big Slack user and use it with few teams, is there a team I can join here in the midwest?

Ryan: Silicon Prairie Tech is a new Slack community started by two startup guys in Sioux City, Iowa. One of the biggest challenges we have as a regional tech community is distance. If you’re already a Slack user, it’s very easy to join. They hope it will be an opportunity to pool resources across the region.

Jim: So how do I sign up?

Ryan: You can request an invite at For more of the backstory, go to and click on “Community.”

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