SPNM: LifeLoop, Spletter and Tech Bubbles

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The Silicon Prairie News Minute, featuring Ryan Pendell, the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.  Host Jim Collison from theAverageGuy.tv – Highlighting the best startup news in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.  Recorded on December 12, 2015

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Jim: Ryan, two years ago I lost my dad and my Mom now lives alone in a retirement community.  She is on Facebook but are there better social options for her?

Ryan: We recently covered a new startup in Omaha that’s working on developing a social platform specifically for people in retirement communities. It’s called LifeLoop and it helps residents to communicate with their families and their staff. What’s cool about LifeLoop is that, like the name, it keeps everyone in the loop. So, for example, residents can tell their families about, a light bulb being out, and the families can put in a request directly to the community staff right then. Community leaders can also notice when certain residents have become less engaged, and they can check in on them.


Jim: How many communities are they currently in?

Ryan: LifeLoop is currently being used in 23 communities across the Midwest. If you’d like to watch our video profile of LifeLoop, go to Silicon Priaire News and click on “Startups.”

Jim: With my son recently entering military bootcamp, we are back to good ole fashion letter writing. Certainly in 2015 there are options for my to make this easier when I have to send a letter?

Ryan:  Here’s one idea you might like to try. It’s an app called Spletter that just launched out of Omaha. It lets you use your smartphone to compose a letter, and send it directly to a mailing address. What’s even more interesting, is that they can mail you a letter back–back to your phone, where you receive a push notification.


Jim: How much does it cost?

Ryan: A two-page domestic spletter currently costs $1.99 ($2.99 for international), and adding 4 x 6 prints cost 49 cents each, USD. Spletter is now available for Android and users can download it in the Google Play store.

For more information, check out our profile on Spletter at SPN, click on Startups.

Jim: I’ve been hearing a lot about another “tech bubble.” Do you think it’s going to impact Midwest tech at all?

Ryan: If we look back at first Dot Com bubble, the Midwest was hit along with the rest of the country. However, not quite as bad as other places, since we’re a bit more conservative. I imagine that, if there is a big crash, it could actually benefit the regional startup scene as people look for more affordable places to launch their companies.

If you really want an expert opinion though, I recommend one of our recent interviews with Mercury Fund, a venture capital firm out of Texas that specializes in investing in companies outside the Valley and New York.


Jim: Where can people find that?

Ryan: When you go to http://siliconprairienews.com, just click on our Investment section, and look for the story on the Midwest’s “soft landing.”

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