Workiva CEO Touts Iowa’s Silicon Prairie in Fast Company

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Just in time for caucus day, before the national media forgets about Iowa for another four years, the CEO of Ames-based business software company Workiva has snuck in a shoutout to the first-in-the-nation state in Fast Company.

There’s more to Iowa than what’s portrayed in the national news, Workiva CEO Matt Rizai writes, making the case for the state’s “Silicon Prairie” as an appealing alternative to northern California’s Silicon Valley for launching a tech startup.

“The assumption that there aren’t any good programmers outside of San Francisco is absurd—and a strategic liability,” he goes on, adding that “our Iowa headquarters includes amenities we’d never be able to provide at the same level in San Francisco, from a fitness center to a gourmet cafeteria with local produce, open collaboration spaces to employee bicycles” (and also foosball).

Fortune recently ranked Workiva as the fourth best large tech workplace in the country, ahead of Google’s trend-setting Mountain View headquarters — although its home of Ames was elsewhere ranked as the country’s second most hipster city, so it’s sometimes worth taking these lists with a grain of salt.

Read the whole thing here.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.