Silicon Prairie: America’s New Internet Economy is a short documentary film about the growth of new media/technology hubs in cities and towns across the American Midwest.  Filmmakers from set out in October 2012, following a bus tour that traveled from Colorado to Kentucky to show how entrepreneurs, politicians, community organizers and internet enthusiasts are building vibrant new businesses in unexpected places.  The film shows entrepreneurial hubs as fragile ecosystems, which require unfettered internet freedom, which hold great potential for revitalization, job-creation and innovation in America’s heartland.

Cherokee Street is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and community organizing, so it only made sense for the bus to make a couple stops along the street.  Both STL-Style and Scarlett Garnet are featured in the documentary and do a wonderful job of promoting their respective businesses and Cherokee Street- way to represent!

The documentary has been featured on CNN, and at South by Southwest Music and Interactive Festival.   Silicone Valley is being released online, March 20th at .  On March 20th, there will also be an Ask Me Anything from 1 to 7pm EST on reddit with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Reddit General Manager Erik Martin, Silicon Prairie Director Nadeem Mazen and film subjects including Katie and Garnet of Scarlett Garnet.

Openly Disruptive is holding a screening of Silicon Prairie: America’s New Internet Economy, Wednesday, March 27th, 6pm at Lab1500.  There will be a Q&A discussion afterwards with St. Louis entrepreneurs about the opportunities the new Internet economy is bringing to St. Louis.

Panelists include:

Edward Domain is the founder and CEO of He is a writer, U.S. Army veteran, serial entrepreneur and chronic early adopter. Having worked for startups in Silicon Valley and Chicago, he founded, grew and successfully exited his own previous startup and loves telling the tales of innovators everywhere.

Katie Miller is co-owner of Scarlett Garnet Jewelry, which she launched with her business partner, Garnet Griebel, in 2006. While operating from two different cities, the two designers have grown their company to selling wholesale and retail across the country and around the world.  They have a storefront on Cherokee Street, as well as an ecommerce site and Etsy shop. Scarlett Garnet was recently featured on Etsy’s blog and locally in Alive and St. Louis Magazine.

Randy Vines is co-creator of the St. Louis-inspired graphic design company, which operates a retail and community space on Cherokee Street in South St. Louis.  STL-Style has been featured in publications such as the New York TimesNext American City and Fast Company, and serves as a platform for civic advocacy and historic preservation throughout the City of St. Louis and beyond.

Openly Disruptive is all about the junction where art, technology, and context meet in our evolving world. We’re for people that want to define the future, not be victims of it. Openly Disruptive is something new. It’s like TED, but more hands-on.  It’s also a bit like Burning Man crossed with a science fair, but it happens year-round.  Participating in a workshop with us might be like a stint at IDEO, but you’ll own everything you create with us. If you always wanted to collaborate with the brightest people at MIT’s Media Lab or Xerox’s PARC but were never invited, we’ve got programs you can sink your teeth into. If you would wear the labels Renaissance Man or polymath proudly, Openly Disruptive is for you.


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