Courtesy of Brian and Lesley Triplett

Our area is home to a host of unique and innovative entrepreneurs.

University Press of Kansas

Many of the big ideas that have changed the world have started in small towns.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with John Miller about his new book, Small Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America, we’ll talk about how the place you come from shapes who you are, how small towns have changed over the years and about some remarkable men who came from Midwestern small towns. Then, sociologist Paul Lasley talks about what it means to grow up in a small town today.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa's cultural and economic shift away from the family farm created serious problems for the state.  It has also created opportunities for reinvention and creativity.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

A young company from upstate New York, that manufactures packaging materials with agricultural waste is moving into an empty facility in Cedar Rapids. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.

The old Cryovac building on the Southwest side of Cedar Rapids has been vacant for almost five years, ever since parent company Sealed Air closed the 250-person food packaging division. The announcement came  about six months after the 2008 flood.

But now, new life is coming into the building—in the form of fungus.

Shawn Cornally / Iowa BIG

A small group of teachers in Cedar Rapids is trying a new way to inspire students to learn, by getting them out of the classroom and working on projects with community mentors. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, the Big Ideas Group is wrapping up a summer pilot program, and will become an option for students across the district this Fall.

To get an idea of how this works, take 12th grader McKenna Cole, who—at a weekly meeting, explains to her fellow students why she’s working with a wastewater treatment plant to test how poplar trees can filter water.

Innovative Businesses in Iowa

Dec 28, 2012
Ben Kieffer

The Midwest is home to a host of unique and innovative entrepreneurs. Listen back to Ben's conversation  with Mark Ginsberg, owner of M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers in Iowa City, about how he is utilizing 3D printing technology in his jewelry business and in other areas of the city.

Then, Chad Dutler, owner of Shrimp 59 in Holstein, talks about what made him embark on the shrimp farming business.