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Midwest Firm Makes Leap From Startup To Public Company In One Year

DES MOINES, Iowa, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Not everyone who starts a business dreams of taking it public. Not everyone who dreams of taking their business public achieves it. But entrepreneurs with the audacious goal of going from a startup to publicly traded are closely watching the rise of DomiKnow, a digital marketing firm in Des Moines, Iowa, that will begin public trading on March 15, just more than one year since its founding.

DomiKnow founder John R. Stokka recognized a crucial opportunity when he launched the company in December 2011. Small business owners were hungry to leverage the power of digital marketing to expand their customer base, but most lacked the resources to mount effective long-term campaigns that reached the right audiences. DomiKnow, short for "dominate with knowledge," creates affordable custom email and social media marketing campaigns, and uses its proprietary database of more than 350 million email addresses and 400 fields of data to "hypertarget" the audience most likely to convert to customers.

"Startup success ultimately hinges on the right mix of innovation and execution," notes Christian Renaud, principal of Startup City Des Moines, an early-stage technology startup incubator. "John and the DomiKnow team have been relentlessly innovating and executing as they build value for their customers and investors."

In the heart of what's been dubbed the "Silicon Prairie," entrepreneurs like Stokka are finding places like Iowa to be a prime business launching pad. Access to top talent, affordable work space, and a famous work ethic, coupled with the notable success of companies like Pinterest and Dwolla, are getting nontraditional places like Des Moines a closer look. 

"We knew we had something special when we were closing more than 90 percent of the presentations we made," said Stokka. "And then when institutional investors became interested, I knew we needed to accelerate the move to go public".

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