OEI Spotlight: Steven Brockshus

OEI Spotlight: Steven Brockshus Main Photo

7 Nov 2018

OEI, Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute, Spotlight

Steven Brockshus was a part of the 12th Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute in 2017. At the time, he pitched his company, then called Terva, to his fellow students and a panel of judges. Now, just over a year later, we checked in with him to see how things were going for his business.


Name and Title: Steven Brockshus, Founder & CEO

University attended, degree and year of graduation: Iowa State University, Agricultural Education, 2018

Year attended Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute: 2017

Company name: FarmlandFinder

Year Founded: 2016

Location: Des Moines, IA

Tell us about your company: FarmlandFinder is an online search engine for land real estate... essentially, it's Zillow for land. With just a couple of clicks, land professionals can find, analyze and secure land for sale.

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey: It started with realizing there was an issue while at a land auction with my father. I learned that there's a lack of access to information regarding information about the land market. This was the beginning to an idea that would ultimately become FarmlandFinder. Through my journey, I've learned from many great mentors and different programs, including ISU Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative, UofI Venture School, the CyStarters Program, the Ag Startup Engine and the Okoboji Entrepreneurship Initiative. Over the course of several years, we've built a team, product and business that helps hundreds of land professionals find, analyze and acquire land throughout the Midwest. I'm thankful for the opportunities Iowa provides to beginning companies and grateful for the support.

How are you applying what you learned or experienced at OEI to how you started and currently operate your business today?

The biggest thing I learned is this: share your experience, learnings and success with others. The wonderful business people of Okoboji do this extremely well and I aspire to do the same in my business journey.

Do you have any mentors (in Okoboji or elsewhere) who have helped you along the way? How valuable have mentors been to your entrepreneurial career?

I have many mentors, both personally and professionally. When you find someone who can speak truth into your life, whether you want to hear it or not, you'll always be better of. Find people like that often.

What are your favorite OEI memories?

Boat rides with new friends. Late-night chats with business leaders. Sunset drinks with my host family. 

How would you describe OEI to a student who has never heard of the program?

OEI is an event where the business magnates of Okoboji open their homes and businesses to share their past so that beginning entrepreneurs can find more success than they've found. 


Learn more about OEI and how we help students across the state!