January 18, 2012. That date is forever etched in my mind, and in stone (a headstone to be exact). That was the day I woke up to the chaos of doctors and nurses trying to resuscitate my son Eli who had passed away in his sleep after a four and a half year battle with cancer. He was just 28 days away from his 8th birthday. Every day is hard of course, but this one comes with the vivid memories of that morning, which makes it even harder.

It’s crazy to imagine that Eli would be turning 15 next month…


In a weird paradox, Iowa can celebrate a historically low unemployment rate and a growing economy while also being in the midst of a major workforce crisis.

All across the state, employers are having trouble filling the increasing number of tech jobs. Almost every fast-growing company in the state is a tech company. Our other main industries, like agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation, are also increasingly reliant on technology. No matter what industry you work in, it’s already impossible not to work with tech. Companies across the state struggle to find the qualified candidates they need because there aren’t enough Iowans…


NewBoCo’s been up to a lot these past four years. We’ve grown from a small startup accelerator to a nonprofit with programming supporting education, innovation, and entrepreneurship for Iowans of all ages. As we’ve grown, we know it’s been hard to keep up with what exactly it is we do here. So many of our programs have different names, and as an organization, we’re designed to experiment and take risks on new programming to fill community needs quickly and aggressively.

We’ve decided to make things easier for you. We’re calling a spade a spade and re-branding “Imagination Iowa: NewBoCo’s K-12…


Eli and I at a Yankees game in 2009

On January 18th, 2018 (the 6 year anniversary of my 7 year old son passing away) I was added to a FB Messenger group with 100 other people sharing and discussing a video of a guy who held his dog in his arms as it passed away. Everyone was talking about how incredibly heartbreaking it is to lose a pet. I chuckled to myself and left the group. This highlighted two of the many life lessons I’ve learned in the past 11 years or so.

1) There is always someone out there that has it worse, but that doesn’t diminish…


The Coin synching

Most people generally know me as an early adopter when it comes to tech. Kickstarter was the worst thing to happen to my wallet since SlickDeals.net. I have every Nest product they offer and am almost an Apple fanboy, but don’t think I qualify since the watch doesn’t appeal to me quite yet. I’m happy to beta test new products, applications, or websites and have a general expectation that it won’t be perfect. I also try to take the time to offer my feedback to those businesses so they know what they got right and what they got wrong. …


The #ALSicebucketchallenge Charity Envy Epidemic

The success of the ALS ice bucket challenge has been phenomenal. I can only imagine being in the ALSA offices and watching the bank account grow daily. Let alone the amazing feeling of awareness growing for the cause you’re so passionate about. I know I have certainly been moved by the videos showing the struggle that victims of ALS go through just to make it through the day. I have also noticed a surge of what I’ll call “Charity Envy”. As far as I can tell, that’s not an actual term, so I’ll attempt to define it.

Charity Envy: when…


Photo Credit: StartupStockPhotos.com

MEN·TOR

ˈmenˌtôr,-tər/ noun

  1. an experienced and trusted adviser.

I’ve always had a problem with the idea of being called a mentor. For some reason I tend to feel that I need to be an expert in a particular field in order to qualify. I also feel like the “stuff” that I know could be perceived as pretty common knowledge among other “tech people” or “entrepreneurs” or is at least easy to find on Google. Sure, maybe I could mentor a high school class (which I’ve done recently and I highly recommend it), but why would I think that I’m qualified…


While my “day job” is to fill the role of the Chief Information Officer at Radiology Protocols in Iowa City, I’m also the President of Beat Cancer Today which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that raises money for childhood cancer awareness, research, and support programs. We split the money that we raise among three different organizations: The University of Iowa Dance Marathon in Iowa City, Children’s Cancer Connection in Des Moines, and the Children’s Oncology Group Foundation (COG) which is a national research organization for childhood cancers.

Beat Cancer Today is completely run by volunteers and we are super cost conscious…


A Father’s Day Wish to Childhood Cancer Dads

I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without my incredible Dad. Nor would I be the man that I am today without my two incredible sons Eli (www.elisarmy.com) and Isaiah. I’ve also recently been blessed with the addition of two beautiful step daughters.

I am honored to know an exclusive group of fathers that have to live through the reality of childhood cancer. These men have to navigate a life that has been turned completely upside down. Trying to find a way to be there for their families while they balance their work demands. Being strong for their…


A Mother’s Day Wish

As the Dad to a warrior (@elihorn) who lost his life at the age of 7 after battling cancer for over 4 years (both Neuroblastoma and Leukemia), I am blessed to know a LOT of amazing moms (my own being at the top of that list).

That being said, I have a special affinity for those moms I know that have carried Emla in their purse (to numb the skin where the needle will access their port), that have carried a puke bucket under their stroller (because you never know when the nausea will come out of nowhere), that have…

Aaron Horn | HornIT

COO @NewBoCo, @beatcancer cofounder, @corrobo founder, #startups, ScrumMaster, tech enthusiast

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store