Iowa State University Ivy College of Business innovationENTREPRENEUR of the Year: David Kingland

Photo contributed by David Kingland

As a longtime entrepreneur in finance and engineering, David Kingland believes innovation is the product of being flexible.

“The key is to not only invent, but reinvent as technology and client needs change,” said Kingland, who is innovationIOWA’s 2019 innovationENTREPRENEUR of the Year.

But first let’s look back. Kingland got his start in music.

After graduating with a degree in industrial administration from Iowa State University, Kingland worked as a recording engineer and performed in a few bands touring across Iowa. By 1984, he had married and moved on from an Edward Jones branch office he opened in Mason City to founding brokerage company Kingland Capital Corp.

Kingland Systems Corp. was founded in 1992 to provide risk management, compliance and data solutions software in the financial industry. This past year, the company celebrated 25 years in business helping clients manage “mission-critical” data, Kingland said.

“The processes required to develop and successfully implement our solutions are complex. The last 10 years we’ve been on a journey to define, instrument and analyze how we perform every job required to develop a solution for our clients,” Kingland said. “Our goal is to continue to improve and use the best science to evaluate our processes and how we improve our performance so that our clients can rely on us to handle some of their most complicated technology problems.”

Today, Kingland Systems Corp. is headquartered in Clear Lake with offices in Ames, Lake Mills, Bonita Springs, Fla., and Dalian, China. The company employs 262 people with a worldwide client list that includes IBM, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Deloitte. In Ames, Kingland Systems is known for developing a thriving internship and hiring pipeline with Iowa State University — the company has employed more than 2,000 students, according to ISU.

In the future, “the biggest challenge will most likely be the ever-evolving technology complexity and working with our clients to keep their data assets pristine and secure,” Kingland said. “We’ve all watched the number of bad actors grow in the world, and these hostile forces will increase the need to secure data and the solutions that use those assets.”

On April 29, Kingland announced Todd Rognes as the new CEO and Tony Brownlee as president of Kingland Systems. Kingland himself will continue to serve as chairman and take on the role of chief innovation officer.

Outside of his business, Kingland serves on the board of directors of Wit Capital Group; is chairman of the board of directors for the Iowa Innovation Corp.; is director of the Iowa State University Foundation Board; and serves on the Iowa State University Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. He is also a partner of Salt Entertainment Group.

“The work of research, innovation and teaching entrepreneurial skills to the next generation is critical to our long-term success as a state and nation,” Kingland said.