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24 Things You Didn’t Know About LightEdge

To most, we are known as the region’s leading provider of compliant cloud and colocation services. However, there is much more behind the scenes that got us to where we are today.

In honor of our 24th anniversary in business, we thought we’d share 24 things you may not know about LightEdge, our history, our team, and the services we deliver.

  1. Founded in 1996, we are celebrating our 24th year of business. (Hence the inspiration for the numbering of this list!) We remain headquartered in Des Moines, IA and are proud to play an active role in the Midwest’s growing technology scene.
  2. Our CEO, Jim Masterson, and COO, Jeff Springborn, have both been leading the organization for the past 17+ years. That is one of the top contributors to the one-of-a-kind company culture and values we have been able to maintain throughout the years.
  3. We were originally founded as an Internet Service Provider. After two decades of growth and pioneering in connectivity, we left the network space and doubled down on our compliant cloud and colocation services. Our deep network heritage still lives on through the facilities we build, the services we provide, and our 100% uptime guarantee.
  4. We just stated it above, but it’s worth emphasizing again…our internet is ALWAYS ON! LightEdge intentionally designs network paths in and out of each of our markets, both through and around carrier hotels. That means if the internet in an entire LightEdge city goes down, we will keep you up and connected through our redundant, reliable routes.
  5. When LightEdge announced our intent to launch hosted services (Cloud) in 2005, the company needed to prove our seriousness to the market given we were a networking company historically. As a result, we acquired a small Microsoft Hosting provider out of Scottsdale, AZ. The company was primarily beneficial from a marketing standpoint.
  6. LightEdge was the first to build a data center in Altoona, IA back in 2007. Since then, Facebook and Microsoft have followed in our footsteps constructing nearby facilities. We always knew it was a great place to be!
  7. We have been privately owned by The Anschutz Corporation since 2008 and were their second venture into the technology space. Their first was a company you may be familiar with, Qwest.
  8. Anschutz is also known for owning some of the US’s most prominent music festivals, sports teams & arenas, and for the work they have done in oil & gas exploration and wind farming. If you haven’t already, definitely check them out!
  9. Our niche is in serving the most highly regulated industries, like healthcare, financial services, and regulated SaaS. This is due to the unmatched global compliance standards we uphold and are able to pass onto our clients (and their clients as a result). We even have an expert CISO on staff that consults with our clients free of charge on audit readiness and organizational safeguards to pass on some of that inherent knowledge.
  10. We chose to build our flagship data center in Altoona, IA (the Greater Des Moines Metro) due to its central US location, close proximity to I-35 and I-80 for easy customer access, the low risk of natural disasters and threats, and its tremendous fiber potential.
  11. LightEdge’s Kansas City data center resides over 125-feet underground in the limestone mines of Hunt Midwest’s SubTropolis, The World’s Largest Underground Business Complex ®. SubTropolis spans a whopping six million square feet. That makes it larger than forty-two Arrowhead Stadiums!
  12. Phil Anschutz (The Anschutz Corporation) and Lamar Hunt (Hunt Midwest) started Major League Soccer (MLS) together. The Anschutz name is even on the MLS trophy. Pretty cool, if you ask us!
  13. We chose to locate within SubTropolis Technology Center due to its natural aspiration, consistent year-round temperatures with easily controlled humidity levels, protection from the elements and disasters, and nearly unlimited growth options.
  14. Harry Smith with The Today Show came to check out SubTropolis in 2016 given the buzz around being home to some extremely rare Hollywood footage, massive food distributors, and the Cloud. He obviously made his way over to talk with us.
  15. The limestone that SubTropolis is made from is 18,000-24,000 pounds per square inch, making it 6x stronger than concrete. We are able to save around 6-months of construction time when expanding our Kansas City facility due to our ability to blast out more of the mine and continue on vs. constructing a standalone, ground-up build.
  16. In July of 2018, LightEdge acquired OnRamp out of Austin, Texas. It not only expanded our team and service offerings, but also allowed us to take over two new data centers in that market.
  17. Our CEO, Jim Masterson, was awarded CEO of The Year at the 2019 Prometheus Awards presented by the Technology Association of Iowa. Thisaward recognized Jim for his innovation and creativity in planning and deploying leading enterprise systems, his inspirational leadership philosophies, and his service to the industry and local community.
  18. In that same year, our underground Kansas City facility was visited by the team at Off the Cuf and named The MOST SECURE Data Center in The World. Here’s their inside glimpse:
  19. LightEdge is extremely passionate about supporting technology education for students. We were the first to get involved with the Waukee APEX Program in Iowa, as well as, the first to partner with the Northland CAPS students out of Kansas City. LightEdge mentored the students on careers in technology andtrends on the rise, provided hands-on technical projects to complete, and even hosted entire semesters onsite at our locations. Programs like these are now beginning to take shape all over the country.
  20. Over the past decade, LightEdge has achieved SOC 1 Type II, SOC 2 Type II & SOC 3 compliance, became ISO 20000-1 & ISO 27001 certified, and successfully completed audits for HIPAA, PCI DSS, and HITRUST. Our Chief Security Officer spends about five months each year dedicated to prepping for our annual third-party audits and pushing us towards the next compliance standard to add to our resumé.
  21. LightEdge is one of the few cloud service providers in the world to have IBM’s stamp of approval on our IBM i offering, Power Cloud. We set ourselves apart even further with our team of dedicated IBM i experts that bring a combined 120 years of experience with that platform. Learn more about the Power Team and Power Cloud here:
  22. LightEdge takes volunteering seriously. We have a staff-run charitable committee that organizes ongoing, hands-on activities in each of our markets to give back to the communities we’re a part of. Organizations benefiting children in need and their families are especially near and dear to our hearts.
  23. Our company motto is “Work Hard, Play Hard.” Our employees work day in and day out to get the job done for the customers we support and to continually raise the bar on the innovative services we’re bringing to the marketplace. As a result, we celebrate employee accomplishments, big or small, together. (Frequently through the HR Bar that we have become known for.)
  24. LightEdge recently just signed a broader agreement with Hunt Midwest to expand our partnership and develop over 600,000 sq. ft. of space underground to support over 120 MW of power. To put that into perspective, this is about 10.5x times bigger than a football field, about 7/10 as big as Buckingham Palace, and about 1.75x larger than The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about us, we’d like to do the same with you.

Get in touch with us today and let’s grab some time to meet. We’d love to talk through your organization’s goals for the remainder of 2020 and beyond, and even take your team on an exclusive data center tour. Hope to connect with you soon!


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