Startup Sioux Falls Executive Director’s Quarterly Update

ED Quarterly Update

Quarterly Director’s Update

While there are plenty of updates to share, I need to start with a staffing announcement. Peter Hauck has accepted a position with Prairie Family Business Association; his last official day with us as Community Manager was Friday, July 15.

Peter has been integral to the transition and growth of this organization over the past 2+ years and we appreciate his passion and dedication to the startup community. Peter is already registered as one of our Founding Members, so you’ll still be seeing plenty of him in the startup ecosystem as he continues to pursue his entrepreneurial venture, Rink Rabbit. #sidehustle

P.S. We are currently at 115 of 125 registered Founding Members so don’t delay in getting signed up!


  • With Peter's announcement, my priority is to revisit our Accountability Chart, rescope staffing roles, and consequently, budget. I will have a job description and pay range drafted for the vacant position very soon. We may also have some internship opportunities on the horizon as well.


  • Our Capital Campaign fundraising for the construction of our downtown space is well underway and we are 59.27% to our goal. Fundraising remains my top priority, and I’ve really enjoyed engaging with the business community, sharing the vision and impact this organization has made, and our intent to activate the downtown community at our new location at 6th and Phillips.
  • Our Zeal Moving Sale was largely successful thanks to our hardworking staff, which will be earmarked toward some new furniture for the new space. We intend to post a few leftover premium items and then donate the rest of what we are not repurposing.

City Support

  • As part of Matt Paulson’s generous $1M gift, the MarketBeat/Homegrown Capital interior named rooms passed 8-0 at city council on July 5. Consequently, our Gifting Agreement is nearly fully executed by the Mayor. A majority of these gift funds will be allocated toward our construction budget. Thank you again to Matt Paulson for his incredible generosity!


  • Southeast Technical College will officially take over the Zeal facility lease as of September 1st, and we continue to appreciate the incredible facilitation of private and public partnerships by our economic development partners, especially at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Sioux Falls, State of South Dakota, Sioux Falls School District, and private partners at Avera and Sanford.
  • The Startup Sioux Falls team will operate remotely now until the downtown facility is move-in ready, which is slated for the end of Q4 2022. We intend to stay proactive and visible in the community through partnerships with downtown businesses and sponsors; the Zeal facility will continue to house our partners at the Small Business Administration until September 1 by appointment only. We have created a directory of resource partners and are also happy to help navigate if you call or email us.
  • Building construction has started, and we are grateful to our partners at Journey Construction and Koch Hazard Architects for working with us on this project, as well as the City of Sioux Falls. Tours for founding members and donors will become more frequent as construction progresses.


  • Startup Sioux Falls’ next core CO.STARTERS cohort is set to begin on July 27 and will be hosted at Think 3D's HQ with Dan Card facilitating. The cohort will be announced publicly very soon.
  • Our SBA Community Navigator grant-funded cohort programming updates: Mitchell just completed their first cohort; Yankton and LSS will launch by the end of July. EmBe and Thunder Valley are set to kick off in August.
  • We have additional resource programs that will be provided through our partners as part of the SBA Community Navigator grant. These include learning opportunities such as Quickbooks basics, understanding inventory and payroll, leadership and culture training, understanding financial statements, and more! Join us for the first program, Funding for Startups, on August 3!
  • Our new podcast, Start Dakota, has launched! New episodes will drop monthly. Thank you to the SBA for funding this opportunity and to the creative partners we have worked with on this project.
  • The team is close to solidifying the next 12-18 months of events and programming, capacity and support, which we will publicly roll out in 3 month increments. We are focused on how best to support startup and growth stage entrepreneurs with diversified offerings, including discussions surrounding: Startup Weekend, a new Roadmap program sponsored by CO.STARTERS, and opportunities for mental health education and support.
  • Hey Sioux Falls, an awards event that honors entrepreneurs, startup supporters and innovators, will make its comeback in 2023, and we have our date and venue set: May 18 at the Sioux Falls Orpheum Theater downtown. More info coming soon!

Strategic Planning

  • Board recruitment and engagement are going to play a big part in our upcoming planning session in addition to refreshing our bylaws and governance policies. Diversified revenue streams, best practices for potential future grant opportunities, refined mission, vision casting, and leveraging 501c3 status will also play a role in this important discussion.
  • It’s also this organization’s intention to continue to refine our DE&I policies and practices, and we will be intentional in whom we are engaging to take part in our working committees and governing bodies now and into the future.