2023
Startup Sioux Falls Annual Report
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We empower founders and ignite innovation.
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As I reflect on the growth and success of Startup Sioux Falls, along with the strides we have made together as a community, I am excited to share the highlights of our collective achievements:

  • The unwavering support of our donors, sponsors, partners, and the entire Startup Sioux Falls community has been instrumental in our success. It is your commitment that fuels our mission and allows us to continue empowering startups to reach new heights.
  • The team at Startup Sioux Falls is committed to creating and delivering programs and services that support the vision of the organization. Their talents and drive are what shape the programming, first impressions and execution of our vision.
  • Our community hub, The Depot, has become a vibrant nucleus of innovation, a place to work and connect, and a unique facility to host business meetings and events. The impact of Startup Sioux Falls on our local community cannot be overstated. By fostering a dynamic ecosystem, we are driving positive change and contributing to the growth of our local economy.
  • Our financial health remains robust and we are dedicated to ensuring that every dollar invested in Startup Sioux Falls is strategically utilized to maximize impact and foster sustainable growth.

Looking ahead, our strategic vision is focused on building upon our current successes. We aim to expand our reach, deepen our impact, and provide even greater support to the vibrant startup ecosystem in Sioux Falls.

Together, we will continue to be a driving force for innovation and entrepreneurship in our community while meeting or exceeding the economic growth targets set by our stakeholders.

I invite each of you to join us in this exciting journey. Whether through financial contributions, mentorship, or active participation in our community events, your involvement is instrumental to our shared success.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank the contributions of our past board members, members cycling off this term - Bill Anderson, Kayla Eitreim, Allie Hartzler, Matt Paulson - and welcome the new members - Kim Burma, Arin Gonseth, Cindy Peterson, Scott Petersen and Chez Tschetter.

Here’s to another year of continued growth and bold achievements,

Mike Ridder
Board Chair

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2023 By the Numbers:

7,650+

Members of Our Online Community

3,500

People Served

1,950+

*EVENT ATTENDEES

162

PEOPLE SERVED THROGH MENTORSHIP AND RESOURCE NAVIGATION

135+

*CO.STARTER PARTICIPANTS

130+

*CO.STARTER PARTICIPANTS

BY 2034, STARTUP SIOUX FALLS WILL SERVE 100,000 PEOPLE AND HELP 100 STARTUPS GROW.

drawing of a man planting a tree while a woman waters the tree with a watering can
Community building is about planting seeds; a lot of them

STARTUP SUNRISE

Startup Sunrise is a dynamic event where Startup Sioux Falls hosts conversations with entrepreneurs and leaders to inspire and connect founders within the Sioux Falls region. Launched September 2023, hosted monthly

STARTUP PITCH NIGHT

Graduates of the CO.STARTERS business accelerator program showcase their business ideas to a panel of industry experts, investors, and founders. The winner of the pitch competition receives a cash prize to continue building their business.

FOUNDERS DAY

Founders Day is a full day of events and online engagement dedicated to celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship. We will celebrate the 5th Annual Founders Day on March 6, 2024.

STARTUP SKILLS WORKSHOPS

Startup Skills Workshops equip entrepreneurs with practical strategies and knowledge to enhance their businesses. Supported by the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program, we’ve collaborated with various organizations and experts to offer training on diverse topics.

EXPANDING HORIZONS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

In the past year, Startup Sioux Falls has significantly expanded its offerings innovating and adapting to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs. Our commitment to nurturing business growth at every stage has led to the launch of two new programs, complementing our flagship CO.STARTERS Business Accelerator.

Designed as an intensive weekend workshop, the CO.STARTERS Bootcamp propels aspiring entrepreneurs into action. In this immersive four-part series, participants engage in hands-on activities, collaborating with peers and experienced facilitators. They explore effective strategies and apply practical business tactics to turn ideas into viable ventures.

Highlights

Inaugural Bootcamp: A Resounding Success in October 2023

24 Enthusiastic Participants Embarked on Their Entrepreneurial Journey

Startup Sioux Falls entreprenuers
David Clifford and Brienne Maner talking on the Start Dakota Podcast

David Clifford,
Founder of Trap Tipi

Clifford grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation and attended college in New Mexico at the Institute of American Indian Art. From there, he ended up making impressive connections and working with content creators on brand development and social media management. He had the opportunity to work with actor Mark Ruffalo on a campaign encouraging Native Americans to vote, and he also had the chance to connect with actor Kevin Costner.

In 2016, he launched Trap Tipi, a business focused on graphic design and brand development, in addition to producing streetwear. He returned to Pine Ridge in 2021, where he continues to operate Trap Tipi in addition to working with Thunder Valley.

Join the Conversation

Dive into the heart of our entrepreneurial community with the Startup Sioux Falls Podcast! Each episode is a treasure trove of stories, insights, and inspiration, featuring our very own local business owners. From humble beginnings to triumphant milestones, hear firsthand how these trailblazers are shaping the Sioux Falls business landscape. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned business enthusiast, these stories are bound to ignite your passion and spark new ideas. Tune in now and join the journey of innovation and community spirit right here in Sioux Falls!

CO.STARTERS Bootcamp Explained

In this episode of Start Dakota, Amos Buelow, Terry Liggins and Brady Barr talk about…

Listen Now >

The Nuances of Building A Tech Company

In this episode of Start Dakota, Amos Buelow, Alisha Vincent and Scott Petersen discuss the…

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From Startup To Established Business

Chris Hintz shares the story of his business, Pinnacle Productions. Learn how it started and…

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Start Dakota Episode 15: Overcoming Challenges With Innovative Thinking

When Julio Fuenmayor noticed that supply chain issues were causing problems for farmers and ranchers…

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Meet Our Members
Founding Member - Kayla and Albert Huizing

CO.STARTERS

“We went through the CO.STARTERS program and through that recognized the value in having an entrepreneurial community. While the space is also important to us, the community is really what we’re excited about.”

-Kayla Huizing, Cofounder of SoDak Stays

Perfect for the individual who wants to get connected to the entrepreneurial community and exclusive resources and discounts for members.“

Founding Member - Kayla and Albert Huizing
Founding Member - Sioux FAlls Simplified

MEMBERSHIP

"A stronger entrepreneurial community means that I'll be able to meet more of my needs in a way that supports local people. I love supporting local businesses, and more entrepreneurs means more businesses to support. It's exciting to be in a community where people are following their passions and carving out their own niches, and I like living in a place that has that energy. It fuels my own personal fire."

- Megan Raposa, Founder of Sioux Falls Simplified

Founding Member - Sioux FAlls Simplified
Collaborative Minds, Brigher Innovations
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Startup Sioux Falls celebrates the impact of our Community Navigator Pilot Program, with 11 CO.STARTERS cohorts serving 132 participants last year. These cohorts, including LSS Center for New Americans, Spanish-speaking, multilingual, and various regional groups, have significantly contributed to our diverse entrepreneurial landscape.

This program, renowned for its comprehensive approach, equips entrepreneurs with necessary skills and insights in areas like customer discovery and business modeling. Remarkably, 92% of participants now feel equipped to lead a venture, and 93% are clear on their next business steps.

132 CO.STARTERS Participants

During the last program year, 11 CO.STARTERS cohorts were conducted serving 132 total participants.

92% By the end of the program

Believed they knew how to start and lead a venture.

Startup Sioux Falls Grand Opening

ENTREPRENEURIAL EXCELLENCE: INNOVATING, COLLABORATING, AND LEADING IN SIOUX FALLS

Startup Sioux Falls: The Epicenter of Entrepreneurship: At the heart of our success lies our state-of-the-art facility, a testament to our dedication to nurturing entrepreneurship. Our foundation rests on three distinct pillars—Innovative Programs, Coworking Space, and Meeting Space—setting us apart as leaders in the entrepreneurial landscape. Startup Sioux Falls is the only organization in the state offering programs catering to the entire founder’s journey, and as pioneers, we are shaping the landscape for aspiring visionaries.

Nestled in the vibrant downtown area, Startup Sioux Falls serves as a base for collaboration, ingenuity, and unity. Our success is supported by partnerships with local entities, including the city of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, and Forward Sioux Falls. Join us as we embark on another year defined by innovation, community, and an unwavering pursuit of entrepreneurial excellence.

Capital Campaign Donors

MarketBeat
Homegrown Capital
First PREMIER Bank
Lloyd Companies
POET
Burwell Enterprises
SDN Communications
Sidewalk Technologies
Interstate Office Products

Falls Fintech
First Bank & Trust
Kurt Loudenback
HireClick
Eide Bailly
Maximizing Excellence
Central Bank
American Bank & Trust
Weisser Distributing
First Dakota National Bank

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OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE: 2024 PLANS

One

Delivering quality programs that support the entire founders journey - from ideation stage to exit.

TWO

Creating a world-class experience in our downtown facility for both the startup members we serve and business clients booking meeting rooms and event space.

THREE

Creating cohesion and connectivity across the state of South Dakota to position ourselves as a startup destination.

FOUR

Engaging our incredible volunteers, donors and stakeholders in meaningful ways.

Five

Serving 7,000 individuals and supporting the growth of 7 startups to inch us toward our 10 year goal of 100,000 served and 100 startups grow.

MarketBeat Theater
MarketBeat Theater
MarketBeat Theater
MarketBeat Theater
MarketBeat Theater
Startup Sioux Falls building exterior
Empowered by Community Support

Our growing community of generous sponsors and donors have helped us create an inclusive, innovative, and collaborative ecosystem that’s authentic to Sioux Falls. We’re grateful for their ongoing support, and we’re inspired by their commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in our community.

Boyce Law Firm
City of Sioux Falls
Eide Bailly
First Bank & Trust
First National Bank in Sioux Falls
First PREMIER Bank
Forward Sioux Falls
USF Entrepreneurial Studies Program

MarketBeat
Midwest Employee Benefits
Sanford Health Plan
SDSU Ness School of Management
Sioux Falls Development Foundation
Tiger29
Voyage Federal Credit Union
Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

Board of Directors
Mike Riddar, Chair

Owner, Blueprint Business Advisory

Allie Hartzler, Vice Chair

Communications & Culture Officer City of Sioux Falls

Paul Tschetter, Treasurer

Partner, Boyce Law Firm, LLP

Matt Paulson, Secretary

Founder & CEO, MarketBeat General Partner, Homegrown Capital

Bill Anderson, Past Chair

COO, J Michael Consulting

Kayla Eitreim

President, Junior Achievement of South Dakota

Jeff Griffin

President & CEO, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

Jason Herrboldt

Chief Banking Officer, First Bank & Trust

Mike Lynch

Executive Director, Forward Sioux Falls

John Meyer

Founder, Leadmore Director, Leadership South Dakota

Amy Moore

Cofounder & Executive Creative Director, Lemonly

Bob Mundt

President and CEO, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Tony Nour

Senior Vice President, Relationship Banking, First PREMIER Bank

Karla Santi

CEO & Founding Partner, Blend Interactive

Keith Severson

Board Member, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Non-Board Committee Volunteers
Maureen Ohm

Chief of Staff, MarketBeat
Events Committee

Ngoc Thach

Founder, Mix Maker Marketing Committee

Pete Kleinjan

Owner, Tiger29 Marketing Committee

Startup Sioux Falls Staff

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Brienne Maner

Brienne Maner

President
Sara L Headshots 2022-6-square

Sara Lum

Vice President
Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Program Manager
Amos

Amos Beulow

Community Coordinator
emma (1)

Emma Olson

Facility & Admin Specialist

Founding Members

Our founding members have been with us from before we opened the doors to The Depot. Their support has been critical to building community.

Adam Ellsworth
Adam Emerson
Adam Finke
Adam Huber
Alana Snyder
Alex Halbach
Alisha Vincent
Allie Hartzler*
Amanda Runia
Andrea Smith
Andrea Van Essen
Andrew Peschong
Andy Jorgensen
Andy Lira
Anna Hyronimus
Ayris Cable-Cheval
Biswajit Nayak
Brad Melstad
Brian Bieber
Brian Robinson
Brigit Blote
Bruce Watley*
Carla White
Carleton J Hsia
Carly Kewley
Carmen Toft
Chris Ridl
Christopher Reistroffer
Corri Poore
Craig Arnold
Craig Jurczewsky
Dakotah Jordan
Daniel Berry
Daniel Brunz
Deborah Watley*
Destinie Marshall

Don Feige*
Doug Martin
Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc.
Eric Sandhurst
Erica Locke
Erik Muckey
Erik Nyberg
Falls Fintech*
Hayley Halverson
Henry Wegehaupt
Holly Jorgenson
Jackie Swanstrom
Jamie M Sterk
Jared Pomranky
Jeff Pickett*
Jen Jones
Jessica Meyers
Jessie Schmidt
Jim Masloski
Jim Mathis
Jo Dohrer
Jodi Schwan
Joe Bartmann
John Meyer
Jonathan P Oppold
Josh Pauli
Joshua Novak
Karla Santi*
Kate Hayes
Katelyn Musick
Kayla Huizing
Kelsey Cook
Kendra Cersosimo
Kim VanderPoel
Kristi Wire
Kristin Chau

Kristin Hoefert
Kurt Loudenback*
Kyrie Dunkley
Lawrence J Diggs
Lee Mitchell
Lisa Brouwer
Liz Larson
Local Lou
Lucero Rodea
Lyndsey Kastein
Maddie Peschong
Marcela Becerril Salas
Margaret Sumption*
Mariah Brunz
Mark Henderson
Mary Wolf
Matt Boos
Matt Doerr
Matt Paulson
Megan Raposa
Melissa Heckel
Michael Huber
Michael Wyland*
Mike Breault
Mike Knudson
Mike Ridder
Moses Idris
Mychelle Garrigan
Nathan Hofer
Nathan Schock
Neil Matthiesen
Ngoc Thach
Nick Sershen
Omari Mamboleo
Patrick McGowan*

Paul Tschetter
Peder Aadahl
Pete Kleinjan*
Peter Hauck
Rachel Stroschein
Randy Faustino
Raul Robles
Renee Marie Bostick
Ron Nelson
Ross Wickman
Ryan Kost
Ryan Quam
Sami Zoss
Sanaa Abourezk
Sara Gillis
Sara Jamison
Saugat Pradhan
Scott J Stubbe
Selene Zamorano-Ochoa
Shane Fischer
Shannon Ward
Stacey J Berry
Stacie Suedkamp
Steve Sershen
Steven Sarbacker
Susan Williams
Sydney Belle Bartunek Bender
Tarah Eliason
Terry Liggins
Vaney Hariri
Vince Danh*
Woods Fuller*
Zach Bakke

*Founder Funder: Supporter of membership and program fees for individuals in need of financial assistance.

MVP INTERNS 2023

2

Henry Sule

Spring 2023
3

Merideth Reiner

Spring 2023
1

Sunidhi Khand

Summer 2023
4

Kortney Fethkenher

Summer 2023
5

Amber Frigaard

Fall 2023
6

Allen Solomon

Fall 2023

STARTUP SQUAD

The Startup Squad leads community building efforts amongst members and the broader startup ecosystem. We are grateful for their support to create a thriving space for founders.

Albert Huizing V
Desiree Donovan
Kendra Cersosimo
Mychelle Garrigan
Nate Boscaljon

Scott Stubbe
Shane Fischer
Shannon Ward
Tyrel Kool