August 2023 Director’s Update

startup sioux falls ribbon cutting

Our team knows that in order to score big wins, you need to take big swings.  And when it comes to driving innovation within our entrepreneurial and economic development ecosystems, we will always swing big. 

I’ve been a baseball enthusiast most of my life. Through my experiences watching games and supporting players in my friend and family circles, I’ve come to love and respect a game I never played, but enjoy as a fan. 

One of my favorite quotes comes from a scene in A League of Their Own in which Tom Hanks is pleading with Geena Davis not to leave the team while she’s complaining that “it got too hard”. Tom passionately replies, “It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

Starting a business is hard, no matter your background or level of education. Startup Sioux Falls exists to empower founders by offering resources to network, launch and grow their ventures. 

That said, those we serve must be willing to do the work, even when it’s hard. This journey is long, but sustaining the perseverance to continue through the peaks and valleys is what separates the wantrepreneurs from the entrepreneurs. And that’s what makes entrepreneurship great.

Now imagine being a single mother with no support, or a South Dakota native in a rural place with limited resources, and/or moving into our community from another city, country or continent. It’s these additional barriers that our organization also seeks to overcome through inclusive offerings and support from area nonprofits and government entities. 

Every single person deserves a shot at their version of the American Dream. Full stop. 

startup lss cohort

As I’ve had the privilege of leading the greater Sioux Falls ecosystem for the past 4 years, I more fully understand the craft of entrepreneurship and its importance. I have benefited from the mindset one must inhabit to be successful at running their own venture. What I now know for certain is that we must be willing to take risks and continue to innovate within business and community development arenas.

Our startup ecosystem is well positioned to be a catalyst for change and a platform for innovation within existing industries. We are here to help bolster the next generation of business owners and workforce. What we do best at Startup Sioux Falls is provide expert resource navigation for the founder’s next step, including: an active space to work and collaborate, events, workshops and programming, and a vibrant startup community to engage with.

Our startup ecosystem has embraced a proactive approach to maintaining its position at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. By bringing together key stakeholders we have established a powerful platform for think tank discussions. This summary highlights the significance of these collaborations and their impact on driving forward our ecosystem's commitment to innovation.

startup pitch night

Fostering a Culture of Collaboration:

The foundation of our success lies in promoting collaboration between different entities. By bridging the gaps between the private sector, government, and academia, we create a vibrant environment where diverse perspectives converge, sparking creative solutions to pressing challenges.

Identifying Emerging Technologies and Trends:

Through focused discussions, we can more easily identify emerging technologies and trends that hold transformative potential. This foresight enables our startup ecosystem to adapt swiftly to changes and take advantage of new opportunities, remaining at the forefront of industry developments.

Nurturing Entrepreneurial Spirit:

Our ecosystem's commitment to innovation extends to supporting budding entrepreneurs. By supporting them with world-class accelerator programming and connecting them with experienced mentors and industry leaders, we foster an environment that nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit, paving the way for the next generation of disruptors.

Creating Networking Opportunities:

Our monthly meetups and forthcoming monthly networking events serve as a platform for networking and forging strategic partnerships. The connections made during these sessions often lead to collaborations that further enhance innovation, open new markets, and attract investment.

Our startup ecosystem's commitment to staying on the forefront of technology and innovation through collaborative programming and think tank discussions has already proven to be a transformative force. By bringing together private sector businesses, government leaders, and academics, we leverage the power of collective intelligence to drive meaningful change. 

This dedication to innovation not only fortifies our ecosystem's competitiveness but also fuels sustainable growth and prosperity for all stakeholders involved. Looking ahead, we will continue to prioritize these collaborative efforts, positioning our startup ecosystem as a trailblazer in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation to support all industry sectors. 

Two things to remember: 

  • If you are curious about the policy initiatives that can drive growth for your business and  wondering how the government is actively supporting startups and small businesses, we have an event for you! From Legislation to Innovation is your chance to engage in a candid discussion on these vital topics with Senator John Thune.

RSVP to this event happening on August 22nd at 10:00 am by emailing [email protected].

  • Startup Sunrise, Startup Sioux Falls’ new monthly networking program, is set to kick off Wednesday, September 6. This event not only replaces One Million Cups, but takes networking and innovation to a whole new level. Join our email list to stay informed of upcoming opportunities to connect with the Sioux Falls ecosystem.