Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship and Startup Sioux Falls

What is the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship?

The Zeal Center is Sioux Falls' regional entrepreneurial hub of incubation, coworking, labs, conference, meeting space, and business resources.

A non-profit formed in 2002 as a crucial part of the Forward Sioux Falls economic development partnership, Zeal is a 45,000 sqft multi-use facility that serves as an epicenter of business activity for aspiring early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs.

Zeal's mission is to foster entrepreneurship by providing a dynamic environment to grow emerging businesses. Its vision is to create a thriving epicenter of entrepreneurship and pipeline of emerging rapid growth businesses to expand and diversify the Sioux Falls economy.

What is Startup Sioux Falls?

Startup Sioux Falls is a community organization that connects small business owners and entrepreneurs to one another and to the startup ecosystem in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota metro. Our mission is to create a movement of small business owners and startup founders working to create and grow businesses for the betterment of themselves, their families, and their communities.

The Startup Sioux Falls website contains information about resources available to startup founders, news about local startups and a calendar of upcoming startup events. Startup Sioux Falls is home to the Sioux Falls Startup Stories podcast andĀ also operates a popular online community of Sioux Falls startup founders on Facebook.

What is the Startup Sioux Falls Facebook Community?

The Startup Sioux Falls Facebook community is a group of more than 6,500 small business owners, startup founders, intrapreneurs and community members that discuss issues facing business owners on a daily basis. It is used by participants to get feedback about business ideas, to discuss business strategy and to find employees and business partners.

What is the Sioux Falls Startup Stories Podcast?

Produced by Startup Sioux Falls and hosted by Joshua Sopko, the Sioux Falls Startup Stories podcast is a weekly interview show that helps motivate, inspire, and impact entrepreneurs to take the next step pursuing their dreams. On the podcast, Joshua interviews local business owners and asks them how they got their start and what they went through as they got started. There will be sixteen episodes of Sioux Falls Startup Stories released in 2019, broken up into two eight-episode seasons.

Who is the team behind the Zeal Center and Startup Sioux Falls?

The Zeal Center was originally a joint venture between the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. It is led by executive director Brienne Maner and currently has three full-time staff.

Startup Sioux Falls is a volunteer-led community organization created by Matt Paulson. Additional Startup Sioux Falls volunteer team members include Becky Squyer, Joshua Sopko, Andrea Van Essen, Maureen Ohm, and Miranda Ochocki.

I have a question about Startup Sioux Falls or the Zeal Center. Who can I get in touch with?

Feel free to send questions about Startup Sioux Falls or the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship to the Zeal staff via email at [email protected], or complete the form on our contact page.

Frequently Asked Startup Questions

I am looking to start a business, but don't know where to start. What do I do?

If you are looking to start a small business in South Dakota, download a copy of the Small Business Development Center's (SBDC) Business Planning Guide. This 24-page guide will walk you through the process of creating a business plan, understanding the legal aspects of setting up a business and developing financial projections. Consider meeting with an SDBC business counselor who can provide advice, information, and business contacts that you may need to start your business. You can set up an appointment with an SBDC counselor by calling their office in Sioux Falls at 605-367-5757.

How do I meet other startup founders and small business owners in Sioux Falls?

If you are looking to network with founders of startups and small business owners, consider attending the weekly and monthly startup events in Sioux Falls and introducing yourself to other attendees. These startup events include 1 Million Cups, Zeal Ignite, Zeal E-Playbook, and Coffee and Connections. You can view a full list of weekly, monthly and annual startup events in Sioux Falls here.

You may consider asking specific business owners that you think you can learn from out to lunch or coffee. Business leaders in Sioux Falls tend to be welcoming and willing to help the next generation of leaders. If you are sincere and specific with your request. you will find that many business leaders are willing to sit down with you for an hour. Think about what you want to discuss with the person you are meeting with ahead of time so that you can make the best use of their time and yours.

How do I raise money for my business in Sioux Falls?

There are a variety of different venture capital and debt capital sources available to entrepreneurs in Sioux Falls. The right capital source for your business will depend on your industry, your capital needs, and your current business progress. We have produced a short guide that will walk you through the various options for raising capital in South Dakota which is available using this link.

What co-working spaces are in Sioux Falls?

The largest co-working space in Sioux Falls is the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, which is located off I-29 and Russel Avenue in Sioux Falls. Smaller co-working spaces include The Creative Coop, Regus, 927 Studios and Stone Group.

What are other startup hotspots in Sioux Falls?

You will often find solopreneurs, startup founders and remote workers working at downtown coffee shops including Queen City Bakery, Josiah's, Coffea and The Source.

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