Posts by Andrea Van Essen

Meet Zeal’s New Community Manager: Kate Flemming

On Monday, Zeal welcomed its newest employee, Kate Flemming, in the role of Community Manager. Kate has a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and she recently moved to Sioux Falls from Decatur, IL with her husband and young son. Previously, she served as the program coordinator for Millikin University’s Center for…

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Organization Focus: Catholic Men’s Business Fraternity

In 2012, after a decade of teaching theology at O’Gorman High School, Joe Rutten decided it was time to pursue his idea of forming a men’s group centered on faith and business. Seven years later, the Catholic Men’s Business Fraternity (CMBF) is an active, multifaceted organization serving men in Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities.…

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Technology drive provides local nonprofits with refurbished systems

In partnership with the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship and SEAM, local biotech consulting firm, DRACO, launched its technology drive, Re:Boot Sioux Falls, on Monday, November 4. Re:Boot evolved from a project that one of DRACO’s founders, Eric Sandhurst, had initially been operating on his own. He collected used computers, had them refurbished by friends who…

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Organization Focus: Bluestem Capital

When Steve Kirby formed his private equity firm, Bluestem Capital, back in 1996, one aspect of the business was crucial—the people. “You can’t do a good deal with bad people, and you can’t do a bad deal with good people,” Kirby said. “It’s the same criteria we have today.” While their commitment to working with…

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Organization Focus: Falls Angel Fund

Back in July 2016, the first iteration of Falls Angel Fund launched after several years of planning, recruitment, and fundraising. Now, in 2019, the second fund is underway and is already inviting pitches. The first fund came to life as a joint effort between the South Dakota Enterprise Institute and local investors, John Henkhaus, Steve…

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Organization Focus: Prairie Family Business Association

When it comes to running a business, every owner faces a unique set of challenges. For family-run businesses, those challenges can hit closer to home. Working with loved ones and creating a family-oriented culture is rewarding, but it can also cause unexpected tensions and communication issues. Prairie Family Business Association (PFBA) exists to mitigate these…

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Founders retreat offers entrepreneurs a chance to reflect, engage

The Fargo-based ecosystem organization, Emerging Prairie, will host its annual Founders Only Retreat next month from November 6-8. Similar to Startup Sioux Falls, Emerging Prairie is an organization committed to connecting and celebrating its city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Emerging Prairie co-founder and executive director, Greg Tehven, says the organization’s thesis states that entrepreneurs need three things:…

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Zeal and Startup Sioux Falls partner to host Morning Marketing Party

On Friday, October 4, over 55 local business minds gathered at the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship to share their collective marketing knowledge over coffee, doughnuts, and gluten-free cupcakes. The event drew a diverse blend of people, from entrepreneurs to startup founders to freelancers and employees of small businesses and large corporations alike. Age and experience…

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